On This Day October 8

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History Highlights
History Highlights

1871 – One of the most disastrous forest fires in history leaves more than 1,200 dead in Wisconsin as flames scorch six counties.

1871 – The Great Chicago Fire breaks out, according to legend, when Catherine O’Leary’s cow kicks over a lantern in her barn on DeKoven Street. The blaze quickly spreads, leveling 3.5 miles, killing 250 people and leaving 100,000 homeless.

1919 – America’s first transcontinental air race begins, featuring 63 planes, piloted by U.S. Army aviators, competing in the round-trip aerial derby between California and New York. As 15 planes departed the Presidio in San Francisco, 48 planes left Roosevelt Field on Long Island, New York.

1956 – New York Yankees right-hander Don Larsen pitches the first no-hitter in World Series history. It’s a perfect game: no runs, no hits, no errors and no batter reaches first base.

1970 – Russian author Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn wins the Nobel Prize for literature. His first publication, “One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich” (1963), was widely read in both Russia and the West. Its harsh criticism of Stalinist repression provided a dramatic insight into the Soviet system.

2001 – The U.S. Office of Homeland Security is founded less than a month after the September 11 terrorist attacks. It is charged with preventing terror attacks, border security, immigration and customs, disaster relief and prevention and related tasks.

2014 –  The first person diagnosed with a case of Ebola in the U.S. dies in a Dallas, Texas hospital. Shortly before his death, the 42-year-old male patient, who lived in Liberia, had traveled to America from West Africa, which was in the throes of the largest outbreak of the often-fatal disease since its 1976 discovery.

On This Day October 7

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History Highlights
History Highlights

1913 – The moving assembly line is introduced at Ford Motor Company’s  Highland Park factory outside Detroit. Henry Ford’s invention allowed workers to build a Model T from scratch in 84 steps, cutting production time from 12.5 hours to six hours, and a year later to just 93 minutes.

1968 – The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) adopts its film rating system. Movies are rated G for general audiences, M (which later becomes PG), R or X (for adults only).

1982 – “Cats” opens, becoming the longest-running production in Broadway history. The musical is based the T.S. Eliot’s 1939 collection of poems, “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats,” and features music by Andrew Lloyd Webber.

1985 – Four Palestinian terrorists hijack the Italian cruise ship Achille Lauro in the Mediterranean Sea. They kill a disabled American tourist, 69-year-old Leon Klinghoffer, and order his body thrown overboard with his wheelchair.

2001 – President George W. Bush announces that a U.S.-led coalition has begun attacks on Taliban-controlled Afghanistan with an intense bombing campaign by American and British forces. The campaign, in retaliation for terror attacks in New York and Washington, D.C. three weeks earlier (9/11), is known as Operation Enduring Freedom.

2003 – “Terminator” actor Arnold Schwarzenegger is elected governor of California, replacing Gray Davis — the first U.S. governor to be recalled by the public since 1921. Affectionately called “The Governator,” he is reelected in 2006.

On This Day October 6

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On This Day October 5

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On This Day October 4

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On This Day October 3

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On This Day October 2

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History Highlights
History Highlights

1835 – Mounting tensions between Mexico and Texas lead to violence when Mexican soldiers attempt to disarm the people of Gonzales, sparking the Texan war for independence. The battle flag used by the Texans at the Battle of Gonzales gained recognition as the “Come and Take It” flag, referring to a small cannon that Mexican forces tried to repossess.

1919 – President Woodrow Wilson, who had just cut short a cross-country speaking tour to promote formation of the League of Nations (a precursor to the United Nations), suffers a massive stroke, which leaves him partially paralyzed on the left side of his body. The stroke is kept a secret from the public, but forces Wilson to abandon his campaign for the League and weakens his presidency.

1950 – The first Peanuts comic strip, created by Charles Schulz, is published in seven newspapers across the U.S. Schulz originally called his strip “L’il Folks,” but United Features Syndicate changed the name.

1959 – “The Twilight Zone,” created and hosted by Rod Serling, premieres with an episode called “Where Is Everybody?” starring Earl Holliman. The black & white sci-fi series runs for five seasons.

1967 – Thurgood Marshall, the first African American U.S. Supreme Court justice, is sworn in to office.

1985 – Actor Rock Hudson becomes the first high-profile celebrity to die of complications from AIDS. Hudson’s death, at the age of 59, raises public awareness of the epidemic, which until that time had been ignored by many in the mainstream as a “gay plague.”

2006 – A 32-year-old milk truck driver enters the West Nickel Mines Amish School in Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania, and fatally shoots five female students and wounds five more before taking his own life. The gunman, Charles Carl Roberts IV, had no criminal history or record of mental illness.

On This Day October 1

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Celebrity Birthdays
Celebrity Birthdays
Musical Milestones
Musical Milestones

1966 – “Cherish,” by The Association, parks itself at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

1970 – Funeral services are held for Seattle native Jimi Hendrix. The legendary rock guitarist and singer-songwriter died in London two weeks earlier at the age of 27.

1977 – Meco’s disco interpretation of composer John Williams’ theme from the motion picture “Star Wars” (later retitled “Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope”) kicks off two weeks as the No. 1 single.

1982 – A revolution in the way we listen to music takes place, as the first compact disc (CD) player goes on sale in Japan for about $1,000. It’s the Sony CDP-101, and it lands in stores around the world six months later. The first CD to officially hit the market is Billy Joel’s “52nd Street.”

1988 – “Don’t Worry, Be Happy,” by Bobby McFerrin, marks its second and final week as a Billboard No. 1 single. 

1994 – Boyz II Men own the top spot on the pop chart with “I’ll Make Love to You,” which remains at No. 1 for 14 weeks and captures a Grammy for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals.

2005 – “Gold Digger,” by Kanye West featuring Jamie Foxx, is in the middle of a 10-week run atop the Billboard Hot 100. The track, which samples Ray Charles’ “I Got a Woman,” is the second chart-topper for West and Foxx. It goes on to capture a Best Rap Solo Performance Grammy.

2011 – “Moves Like Jagger,” by Maroon 5 featuring Christina Aguilera, is the No. 1 single.

On This Day September 30

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History Highlights
History Highlights

1927 – Babe Ruth hits his 60th home run of the season off Tom Zachary of the Washington Senators. Ruth’s record for the most homers in a single season stands for 34 years until Roger Maris hits 61 in 1961.

1954 – The U.S. Navy commissions the USS Nautilus, the world’s first nuclear submarine. During its early years of service, the vessel breaks numerous submarine travel records, and in August 1958, achieves the first voyage under the North Pole. 

1955 – Hollywood legend James Dean is killed in a car accident at the age of 24. At the time, Dean is speeding in his beloved “Little Bastard” — a silver Porsche 550 Spyder — to a car race in Salinas, California, when a vehicle driven by a 23-year-old college student veers into his path.

1960 – Yabba Dabba Do! Hanna-Barbera introduces Americans to a “modern Stone Age family” in the animated series “The Flintstones,” which lasts six seasons on ABC.

1968 – The first Boeing 747, named “City of Everett,” is rolled out before thousands of employees and the international press at Boeing’s Everett, Washington factory. The jumbo jet is the world’s largest civilian aircraft at that time — capable of carrying up to 490 passengers and 33 attendants. It officially enters service on February 9, 1969.

1982 – The NBC sitcom “Cheers,” set in a Boston bar, debuts, starring Ted Danson and Shelley Long. It is nominated for Outstanding Comedy Series each of the 11 seasons it is on the air, capturing 28 Primetime Emmy Awards from a record 117 nominations.

1984 – The popular prime time series “Murder, She Wrote” premieres on CBS, starring Angela Lansbury as crime novelist Jessica Fletcher, who travels the country solving murder cases. The show picks up two Golden Globes during a 12-season run. Lansbury is nominated for 10 Golden Globes and 12 Emmy Awards, winning four Golden Globes.

On This Day September 29

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History Highlights
History Highlights

1941 – The Babi Yar massacre of nearly 34,000 Jewish men, women, and children begins on the outskirts of Kiev in the Nazi-occupied Ukraine. The two-day bloodbath becomes a symbol of Jewish suffering in the Holocaust.

1966 – General Motors rolls out the sporty Chevy Camaro in an effort to go head-to-head with the popular Ford Mustang, which debuted two years earlier.

1988 – NASA launches the so-called “Return to Flight Mission” — the first space shuttle launch since the devastating Challenger explosion that claimed the lives of all seven crew members in January 1986. STS-26 marks the seventh flight for shuttle Discovery.

1988 – Stacy Allison of Portland, Oregon, becomes the first American woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest, the highest point on Earth.

1995 – President Bill Clinton posthumously awards voting rights advocate Willie Velasquez the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Velasquez and the organizations he founded are credited with dramatically increasing political awareness and participation among the Hispanic communities of the Southwestern U.S.

2005 – New York Times reporter Judith Miller is released from a federal detention center after agreeing to testify in the investigation into the leaking of the identity of covert CIA officer Valerie Plame.

2008 – Congress fails to pass a $700 billion bank bailout plan, sending the Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeting nearly 780 points — at the time, the largest single-day point loss in history. The free fall follows the bankruptcies of Wall Street brokerage firm Lehman Brothers, Savings and Loan bank Washington Mutual and the Fed’s pledge to extend an $85 billion bailout for insurance provider AIG.

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