On This Day December 21

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On This Day November 19

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On This Day October 2

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History Highlights
History Highlights

1835 – Mounting tensions between Mexico and Texas lead to violence when Mexican soldiers attempt to disarm the people of Gonzales, sparking the Texan war for independence. The battle flag used by the Texans at the Battle of Gonzales gained recognition as the “Come and Take It” flag, referring to a small cannon that Mexican forces tried to repossess.

1919 – President Woodrow Wilson, who had just cut short a cross-country speaking tour to promote formation of the League of Nations (a precursor to the United Nations), suffers a massive stroke, which leaves him partially paralyzed on the left side of his body. The stroke is kept a secret from the public, but forces Wilson to abandon his campaign for the League and weakens his presidency.

1950 – The first Peanuts comic strip, created by Charles Schulz, is published in seven newspapers across the U.S. Schulz originally called his strip “L’il Folks,” but United Features Syndicate changed the name.

1959 – “The Twilight Zone,” created and hosted by Rod Serling, premieres with an episode called “Where Is Everybody?” starring Earl Holliman. The black & white sci-fi series runs for five seasons.

1967 – Thurgood Marshall, the first African American U.S. Supreme Court justice, is sworn in to office.

1985 – Actor Rock Hudson becomes the first high-profile celebrity to die of complications from AIDS. Hudson’s death, at the age of 59, raises public awareness of the epidemic, which until that time had been ignored by many in the mainstream as a “gay plague.”

2006 – A 32-year-old milk truck driver enters the West Nickel Mines Amish School in Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania, and fatally shoots five female students and wounds five more before taking his own life. The gunman, Charles Carl Roberts IV, had no criminal history or record of mental illness.

On This Day September 21

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Celebrity Birthdays
Celebrity Birthdays

1866 – Author H. G. Wells (“The Time Machine,” “The Island of Doctor Moreau,” “The Invisible Man,” “The War of the Worlds”) (d. 1946)

1931 – Actor Larry Hagman, best known for his role as villainous Texas oil tycoon J.R. Ewing in CBS’ hit series “Dallas” (d. 2012)

1934 – Canadian singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen, known for his poetic lyrics, iconic songs and baritone voice (d. 2016)

1943 – Producer Jerry Bruckheimer (“Beverly Hills Cop,” “Flashdance,” “Top Gun,” “The Rock,” “Con Air,” “Armageddon,” “Black Hawk Down,” “Pirates of the Caribbean,” “National Treasure”) 

1947 – Award-winning horror, science fiction, and suspense novelist Stephen King (“Carrie,” “The Shining,” “The Stand,” “Misery,” “The Dark Tower”)

1950 – Emmy-winning actor-comedian Bill Murray (“Saturday Night Live,” “Caddyshack,” “Stripes,” “Ghostbusters,” “Groundhog Day,” “Rushmore,” “The Royal Tenenbaums,” “Lost in Translation,” “The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou,” “Hyde Park on Hudson,” “St. Vincent”)

1957 – Writer-producer Ethan Coen of the Coen Brothers (“Raising Arizona,” “The Hudsucker Proxy,” “Fargo, “The Big Lebowski,” “O Brother, Where Art Thou?,” “No Country for Old Men,” “Hail, Caesar!”)

1967 – Grammy-winning country music singer Faith Hill (“Wild One,” “Piece of My Heart,” “This Kiss,” “Just to Hear You Say That You Love Me”)

1968 – Actress and talk show host Ricki Lake (“Hairspray,” “Ricki Lake”)

1971 – Actor Luke Wilson (“Idiocracy,” “Old School,” “Bottle Rocket,” “The Royal Tenenbaums,” “Blue Streak,” “Bongwater,” “Legally Blonde”)

On This Day September 10

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On this Day August 24

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On this Day August 11

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History Highlights
History Highlights

1934 – The first inmates, classified as “most dangerous,” arrive at the federal prison on Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay, joining a few dozen prisoners left over from the island’s days as a U.S. military prison.

1956 – Abstract artist Jackson Pollock dies in a drunk-driving car crash at the age of 44. 

1965 – Following the arrest of a young black motorist, the predominately black Los Angeles neighborhood of Watts erupts in riots that last six days and leave more than 30 people dead. 

1965 – The Ford Motor Company introduces the Bronco to compete with the Jeep CJ-5 and International Harvester Scout. 

1973 – “American Graffiti” opens in theaters. The coming-of-age film set in 1962 California was co-written and directed by George Lucas and stars Richard Dreyfuss, Ron Howard and Harrison Ford.

1984 – During a sound check before a Saturday radio broadcast, President Ronald Reagan jokingly says, “My fellow Americans. I’m pleased to announce that I’ve signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes.” Reagan was unaware, however, that the feed was live. The Soviets, who find no humor in the remark, put their military on high alert.

2014 – Oscar-winning actor-comedian Robin Williams (“Mork and Mindy,” “The World According to Garp,” “Moscow on the Hudson,” “Good Morning, Vietnam,” “Dead Poets Socity,” “Aladdin,”  “Mrs. Doubtfire,” “The Birdcage,” “Good Will Hunting”) dies by suicide at the age of 63.