On This Day February 6

Click each item below to learn more!

History Highlights
History Highlights

1917 – Three days after U.S. President Woodrow Wilson severs diplomatic relations with Germany and warns that war would follow if American interests at sea were again assaulted, a German submarine torpedoes and sinks the passenger steamer California off the Irish coast.

1933 – The 20th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, establishing the beginning and ending of the terms of elected federal offices, takes effect. 

1937 – John Steinbeck’s novella, “Of Mice and Men,” the story of the bond between two migrant workers during the Great Depression, is published. Eight months later, the stage adaptation opens in New York and earns Steinbeck the New York Drama Critics’ Circle’s Best Play Award in 1938.

1952 – Princess Elizabeth becomes Queen of England when her father, King George VI, dies following a long illness. But it takes the 25-year-old Elizabeth more than a day to learn of her new royal status. She was on safari at the time, inside a Kenyan tree hut watching a herd of elephants gather at a watering hole.

1978 – One of the worst Nor’easters in New England history pounds the region for more than 30 hours, with wind gusts exceeding 100 mph and snowfall of four inches an hour. High tides cause damaging coastal flooding, while inland, thousands of cars are stranded in snow drifts. Remembered as “The Blizzard of ’78,” the monster storm leaves about 100 people dead and 4,500 others injured.

1993 – Tennis champion Arthur Ashe, the only African-American man to win Wimbledon and the U.S. and Australian Opens, dies of complications from AIDS, at age 49 in New York City.

On This Day December 28

Click each item below to learn more!

On This Day December 23

Click each item below to learn more!

History Highlights
History Highlights

1783 – Following the signing of the Treaty of Paris, General George Washington resigns as commander in chief of the Continental Army and retires to his home at Mount Vernon, Virginia.

1888 – Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh, suffering from severe depression, uses a razor to sever part of his left ear. He later documents the event in a painting titled “Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear.” Over years, however, a variety of new theories have emerged about this incident.

1913 – President Woodrow Wilson signs the Federal Reserve Act into law establishing the Federal Reserve, which continues serving as the nation’s central banking system today and is responsible for executing monetary policy.

1947 – John Bardeen, Walter Brattain and William Shockley with Bell Laboratories unveil their invention of the transistor, which revolutionizes communications and electronics.

1968 – The crew and captain of the American intelligence gathering ship USS Pueblo are released after 11 months imprisonment by the North Korean government.

1986 – Dick Rutan and Jeana Yeager complete the first non-stop flight around the world without refueling. They set a new world record of 216 hours of continuous flying in the experimental aircraft Voyager.

1993 – The movie “Philadelphia,” starring Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington, and directed by Jonathan Demme, opens in U.S. theaters. It is the first major Hollywood film to address the HIV/AIDS crisis and garners Hanks a Best Actor Oscar and Bruce Springsteen a Best Original Song Oscar for his track, “Streets of Philadelphia.”

On This Day November 5

Click each item below to learn more!

Celebrity Birthdays
Celebrity Birthdays

1911 – American singer, cowboy and actor Roy Rogers, born Leonard Franklin Slye and known as the “King of the Cowboys” (d. 1998)

1913 – Actress Vivian Leigh (“Gone With the Wind,” “A Streetcar Named Desire”) (d. 1967)

1931 – R&B singer-songwriter Ike Turner who had a string of hits with then-wife Tina Turner (d. 2007)

1940 – Golden Globe-winning actress Elke Sommer (“The Prize,” “A Shot in the Dark,” “The Art of Love,” “The Oscar,” “Boy, Did I Get the Wrong Number”)

1941 – Singer-songwriter Art Garfunkel, formerly of the Grammy-winning rock-folk duo Simon & Garfunkel

1943 – Pulitzer Prize-winning actor and playwright Sam Shepard (“Days of Heaven,” “Paris, Texas,” “The Right Stuff,” “Country,” “Steel Magnolias”) (d. 2017)

1947 – Peter Noone, born Peter Blair Denis Bernard Noone, frontman for the 1960s British pop group Herman’s Hermits

1959 – Grammy-winning rock singer-songwriter Bryan Adams (“Cuts Like a Knife,” “Summer of ’69,” “(Everything I Do) I Do It for You”)

1960 – Oscar-winning actress Tilda Swinton (“Edward II,” “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe,” “Michael Clayton,” “Burn After Reading,” “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” “Doctor Strange”)

1963 – Oscar-winning actress Tatum O’Neal (“Paper Moon,” “The Bad News Bears,” “Nickelodeon,” “Little Darlings”)

1968 – Actor Sam Rockwell (“The Green Mile,” “Galaxy Quest” “Iron Man 2,” “Cowboys & Aliens,” “A Single Shot”)

History Highlights
History Highlights

1912 – Democrat Woodrow Wilson is elected the 28th president of the United States in a landslide victory, defeating Republican incumbent William Howard Taft and Progressive Party candidate Theodore Roosevelt. It is the only presidential election in American history in which two former presidents were defeated by another candidate.

1940 –  Democrat Franklin Delano Roosevelt is re-elected for an unprecedented third term as president of the United States. He is re-elected again in 1944, which paves the way for ratification of the 22nd Amendment to the Constitution in 1951, limiting all future presidents to two elected terms.

1968 – Republican Richard Nixon wins the presidential election, defeating Vice President Hubert Humphrey in one of the closest political races in U.S. history.

1968 – New York Democrat Shirley Chisholm becomes the first African American woman elected to the U.S. Congress. She serves for 14 years. In 1972, she becomes the first woman and African American to seek the nomination for president of the United States from one of the two major political parties.

1994 – Forty-five-year-old George Foreman knocks out 26-year-old Michael Moorer to become the oldest heavyweight champion in the history of boxing. More than 12,000 spectators at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas watch Foreman dethrone Moorer, who entered the fight with a 35-0 record.

2007 – A writers strike in New York and Los Angeles interrupts the production of more than 60 television shows and results in the loss of an estimated $3 billion to the LA economy alone. The walkout, by members of the Writers Guild of America (WGA), lasts more than three months.

2009 – Thirteen people are killed and more than 30 others are wounded, nearly all of them unarmed soldiers, when a U.S. Army officer goes on a shooting rampage at Fort Hood in central Texas. The deadly assault, carried out by Major Nidal Malik Hasan, an Army psychiatrist, becomes the worst mass murder at a U.S. military installation.

On This Day October 28

Click each item below to learn more!

On This Day October 2

Click each item below to learn more!

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 July 11

Click each item below to learn more!

On this Day May 18

Click each item below to learn more!

History Highlights
History Highlights

1917 – Six weeks after the United States formally enters the World War I, Congress passes and President Woodrow Wilson signs into law the Selective Service Act. It requires all American men between the ages of 21 and 30 to register for service in the U.S. military. On June 5, 1917, some 10 million men report to their local Selective Service Registration Boards to sign up.

1953 – Jacqueline “Jackie” Cochran becomes the first woman aviator to break the sound barrier. The so-called “Queen of Speed” was an important contributor to the formation of America’s wartime Women’s Auxiliary Army Corps (WAAC) and Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP).

1965 – President Lyndon Johnson announces the launch of Project Head Start, designed as part of his War on Poverty initiative, to provide comprehensive early childhood education, health, nutrition, and parent involvement services to low-income children and their families.

1974 – With its detonation of a nuclear bomb, India officially becomes the world’s sixth nuclear power. International reaction to the test was negative, with Canada cutting off virtually all nuclear assistance. The United States also restricted such collaborations and successfully persuaded India not to carry out further nuclear tests at that time.

1980 – The violent eruption of Washington’s Mount St. Helens kills 57 people, destroys hundreds of homes, levels tens of thousands of acres of forest, triggers mudflows and scatters ash across a dozen states. It becomes one of the deadliest and most economically destructive volcanic events in U.S. history.