On This Day February 13

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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 May 27

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History Highlights
History Highlights

1930 – New York City’s iconic Chrysler Building opens to the public and stands as the world’s tallest building until surpassed by the Empire State Building in 1931.

1936 – The ocean liner RMS Queen Mary leaves Southampton on her maiden voyage to New York with more than 1,800 passengers aboard. The ship arrives safely five days later.

1937 – The majestic Golden Gate Bridge opens, creating a vital link between San Francisco and Marin County, California. San Franciscans throw a “fiesta” in honor of the new span. Schools, offices and stores either close or reduce staffing. By 6 that morning, 18,000 people are waiting to cross the span from both the sides.

1939 – A ship carrying more than 900 Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi persecution is turned away from Havana, Cuba. Only 28 immigrants are admitted into the country. After appeals to the U.S. and Canada for entry are rejected, the rest are forced to return to Europe, where they are divided among several countries, including Great Britain and France.

1941 – The revered German battleship Bismarck is cornered and sunk in the North Atlantic by ships and planes from the British Royal Navy, ending one of the most intensive naval manhunts in history. An estimated 2,100 men are killed in the attack.

1962 – A mine fire that still burns to this day breaks out beneath the borough of Centralia, Pennsylvania.

1994 – Two decades after being expelled from the Soviet Union, Nobel laureate Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn returns to Russia in an emotional homecoming.