On This Day September 13

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On This Day September 8

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History Highlights
History Highlights

1900 – A hurricane packing winds in excess of 130 miles per hour and a 15-foot storm surge slams into Galveston, Texas, devastating the island. Between 6,000 and 8,000 people are killed, making the hurricane the deadliest natural disaster in U.S. history up to that time. Ten thousand survivors are left homeless.

1921 – Sixteen-year-old Margaret Gorman of Washington, D.C., is crowned the first Miss America at the end of a two-day pageant in Atlantic City, New Jersey. 

1966 – A television sci-fi phenom is born with the premiere of “Star Trek” on NBC. The series, consisting of 79 episodes over three seasons, stars William Shatner as Captain James T. Kirk and Leonard Nimoy as Mr. Spock, first officer and science officer aboard the starship USS Enterprise. In the decades since the original series ended, “Star Trek” has spawned spin-offs, movies and conventions.

1974 – President Gerald Ford attempts to give closure to the Watergate scandal by granting his predecessor, Richard Nixon, a pardon for any crimes he may have committed or participated in while in office. 

1974 – Daredevil Evel Knievel survives a failed bid to leap the mile-wide chasm of the Snake River Canyon (Idaho) on his rocket-powered motorcycle.

1986 – “The Oprah Winfrey Show” debuts as the first talk show hosted by an African American woman. 

1994 – US Air Flight 427 crashes on approach to Pittsburgh International Airport. All 132 people on board the Boeing 737 are killed. A lengthy investigation concludes that the cause was a faulty rudder.

On this Day June 19

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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.