On This Day February 9

Click each item below to learn more!

On This Day January 30

Click each item below to learn more!

On this Day July 17

Click each item below to learn more!

On this Day July 3

Click each item below to learn more!

History Highlights
History Highlights

1775 – George Washington rides out in front of the American troops gathered at Cambridge Common in Massachusetts and draws his sword, formally taking command of the 16,000-member Continental Army.

1863 – On the third day of the Battle of Gettysburg, Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s last attempt at breaking the Union line ends in failure, bringing the most decisive battle of the American Civil War to an end.

1958 – President Dwight D. Eisenhower signs the Rivers and Harbors Flood Control Bill, which allocates funds to improve flood-control and water-storage systems across the United States.

1985 – The sci-fi adventure/comedy “Back to the Future,” starring Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd and directed by Robert Zemeckis, opens in U.S. theaters. It becomes a cult classic, spawning two sequels, an animated series, a theme park ride, several video games, a series of comic books and a stage musical.

1986 – President Ronald Reagan, with First Lady Nancy Reagan by his side, presides over the relighting of the renovated Statue of Liberty. It re-opens to the public two days later during Liberty Weekend, celebrating the monument’s centennial.

1988 – While sailing through the Persian Gulf, the U.S. Navy cruiser Vincennes shoots down an Iranian passenger jet that it mistakes for a hostile fighter plane. All 290 people on board are killed. The U.S. government admits to the error a month later, and in 1996, agrees to pay $62 million in damages to the families of the Iranians that perished in the attack.

On this Day June 26

Click each item below to learn more!

History Highlights
History Highlights

1927 – Coney Island’s iconic Cyclone roller coaster begins operating. The ride quickly becomes a fan favorite, with long lines of repeat customers paying 25 cents per ride. In 1988, it is designated a New York City Landmark, and in 1991, it is added to the National Register of Historic Places.

1948 – Known as the “Berlin Airlift,” U.S. and British planes begin delivering food and supplies through airdrops to (West) Berlin, Germany after Soviet forces seal off rail, road, and water access with a blockade. The crisis finally ends almost a year later when Soviet forces lift the blockade on land access to the city.

1959 – President Dwight D. Eisenhower and Queen Elizabeth II preside at a ceremony marking the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway, which creates a navigational channel from the Atlantic Ocean to the Great Lakes.

1963 – President John F. Kennedy speaks the famous words, “Ich bin ein Berliner,” in a speech before cheering throngs in democratic West Berlin.

1974 – Grocery shopping is revolutionized with the introduction of the bar code. The first item scanned is a pack of Wrigley’s Juicy Fruit chewing gum at a supermarket in Troy, Ohio.

1993 – President Bill Clinton punishes Iraq for a plot to assassinate former U.S. President George H. W. Bush.

2015 – Marking a major milestone for civil rights, the Supreme Court rules that same-sex marriage cannot be banned in the United States and that all same-sex marriages must be recognized nationwide, finally granting same-sex couples equal rights to heterosexual couples under the law.

On this Day June 19

Click each item below to learn more!

History Highlights
History Highlights

1865 – Union soldiers land in Galveston, Texas with news that the Civil War has ended and that enslaved African Americans were now free. The announcement comes two and a half years after President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, which took effect on January 1, 1863. Some historians blame the delay on poor communication of that era while others believe Texan slave owners intentionally withheld the information. June 19 is observed around the U.S. as Juneteenth. On June 17, 2021, it became a federal holiday.

1905 – The world’s first nickelodeon opens in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and draws some 450 guests. The storefront theater boasted 96 seats and charged each patron a nickel.

1934 – Congress establishes the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to regulate broadcasting in the United States.

1953 –  Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, who were convicted of conspiring to pass U.S. atomic secrets to the Soviets, die in the electric chair at Sing Sing Prison in New York. Both deny wrongdoing and proclaim their innocence right up to the time of their execution. The Rosenbergs were the first American civilians executed for espionage during the Cold War.

1973 – In separate games, Pete Rose of the Cincinnati Reds and Willie Davis of the L.A. Dodgers achieve their 2,000th career hits.

1978 – Cartoonist Jim Davis introduces readers of 41 newspapers around the U.S. to a pleasantly plump, lazy, lasagna-loving cat named Garfield.

1981 – A caped superhero returns to U.S. movie theaters with the release of “Superman II,” starring Christopher Reeve as “The Man of Steel.”

2013 –  Actor James Gandolfini, best known for his role as crime boss Tony Soprano in the HBO series “The Sopranos,” dies of a heart attack at age 51 while vacationing in Italy. 

On this Day May 25

Click each item below to learn more!

History Highlights
History Highlights