On This Day January 25

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On This Day January 19

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On This Day September 5

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History Highlights
History Highlights

1836 – Sam Houston is elected president of the Republic of Texas, which earned its independence from Mexico in a successful military rebellion.

1958 – Boris Pasternak’s romantic novel, “Doctor Zhivago,” is published in the United States. The book was banned in the Soviet Union, but goes on to win the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1958 and is the basis of the Oscar-winning 1965 movie starring Omar Sharif and Julie Christie.

1966 – The Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) Telethon debuts. The live fundraiser was hosted every Labor Day weekend through 2011 by comedian Jerry Lewis. 

1972 – The world watches in horror as news unfolds about a massacre at the Summer Olympics in Munich, West Germany, where Palestinian terrorists murder 11 Israeli athletes. Many cite this tragedy as ushering in the modern age of terrorism.

1975 – An assassination attempt against President Gerald Ford in Sacramento, California is thwarted by a Secret Service agent who wrests a semi-automatic .45-caliber pistol from Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme, a follower of cult leader Charles Manson. Fromme is paroled in 2009 after 34 years in prison.

1986 – A Pan Am flight from Bombay, India to New York (Pan Am Flight 73) is hijacked by four armed Palestinian men during a scheduled stop in Karachi, Pakistan. Twenty people are killed aboard the 747 jumbo jet — among them, flight attendant Neerja Bhanot, who is posthumously honored with India’s highest peacetime award for bravery for protecting many of the 360 survivors.

2006 – Katie Couric debuts as the first female solo anchor of a weekday network evening news broadcast, the “CBS Evening News with Katie Couric,” and draws an audience of 13.6 million viewers. Couric, who served as co-host of NBC’s “Today” show from 1991 to 2006, succeeded longtime anchor Dan Rather.

On this Day August 9

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History Highlights
History Highlights

1936 – African American track star Jesse Owens captures his fourth Gold medal at the Berlin Olympic Games in the 4×100-meter relay. His relay team set a new world record of 39.8 seconds. In their strong showing in track and field, Owens and other African American athletes struck a publicity blow to Nazi leader Adolf Hitler, who planned to use the international event to showcase supposed Aryan superiority.

1945 – Three days after the bombing of Hiroshima, the U.S. drops a second atomic bomb on Japan. This time the target is Nagasaki. The attack leads to Japan’s unconditional surrender and brings hostilities in World War II to a close. The combined attacks leave some 200,000 people dead and level both cities.

1969 – In one of the most horrifying crimes of the 1960s, members of Charles Manson’s cult, the Manson Family, murder five people in the Beverly Hills home of director Roman Polanski. Polanski’s pregnant wife, 26-year-old actress Sharon Tate, is among the victims.

1974 – Gerald Ford becomes the 38th U.S. president, taking the oath of office on the heels of the Richard Nixon resignation. 

1975 – The Louisiana Superdome opens and an exhibition game there sees the Houston Oilers trounce the hometown New Orleans Saints by a score of 31-7.

2010 – JetBlue flight attendant Steven Slater quits his job in dramatic fashion after his flight lands at New York’s JFK International Airport. He gets on the public address system, swears at a passenger whom he claimed treated him rudely, grabs a beer and slides down the plane’s emergency chute onto the tarmac.