This tag is associated with 194 posts

March 24 1958 Elvis Presley Inducted Into Army

On March 24th 1958, after several deferments, Elvis Aaron Presley, the King of Rock and Roll, was finally inducted into the United States Army. In effect, he started the day as the King, but ended it as a lowly army private. After turning 18 on January 8, 1953, he fulfilled his patriotic duty and legal … Continue reading

March 23 1998 Titanic Wins 11 Oscars

On March 23rd 1998, as James Cameron took the stage to accept his Academy Award for Best Director, it was clear that the blockbuster film Titanic was dominating the Oscars. Titanic had already tied with 1950’s All About Eve for the record of most Oscar nominations, at 14. By the end of the night, it … Continue reading

March 22 1947 Novelist James Patterson Born

On March 22nd 1947, one of the world’s top-selling novelists, James Patterson, was born. Best known for his thrillers, Patterson, the creator of the Alex Cross detective series and the Women’s Murder Club series, among others, has written books in a variety of genres, from historical fiction to young adult. His novels have sold an … Continue reading

March 21 1963 Alcatraz Closes

On March 21st 1963, Alcatraz Prison in San Francisco Bay closed down and transferred all it’s prisoners to other institutions, according to official government sources. At it’s peak period of use in the 1950s, “The Rock,” or “America’s Devil Island” housed over 200 inmates at the maximum-security facility. Alcatraz remains an icon of American prisons … Continue reading

March 20 1852 Uncle Tom's Cabin Published

On March 20th 1852, Harriet Beecher Stowe’s anti-slavery novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, was published. Within three months, the novel had sold 300,000 copies and was so widely read that when President Abraham Lincoln met Stowe in 1862, he reportedly said, “so you are the little woman who wrote the book that started this great war.” … Continue reading

March 19 1953 Cecil B DeMille Wins His First And Only Oscar

On March 19th 1953, Cecil B. DeMille won the only Academy Award of his career. The legendary film maker won with The Greatest Show on Earth, taking home the Oscar for Best Picture. The big-budget film extravaganza about circus life starred Charlton Heston, Betty Hutton, and Cornel Wilde. Born in Ashfield, Massachusetts, in 1881, DeMille … Continue reading

March 18 1950 Taiwan Nationalists Invade Mainland China

On March 18th 1950, military forces of the Nationalist Chinese government on Taiwan made a surprise invasion of the communist People’s Republic of China (PRC),  and captured the mainland town of Sungmen. Because the United States supported the attack, it resulted in even deeper tensions and ill feeling between the U.S. and the PRC. In … Continue reading

March 17 461 Saint Patrick Dies

On March 17th 461, Saint Patrick, Christian missionary, bishop and apostle of Ireland, died at Saul, Downpatrick, Ireland. Much of what is known about Patrick’s legendary life comes from the Confessio, a book he wrote during his last years. Born in Great Britain, probably in Scotland, to a rich Christian family of Roman citizenship, Patrick … Continue reading

March 16 2005 Robert Blake Acquitted of Murdering Wife

On March 16th 2005, a Los Angeles Superior Court acquitted Robert Blake of the murder of his younger wife, Bonny Lee Bakley, after a three month trial. Blake had previously won fame for his performance as a cop in the 70s TV series Baretta, but his performance as a murderer in the real life court … Continue reading

March 15 44 BCE The Ides of March and Julius Caesar Murdered

On March 15th 44 BCE, Julius Caesar, the “dictator for life” of the Roman Empire, was murdered by his own senators at a meeting in a hall next to Pompey’s Theatre. The conspiracy against Caesar encompassed as many as sixty noblemen, including Caesar’s own protege, Marcus Brutus. Caesar planned to leave Rome to fight in … Continue reading

March 14 1879 Albert Einstein Born

On March 14th 1879, Albert Einstein was born, the son of a Jewish electrical engineer in Ulm, Germany. Einstein’s theories of special and general relativity drastically altered man’s view of the universe, and his work in particle and energy theory helped make possible quantum mechanics and ultimately, the atomic bomb. After a childhood in Germany … Continue reading

March 13 1868 Andrew Johnson Impeachment Trial Begins

On March 13th 1868, for the first time in US history, the impeachment trial of an American president got underway in the US Senate. President Andrew Johnson, reviled by the Republican-dominated Congress for his views on Reconstruction, stood accused of having violated the controversial Tenure of Office Act, passed by Congress over his veto in … Continue reading

March 12 1969 London Police Drug Raid On George Harrison

On March 12th 1969, the London drug squad appeared at house of George Harrison and Pattie Boyd with a warrant and drug-sniffing canines. Boyd immediately used the direct hotline to Beatles headquarters, and George returned to find his home turned upside down. He is reported to have told the officers “You needn’t have turned the … Continue reading

March 11 1997 Paul McCartney Knighted

On March 11th 1997, Paul McCartney, a former member of the most successful rock band in history, The Beatles, was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for his “services to music.” The 54-year-old lad from Liverpool became Sir Paul in a centuries-old ceremony of pomp and solemnity at Buckingham Palace in central London. Fans waited outside … Continue reading

March 10 1959 Tibetans Revolt Against China

On March 10th 1959, Tibetans banded together in revolt, surrounding the summer palace of the Dalai Lama in defiance of Chinese occupation forces. China’s occupation of Tibet began nearly a decade before, in October 1950, when troops from its People’s Liberation Army (PLA) invaded the country, barely one year after the Communists gained full control … Continue reading

March 9 1959 First Barbie Doll

On March 9th 1959, the first Barbie doll went on display at the American Toy Fair in New York City. Eleven inches tall, with a waterfall of blond hair, Barbie was the first mass-produced toy doll in the United States with adult features. The woman behind Barbie was Ruth Handler, who co-founded Mattel, Inc. with … Continue reading

March 8 1669 Mount Etna Erupts

On March 8th 1669, Mount Etna, on the island of Sicily in modern-day Italy, began rumbling. Multiple eruptions over the next few weeks killed more than 20,000 people and left thousands more homeless. Most of the victims could have saved themselves by fleeing, but stayed, in a vain attempt to save their city. Mount Etna … Continue reading

March 7 1876 Alexander Graham Bell Patents Telephone

On March 7th 1876, 29-year-old Alexander Graham Bell received a patent for his revolutionary new invention, the telephone. The Scottish-born Bell worked in London with his father, Melville Bell, who developed Visible Speech, a written system used to teach speaking to the deaf. In the 1870s, the Bells moved to Boston, Massachusetts, where the younger … Continue reading

March 6 1857 Supreme Court Rules In Dred Scott Case

On March 6th 1857, the US Supreme Court handed down its decision on Sanford v Dred Scott, a case that intensified national divisions over the issue of slavery. In 1834, Dred Scott, a slave, had been taken to Illinois, a free state, and then Wisconsin territory, where the Missouri Compromise of 1820 prohibited slavery. Scott … Continue reading

March 5 1963 Hula-hoop Patented

On March 5th 1963, the Hula-Hoop was patented by Wham-O co-founder Arthur “Spud” Melin. The hip-swiveling toy became a huge fad across America when it was first marketed in 1958, and sold an estimated 25 million in its first four months of production alone. In 1948, friends Arthur Melin and Richard Knerr founded a company … Continue reading

March 4 1952 Ernest Hemingway Completes The Old Man and the Sea

On March 4th 1952, Ernest Hemingway completed his short novel The Old Man and the Sea. He wrote his publisher the same day, saying he had finished the book and that it was the best writing he had ever done. The critics agreed: the book won the Pulitzer Prize in 1953 and became one of … Continue reading

March 3 1887 Helen Keller Meets Anne Sullivan

On March 3rd 1887, Anne Sullivan began teaching six-year-old Helen Keller, who had lost her sight and hearing after a severe illness at the age of 19 months. Under Sullivan’s tutelage, including her pioneering “touch teaching” techniques, the previously uncontrollable Keller flourished, eventually graduating from college and becoming an international lecturer and activist. Sullivan, later … Continue reading

March 2 1904 Dr Seuss Born

On March 2nd 1904, Theodor Geisel, better known to the world as Dr Seuss, the author and illustrator of such beloved children’s books as “The Cat in the Hat” and “Green Eggs and Ham,” was born in Springfield, Massachusetts. Geisel, who used his middle name (which was also his mother’s maiden name) as his pen … Continue reading

March 1 1692 Salem Witch Hunt Begins

On March 1st 1692, in Salem Village in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, Sarah Goode, Sarah Osborne, and Tituba, an Indian slave from Barbados, are charged with the illegal practice of witchcraft. Later that day, Tituba, possibly under coercion, confessed to the crime, encouraging the authorities to seek out more Salem witches. Trouble in the small … Continue reading

February 29 1940 Hattie McDaniel First African-American To Win Academy Award

On February 29th 1940, Gone with the Wind won eight Academy Awards, the most momentous of them being that of Hattie McDaniel, who won Best Supporting Actress for her role as “Mammy,” a housemaid and former slave. She became the first African-American to win an Oscar. McDaniel was born in Wichita, Kansas, in 1895, and … Continue reading

February 28 1993 ATF Raid Branch Davidian In Waco Texas

On February 28th 1993, agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms raided the Branch Davidian cult compound in Waco, Texas, prompting a gun battle in which four agents and six cult members were killed. The federal agents were attempting to arrest the leader of the Branch Davidians, David Koresh, on information that the … Continue reading

February 27 1827 First Mardi Gras In New Orleans

On February 27th 1827, a group of masked and costumed students dance through the streets of New Orleans, Louisiana, marking the beginning of the city’s famous Mardi Gras celebrations. The celebration of Carnival, or the weeks between Twelfth Night on January 6 and Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the Christian period of Lent, spread from … Continue reading

February 26 1919 and 1929 Grand Canyon and Grand Teton National Parks Established

On February 26th 1919 and 1929, two national parks were established in the United States 10 years apart; the Grand Canyon in 1919 and the Grand Teton in 1929. Located in north-western Arizona, the Grand Canyon is the product of millions of years of excavation by the mighty Colorado River. The chasm is exceptionally deep, … Continue reading

February 25 1964 Cassius Clay Knocks Out Sonny Liston

On February 25th 1964, 22-year-old Cassius Clay shocked the odds-makers by dethroning world heavyweight boxing champ Sonny Liston in a seventh-round technical knockout. The dreaded Liston, who had twice demolished former champ Floyd Patterson in one round, was an 8-to-1 favorite. However, Clay predicted victory, boasting that he would “float like a butterfly, sting like … Continue reading

February 24 1836 Alamo Defenders Call For Help

On February 24th 1836, in San Antonio, Texas, Colonel William Travis issued a call for help on behalf of the Texan troops defending the Alamo, an old Spanish mission and fortress under attack by the Mexican army. A native of Alabama, Travis moved to the Mexican state of Texas in 1831. He soon became a … Continue reading

February 23 1940 Woody Guthrie Writes "This Land Is Your Land"

On February 23rd 1940, folk singer Woody Guthrie wrote one of his best-known songs, “This Land is Your Land.” Born in Okemah, Oklahoma, in 1912, Guthrie lived and wrote of the real West, a place of hard-working people and harsh environments rather than romantic cowboys and explorers. Though he was a son of a successful … Continue reading

February 22 1732 George Washington Born

On February 22nd 1732, George Washington was born in Westmoreland County, Virginia, the second son from the second marriage of a colonial plantation owner. An initially loyal British subject, Washington eventually led the Continental Army in the American Revolution and became known as the “father” of the United States. Washington rose to eminence on his … Continue reading

February 21 1848 Karl Marx Publishes Communist Manifesto

On February 21st 1848, The Communist Manifesto, written by Karl Marx with the assistance of Friedrich Engels, was published in London by a group of German-born revolutionary socialists known as the Communist League. The political pamphlet, arguably the most influential in history, proclaimed that “the history of all hitherto existing society is the history of … Continue reading

February 20 1962 John Glenn First American To Orbit Earth

On February 20th 1962, from Cape Canaveral, Florida, John Hershel Glenn Jr was successfully launched into space aboard the Friendship 7 spacecraft on the first orbital flight by an American astronaut. Glenn, a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps, was among the seven men chosen by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in … Continue reading

February 19 1945 US Marines Invade Iwo Jima

On February 19th 1945, Operation Detachment, the US Marines’ invasion of Iwo Jima, was launched. Iwo Jima was a barren Pacific island guarded by Japanese artillery, but to American military minds, it was prime real estate on which to build airfields to launch bombing raids against Japan, only 660 miles away. The Americans began applying … Continue reading

February 18 1885 Mark Twain Publishes Huckleberry Finn

On February 18th 1885, Mark Twain published his famous and controversial novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Twain (the pen name of Samuel Clemens) first introduced Huck Finn as the best friend of Tom Sawyer, hero of his tremendously successful novel The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876). Though Twain saw Huck’s story as a kind … Continue reading

February 17 1904 Madame Butterfly Premieres

On February 17th 1904, Giacomo Puccini’s opera Madame Butterfly premiered at the La Scala theatre in Milan, Italy. It was not received well, and lasted only one performance. The young Puccini had decided to dedicate his life to opera after seeing a performance of Giuseppe Verdi’s Aida in 1876. In his later life, he would … Continue reading

February 16 1923 King Tut's Tomb Opened

On February 16th 1923, in Thebes, Egypt, English archaeologist Howard Carter entered the sealed burial chamber of the ancient Egyptian ruler King Tutankhamen. Because the ancient Egyptians saw their pharaohs as gods, they carefully preserved their bodies after death, burying them in elaborate tombs containing rich treasures to accompany the rulers into the afterlife. In … Continue reading

February 15 1965 Canada Adopts Maple Leaf Flag

On February 15th 1965, in accordance with a formal proclamation by Queen Elizabeth II of England, a new Canadian national flag was raised above Parliament Hill in Ottawa, the capital of Canada. Beginning in 1610, Lower Canada, a new British colony, flew Great Britain’s Union Jack, or Royal Union Flag. In 1763, as a result … Continue reading

February 14 278 St Valentine Beheaded

On February 14th around the year 278 AD, Valentine, a holy priest in Rome in the days of Emperor Claudius II, was executed. Under the rule of Claudius the Cruel, Rome was involved in many unpopular and bloody campaigns. The emperor had to maintain a strong army, but was having a difficult time getting soldiers … Continue reading

February 14 1779 Captain Cook Killed In Hawaii

On February 14th 1779, Captain James Cook, the great English explorer and navigator, was killed by natives of Hawaii during his third visit to the Pacific island group. In 1768, Cook, a surveyor in the Royal Navy, was commissioned a lieutenant in command of the HMS Endeavour and led an expedition that took scientists to … Continue reading

February 13 1633 Galileo In Rome For Inquisition

On 13th February 1633, Italian philosopher, astronomer and mathematician Galileo Galilei arrived in Rome to face charges of heresy for advocating Copernican theory, which holds that the Earth revolves around the Sun. Galileo officially faced the Roman Inquisition in April of that same year and agreed to plead guilty in exchange for a lighter sentence. … Continue reading

February 12 1912 Last Emperor Of China Abdicates

On February 12th 1912, Hsian-T’ung, the last emperor of China, was forced to abdicate following Sun Yat-sen’s republican revolution. A provisional government was established in his place, ending 267 years of Manchu rule in China and 2,000 years of imperial rule. The former emperor, only six years old, was allowed to keep up his residence … Continue reading

February 11 1990 Nelson Mandela Released From Prison

On February 11th 1990, Nelson Mandela, leader of the movement to end South African apartheid, was released from prison after 27 years. In 1944, Mandela, a lawyer, joined the African National Congress (ANC), the oldest black political organization in South Africa, where he became a leader of Johannesburg’s youth wing of the ANC. In 1952, … Continue reading

February 10 1962 Francis Gary Powers Spy Swap

On February 10th 1962, American spy pilot Francis Gary Powers was released by the Soviets in exchange for Soviet Colonel Rudolf Abel, a senior KGB spy who was caught in the United States five years earlier. The two men were brought to separate sides of the Glienicker Bridge, which connects East and West Berlin across … Continue reading

February 9 1900 Davis Cup Competition Established

On February 9th 1900, the solid silver trophy known today as the Davis Cup was first put up for competition when American collegian Dwight Filley Davis challenged British tennis players to come across the Atlantic and compete against his Harvard team. Davis, born in St Louis, Missouri, won the intercollegiate tennis singles championship in 1899. … Continue reading

February 8 1587 Mary Queen Of Scots Beheaded

On February 8th 1587, after 19 years of imprisonment, Mary Queen of Scots was beheaded at Fotheringhay Castle in England for her complicity in a plot to murder Queen Elizabeth I. In 1542, while just six days old, Mary ascended to the Scottish throne upon the death of her father, King James V. Her mother … Continue reading

February 7 1992 European Union Established

On February 7th 1992, after suffering through centuries of bloody conflict, the nations of Western Europe finally united in the spirit of economic cooperation with the signing of the Maastricht Treaty of European Union. The treaty, signed by ministers of the European Community, called for greater economic integration, common foreign and security policies, and cooperation … Continue reading

February 6 1952 Elizabeth Becomes Queen

On February 6th 1952, after a long illness, King George VI of Great Britain and Northern Ireland died in his sleep at the royal estate at Sandringham. Princess Elizabeth, the oldest of the king’s two daughters and next in line to succeed him, was in Kenya at the time of her father’s death; she was … Continue reading

February 5 1783 Earthquake Devastates Southern Italy

On February 5th 1783, a massive earthquake in southern Italy destroyed villages and triggered a tsunami and landslides. In all, about 34,000 people lost their lives and 180 communities were destroyed. The estimated 7.5 to 8.0-magnitude quake struck at about 1 pm in the Calabria province. Within a minute, over 100 villages were leveled throughout … Continue reading

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