On This Day March 22

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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 6

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On this Day July 25

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History Highlights
History Highlights

1898 – More than 16,000 U.S. troops invade Puerto Rico asserting that they are liberating the inhabitants from Spanish colonial rule, which had recently granted the island’s government limited autonomy. The island, as well as Cuba and the Philippines, were spoils of the Spanish-American War, which ended the following month.

1943 – Benito Mussolini, fascist dictator of Italy, is voted out of power by his own Grand Council and arrested upon leaving a meeting with King Vittorio Emanuele, who tells Il Duce that the war is lost. 

1953 – Big changes take place for New York City commuters as the subway token is introduced, and the cost of riding the underground rises from a dime to 15 cents. 

1956 – The Italian ocean liner SS Andrea Doria collides with the MS Stockholm in heavy fog off the coast of Nantucket Island, Massachusetts, and sinks the next day, killing 51. 

1978 – Louise Joy Brown, the world’s first baby to be conceived throughin vitro fertilization (IVF) is born at Oldham and District General Hospital in Manchester, England.

1984 – Soviet cosmonaut Svetlana Savitskaya becomes the first woman to walk in space. She spends more than 3.5 hours outside the Salyut 7 space station along with a crewmate, welding, brazing and testing a new multipurpose tool. Savitskaya was twice awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union, the highest honor bestowed by her country, and later entered Soviet politics.

1985 – The world learns that screen legend Rock Hudson has AIDS through a written announcement released by his publicist. He becomes the first celebrity to go public with such a diagnosis, which was still stigmatized at that time.

On this Day June 18

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History Highlights
History Highlights

1812 – Frustrated by Britain’s maritime practices and support of Native American resistance to western expansion, U.S. President James Madison signs a declaration of war against Britain, authorized by Congress, that sets the War of 1812 into motion. However, U.S. troops suffer great losses on land and at sea against the stronger British army. In August 1814, British troops enter Washington, D.C. and burn the U.S. Capitol and the White House. By December, both the Americans and British end the conflict with the signing of the Treaty of Ghent.

1923 – The first Checker cab is produced at the Checker Cab Manufacturing Company in Kalamazoo, Michigan and becomes part of a fleet rolling across the streets of Chicago. The iconic cab eventually serves big cities across the U.S. with a reputation for comfort and reliability. Checker production continues for 59 years until the last model rolls off the assembly line in July 1982. 

1961 – The Western series “Gunsmoke” is broadcast for the last time on CBS Radio.

1979 – President Jimmy Carter and Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev sign the SALT-II agreement establishing limitations and guidelines for nuclear weapons. The treaty, which never formally takes effect, proves to be one of the most controversial U.S.-Soviet agreements of the Cold War.

1983 – Sally Ride becomes the first American woman in space as she sets out on a six-day mission aboard the space shuttle Challenger. During her NASA career, Ride flew on two shuttle missions and later became a champion for science education and a role model for generations. 

1984 – Members of a white nationalist group called The Order shoot and kill controversial radio talk show host Alan Berg in the driveway of his Denver home.

On this Day May 26

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History Highlights
History Highlights

1897 – The first copies of the classic vampire novel “Dracula,” by Irish writer Bram Stoker, appear in London bookshops.

1927 – It’s the end of the road for Ford’s iconic Model T automobile. The 15 millionth and last Model T Ford rolls off a Detroit assembly line with Ford founder Henry Ford in the front passenger seat and his son, Edsel, behind the wheel. The touring car, with hand-stamped VIN 15000000, marked the symbolic end of the groundbreaking automobile’s 19-year production run.

1953 – The first 3-D sci-fi movie premieres in Los Angeles: “It Came from Outer Space,” based on a Ray Bradbury story.

1959 – Harvey Haddix of the Pittsburgh Pirates pitches 12 perfect innings against the Milwaukee Braves before losing, 1-0, in the 13th. It’s the first time a pitcher throws more than nine perfect innings in major league history.

1969 – Apollo 10 returns to Earth after a successful eight-day test of all the components needed for the forthcoming first manned moon landing. During descent from its lunar orbit, the spacecraft sets a record for the fastest speed attained by a manned vehicle.

1972 – Soviet President Leonid Brezhnev and U.S. President Richard Nixon, meeting in Moscow, sign the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT) agreements.

1977 – The so-called “human fly,” George Willig, scales the South Tower of New York City’s World Trade Center by attaching himself to a window washing track and walking straight to the top and into the custody of waiting police officers. It takes Willig three and a half hours to make the climb and costs him $1.10 in fines — one penny per floor.