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On this day, the daily facts thread

zorro Jul 15, 2014

  1. crogers

    crogers Magnus advocatus diaboli Brigade Member

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    On this day in 1940, near Montignac, France, a collection of prehistoric cave paintings are discovered by four teenagers who stumbled upon the ancient artwork after following their dog down a narrow entrance into a cavern. The 15,000- to 17,000-year-old paintings, consisting mostly of animal representations, are among the finest examples of art from the Upper Paleolithic period.
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    On this day in 1993, the rebuilt Lacey V. Murrow Bridge over Lake Washington opens in Seattle. The new bridge, which was actually the eastbound lanes of Interstate 90 (the westbound lanes cross the lake on a separate bridge), connects the city and its eastern suburbs. It replaced the original Murrow Bridge, the first floating concrete bridge in the world, which was destroyed by a flood in November 1990.
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    On this day in 1988, Hurricane Gilbert slams into Jamaica, killing hundreds of people. The storm went on to cause death and destruction in Mexico and spur a batch of tornadoes in Texas.
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    On this day in 1974, in Boston, Massachusetts, opposition to court-ordered school “busing” turns violent on the opening day of classes. School buses carrying African American children were pelted with eggs, bricks, and bottles, and police in combat gear fought to control angry white protesters besieging the schools.
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    On this day in 1972, the cowboy actor William Boyd, best known for his role as Hopalong Cassidy, dies at the age of 77, after nearly 40 years of riding across millions of American TV and movie screens.
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    On this day in 1959, North Vietnamese Premier Pham Van Dong tells the French Consul: “You must remember we will be in Saigon tomorrow.” In November, he would tell the Canadian Commissioner: “We will drive the Americans into the sea.” The U.S. Embassy in Saigon eventually passed these remarks along to Washington as evidence of the deteriorating situation in South Vietnam.
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    On this day in 1972, U.S. intelligence agencies (the Central Intelligence Agency and Defense Intelligence Agency) report to the National Security Council that the North Vietnamese have 100,000 regular troops in South Vietnam and can sustain fighting “at the present rate” for two years.
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    On this day in 1951, former middleweight champion Sugar Ray Robinson defeats Randy Turpin to win back the belt in front of 61,370 spectators at the Polo Grounds in New York City. Robinson, a New York City native, had lost the belt to Turpin two months prior in Turpin’s native London.
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  2. crogers

    crogers Magnus advocatus diaboli Brigade Member

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    On this day in 1814, Francis Scott Key pens a poem which is later set to music and in 1931 becomes America’s national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner.” The poem, originally titled “The Defence of Fort McHenry,” was written after Key witnessed the Maryland fort being bombarded by the British during the War of 1812. Key was inspired by the sight of a lone U.S. flag still flying over Fort McHenry at daybreak, as reflected in the now-famous words of the “Star-Spangled Banner”: “And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air, Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.”
    :usa_flag:

    On this day in 2004, TV talk-show host Oprah Winfrey gives a brand-new Pontiac G-6 sedan, worth $28,500, to everyone in her studio audience: a total of 276 cars in all.) Oprah had told her producers to fill the crowd with people who “desperately needed” the cars, and when she announced the prize (by jumping up and down, waving a giant keyring and yelling “Everybody gets a car! Everybody gets a car!”), mayhem–crying, screaming, delirium, fainting–broke out all around her. It was, as one media expert told a reporter, “one of the great promotional stunts in the history of television.”
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    On this day in 1989, Hurricane Hugo approaches the Leeward Islands. Over the next 12 days, Hugo would kill 75 people from the island of Guadeloupe to South Carolina.
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    On this day in 1971, the four-day revolt at the maximum-security Attica Correctional Facility near Buffalo, New York, ends when hundreds of state police officers storm the complex in a hail of gunfire. Thirty-nine people were killed in the disastrous assault, including 29 prisoners and 10 prison guards and employees held hostage since the outset of the ordeal.
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    On this day in 1993, after decades of bloody animosity, representatives of Israel and Palestine meet on the South Lawn of the White House and sign a framework for peace. The “Declaration of Principles” was the first agreement between the Israelis and Palestinians towards ending their conflict and sharing the holy land between the River Jordan and the Mediterranean Sea that they both claim as their homeland.
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    On this day in 1990, the drama series Law & Order premieres on NBC; it will go on to become one of the longest-running prime-time dramas in TV history and spawn several popular spin-offs. According to the now-famous Law & Order formula, the first half of the hour-long program, which is set in New York City, focuses on the police as they investigate a crime–often inspired by real-life news stories–while the second part of the show centers on the prosecution of those accused of that crime. Each episode opens with a narrator stating: “In the criminal justice system, the people are represented by two separate yet equally important groups: the police, who investigate crime, and the district attorneys, who prosecute the offenders. These are their stories.”
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    On this day in 1980, country music artist Willie Nelson and his band perform at the White House with President Jimmy Carter in attendance. Later that night, unbeknownst to the president, Nelson allegedly retired to the White House roof to smoke a marijuana cigarette.
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    On this day in 1964, dissident South Vietnamese army officers attempt to overthrow General Nguyen Khan’s government in Saigon, calling their movement the People’s Council for the Salvation of the Nation.
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    On this day in 1968, the largest sustained operation inside the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) opens when U.S. and South Vietnamese infantry and armored troops, supported by planes, artillery, and U.S. Navy ships, move two miles into the buffer zone to relieve enemy pressure on Allied bases along the 40-mile stretch of South Vietnam’s northern frontier.
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    On this day in 1936, 17-year-old Cleveland Indians pitching ace “Rapid” Robert Feller strikes out 17 batters in a game, setting a new American League record. Feller allowed just two hits in the game to help his team to a 5-2 victory over the Philadelphia A’s.
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  3. crogers

    crogers Magnus advocatus diaboli Brigade Member

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    On this day in 1901, U.S. President William McKinley dies after being shot by a deranged anarchist during the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York.
    42-year-old Theodore Roosevelt is suddenly elevated to the White House. He is the youngest person to hold that office.
    :pshoopshoo:

    On this day in 1927, dancer Isadora Duncan is strangled in Nice, France, when the enormous silk scarf she is wearing gets tangled in the rear hubcaps of her open car. (“Affectations,” said Gertrude Stein when she heard the news of Duncan’s death, “can be dangerous.”)
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    On this day in 1959, a Soviet rocket crashes into the moon’s surface, becoming the first man-made object sent from earth to reach the lunar surface. The event gave the Soviets a short-lived advantage in the “space race” and prompted even greater effort by the United States to develop its own space program.
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    On this day in 1974, “I Shot the Sheriff” hits No. 1 on the music charts. While the song had been written by reggae legend Bob Marley the previous year, it was Eric Clapton’s version that ascended to the top of the charts.
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    On this day in 1999, millions of people evacuate their homes as Hurricane Floyd moves across the Atlantic Ocean. Over the next several days, deaths are recorded from the Bahamas to New England due to the powerful storm.
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    On this day in 1975, Elizabeth Ann Seton is canonized by Pope Paul VI at the Vatican in Rome, becoming the first American-born Catholic saint.
    :pope:

    On this day in 1955, Richard Wayne Penniman, better known as Little Richard, walked into a New Orleans recording studio and gave birth to a record called “Tutti Frutti.”
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    On this day in 1965, ARVN paratroopers and several U.S. advisers parachute into the Ben Cat area, 20 miles north of Saigon. This was the first major parachute assault of the war by the South Vietnamese. Although they failed to make contact with the enemy, they achieved their goal of driving the Viet Cong away from Route 13 (running between Saigon and the Cambodian border) at least temporarily.
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    On this day in 1966, U.S. II Field Force initiates Operation Attleboro with an attack by the 196th Light Infantry Brigade against Viet Cong forces near the Cambodian Border in War Zone C (near Tay Ninh, 50 miles northwest of Saigon in III Corps Tactical Zone).
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    On this day in 1968, Detroit Tigers pitcher Denny McLain wins his 30th game of the season, becoming the first 30-game winner in the major leagues since 1938. The Tigers scored two runs in the bottom of the ninth to come from behind in a 5-4 decision over the Oakland A’s.
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  4. crogers

    crogers Magnus advocatus diaboli Brigade Member

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    On this day in 1990, thirteen-year-old Melissa Benoit disappears in her hometown of Kingston, Massachusetts, on her way home from a friend’s house. Although the town detective talked to everyone who lived on the path between the two houses, no one admitted to having seen Benoit. Soon afterward, the FBI joined the search. Yet, despite their use of tracking dogs, there was still no sign of the young girl.
    In an unusual move, the FBI asked neighbors to take polygraph tests. Henry Meinholz, a local Bible school instructor who took the test, did not appear to be truthful. Perhaps in an attempt to deflect suspicion, he later claimed that he had failed the polygraph because he often fantasized about molesting little girls. He also admitted to the agents that he had followed girls and masturbated in his car in the past.
    The FBI immediately began a thorough search of his house, where investigators found Benoit’s body under a pile of dirt and coal in the basement. Meinholz confessed to rape and murder, claiming that voices in his head had commanded him to kill.
    According to his account, a voice (which became the center of his insanity defense) said, “You’re not a man unless you have her. Do it!” However, after a short trial, the jury rejected his defense and convicted him of first-degree murder. When he issued a life sentence without parole, the judge stated, “It is said that my predecessors in colonial times had a gallows erected on the green in front of this courthouse and summarily sent defendants convicted, as you have been, to be hanged. I truly regret that option is not open to me in this case.”
    I whole-heartedly agree with that judge! [​IMG]

    On this day in 1958, a commuter train plunges off a bridge into Newark Bay in New Jersey killing 47 passengers. The accident was the result of mistakes made by the train’s crew.
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    On this day in 1963, a bomb explodes during Sunday morning services in the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, killing four young girls.
    :fuctupshit:

    On this day in 1954, the famous picture of Marilyn Monroe, laughing as her skirt is blown up by the blast from a subway vent, is shot during the filming of The Seven Year Itch. The scene infuriated her husband, Joe DiMaggio, who felt it was exhibitionist, and the couple divorced shortly afterward.
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    On this day in 1858, the new Overland Mail Company sends out its first two stages, inaugurating government mail service between the eastern and western regions of the nation.
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    On this day in 1964, the National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam, or as it was more popularly known, the National Liberation Front (NLF), calls for a general military offensive to take advantage of the ‘disarray’ among the South Vietnamese, particularly after the abortive coup attempt against General Khanh’s government in Saigon on September 13 and 14.
    The NLF was the formal political organization behind the Viet Cong and sought to unite all aspects of the South Vietnamese people who were disaffected with the Saigon government. From the beginning, the NLF was completely dominated by the communist Lao Dong Party Central Committee in Hanoi and served as North Vietnam’s shadow government in the South.
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    On this day in 1972, ARVN forces recapture Quang Tri City after four days of heavy fighting, with the claim that over 8,135 NVA had been killed in the battle.
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    On this day in 1931, the Philadelphia Athletics beat the Cleveland Indians to clinch their third consecutive American League pennant. The win was the ninth and final American League championship of legendary manager Connie Mack’s storied career.
    :whoop:

    On this day in 1978, boxer Muhammad Ali defeats Leon Spinks at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans to win the world heavyweight boxing title for the third time in his career, the first fighter ever to do so. Following his victory, Ali retired from boxing, only to make a brief comeback two years later. Ali, who once claimed he could “float like a butterfly, sting like a bee,” left the sport permanently in 1981.
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  5. crogers

    crogers Magnus advocatus diaboli Brigade Member

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    On this day in 1932, in his cell at Yerovda Jail near Bombay, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi begins a hunger strike in protest of the British government’s decision to separate India’s electoral system by caste.
    :hungry1:

    On this day in 1845, Phineas Wilcox is stabbed to death by fellow Mormons in Nauvoo, Illinois, because he is believed to be a Christian spy. The murder of Wilcox reflected the serious and often violent conflict between the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the surrounding communities.
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    On this day in 1978, an extremely deadly earthquake rocks Iran, killing more than 25,000 people. The 7.7-magnitude quake struck the northeastern part of the country, an area that has traditionally seen much seismic activity.
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    On this day in 1620, the Mayflower sails from Plymouth, England, bound for the New World with 102 passengers. The ship was headed for Virginia, where the colonists–half religious dissenters and half entrepreneurs–had been authorized to settle by the British crown. However, stormy weather and navigational errors forced the Mayflower off course.
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    On this day in 1810, Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, a Catholic priest, launches the Mexican War of Independence with the issuing of his Grito de Dolores, or “Cry of Dolores,” The revolutionary tract, so-named because it was publicly read by Hidalgo in the town of Dolores, called for the end of 300 years of Spanish rule in Mexico, redistribution of land, and racial equality. Thousands of Indians and mestizos flocked to Hidalgo’s banner of the Virgin of Guadalupe, and soon the peasant army was on the march to Mexico City.
    :lynchmob:

    On this day in 1982, hours after the Israeli forces enter West Beirut, Phalangist militiamen begin a massacre of Palestinians at the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps. Within two days, 1,000 men, women, and children were dead.
    The Phalangists, a faction in Lebanon, were closely allied with Israel. After entering West Beirut, Israeli commanders ordered the Phalangists into the refugee camps in search of terrorists, even though the militiamen were known to be enraged at the Palestinians for the recent murder of their leader.
    :killemall:

    On this day in 1893, the largest land run in history begins with more than 100,000 people pouring into the Cherokee Strip of Oklahoma to claim valuable land that had once belonged to Native Americans. With a single shot from a pistol the mad dash began, and land-hungry pioneers on horseback and in carriages raced forward to stake their claims to the best acres.
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    On this day in 1940, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs the Selective Service and Training Act, which requires all male citizens between the ages of 26 and 35 to register for the military draft, beginning on October 16. The act had been passed by Congress 10 days earlier.
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    On this day in 1960, in a cable to Secretary of State Christian A. Herter, U.S. Ambassador in Saigon, Elbridge Durbrow analyzes two separate but related threats to the Ngo Dinh Diem regime, danger from demonstration or coup, predominantly “non-Communist” in origin; and the danger of a gradual Viet Cong extension of control over the countryside.
    :help:

    On this day in 1969, President Richard Nixon announces the second round of U.S. troop withdrawals from Vietnam. 35,000 men would be withdrawn as part of the dual program that he had announced at the Midway conference on June 8 that called for “Vietnamization” of the war and U.S. troop withdrawals, as the South Vietnamese forces assumed more responsibility for the fighting. The first round of withdrawals was completed in August and totaled 25,000 troops (including two brigades of the 9th Infantry Division). There would be 15 announced withdrawals in total, leaving only 27,000 U.S. troops in Vietnam by November 1972.
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    On this day in 1981, welterweight boxer “Sugar” Ray Leonard knocks out Thomas Hearns in the 13th round to unify boxing’s middleweight title. Leonard was behind on all three judges’ scorecards and fighting with one eye closed when he delivered a right hand to his opponent’s head that sent Hearns crashing to the canvas.
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  6. crogers

    crogers Magnus advocatus diaboli Brigade Member

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    On this day in 1884, Judge Allen disposes of the 13 criminal cases on his Oakland, California, docket in only six minutes. Although he apparently set a new record for speed, defendants in Oakland’s criminal court did not stand much of a chance of gaining an acquittal. In a 40-year period at the turn of the century, only 1 defendant in 100 was acquitted.
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    On this day in 1923, a fire in northern California threatens the University of California at Berkeley, kills 2 people and causes $10 million in damages.
    :panic:

    On this day in 1965, four adventurous Englishmen arrive at the Frankfurt Motor Show in Germany after crossing the English Channel by Amphicar, the world’s only mass-produced amphibious passenger car. Despite choppy waters, stiff winds, and one flooded engine, the two vehicles made it across the water in about seven hours.
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    On this day in 1787, the Constitution of the United States of America is signed by 38 of 41 delegates present at the conclusion of the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia. Supporters of the document waged a hard-won battle to win ratification by the necessary nine out of 13 U.S. states.
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    On this day in 1916, the German air ace Manfred von Richthofen—known to history as the “Red Baron”—shoots down his first enemy plane over the Western Front during World War I.
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    On this day in 1983, 20-year-old Vanessa Williams becomes the first African American to win the Miss America crown. Less than a year later, on July 23, 1984, Williams gave up her crown after nude photos of her surfaced.
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    On this day in 1967, the Who ended an already explosive, nationally televised performance of “My Generation” with a literal bang that singed Pete Townshend’s hair, left shrapnel in Keith Moon’s arm and momentarily knocked The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour off the air.
    Keith Moon was already in the habit of placing an explosive charge in one his two bass drums to detonate during Pete Townshend’s guitar-smashing at the end of each Who performance. But for their Smothers Brothers appearance, Moon packed several times the normal amount of explosives into his drum kit, and when he set it off, a gigantic explosion rocked the set as a cloud of white smoke engulfed Townshend and singer Roger Daltrey. Though bassist John Entwistle never lost his cool, Daltrey practically flew downstage and when Townshend emerged from the smoke, his hair was almost literally blown to one side of his head. Though the incredible explosion has been rumored to have caused Pete Townshend’s eventual near-deafness, credit for that should probably go instead to the Who’s pioneering use of stacked Marshall amplifiers as a means of achieving maximum volume during their live performances.
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    On this day in 1970, the People’s Revolutionary Government (PRG) for South Vietnam presents a new peace plan at the Paris talks.
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    On this day in 1972, three U.S. pilots are released by Hanoi. They were the first POWs released since 1969. North Vietnamese officials cautioned the United States not to force the freed men to “slander” Hanoi, claiming that “distortions” about Hanoi’s treatment of POWs from a previous release of prisoners in 1969 caused Hanoi to temporarily suspend the release of POWs. The conditions for their release stipulated that they would not do anything to further the U.S. war effort in Indochina. The rest of the POWs were released in March 1973 as part of the agreement that led to the Paris Peace Accords.
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    On this day in 1981, Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Fernando Valenzuela throws his eighth shutout of the season to set a new National League rookie record. Valenzuela’s three-hitter beat the Atlanta Braves 2-0 and put an exclamation point on one of the greatest rookie seasons in baseball history. Fans loved the unorthodox young Mexican import, and the “Fernandomania” that swept across Southern California and much of the country that summer became the biggest story in baseball.
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  7. crogers

    crogers Magnus advocatus diaboli Brigade Member

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    On this day in 1793, George Washington lays the cornerstone to the United States Capitol building, the home of the legislative branch of American government. The building would take nearly a century to complete, as architects came and went, the British set fire to it and it was called into use during the Civil War.
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    On this day, the 20,000-car parking lot at Canada’s West Edmonton Mall makes the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest parking lot in the world. The mall has held other records, too: At one time or another it’s been the World’s Largest Shopping Mall (5.2 million square feet, or about 48 city blocks), the World’s Largest Indoor Amusement Park and the World’s Largest Indoor Water Park (which includes the World’s Largest Indoor Lake and the World’s Largest Indoor Wave Pool).
    Wait, I thought the largest parking lot was I-5 during rush hour. [​IMG]

    On this day in 1959, serial killer Harvey Glatman is executed in a California gas chamber for murdering three young women in Los Angeles. Resisting all appeals to save his life, Glatman even wrote to the appeals board to say, “I only want to die.”
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    On this day in 1987, cesium-137 is removed from an abandoned cancer-therapy machine in Brazil. Hundreds of people were eventually poisoned by radiation from the substance, highlighting the danger that even relatively small amounts of radiation can pose.
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    On this day in 1975, newspaper heiress and wanted fugitive Patty Hearst is captured in a San Francisco apartment and arrested for armed robbery.
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    On this day in 1846, weeks behind schedule and the massive Sierra Nevada mountains still to be crossed, the members of the ill-fated Donner party realize they are running short of supplies and send two men ahead to California to bring back food.
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    On this day in 1973, future President Jimmy Carter files a report with the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena (NICAP), claiming he had seen an Unidentified Flying Object (UFO) in October 1969.
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    On this day in 1964, South Vietnamese officials claim that two companies from the North Vietnamese army have invaded South Vietnam. A battle resulted in Quang Tri Province, just south of the Demilitarized Zone, but the North Vietnamese forces were defeated with heavy casualties. Since North Vietnamese main force units had not been seen in South Vietnam before, U.S. military advisers questioned whether these were actually North Vietnamese troops, but in fact Hanoi had ordered its forces to begin infiltrating to the South. This marked a major change in the tempo and scope of the war in South Vietnam and resulted in President Lyndon Johnson committing U.S. combat troops. North Vietnamese forces and U.S. troops clashed for the first time in November 1965, when units from the newly arrived 1st Cavalry Division engaged several North Vietnamese regiments in the Battle of the Ia Drang Valley in the Central Highlands.
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    On this day in 1969, antiwar protestors announce that they will organize a 36-hour “March Against Death” to take place in Washington in November; there will be a simultaneous rally in San Francisco. This effort was led by Dr. Benjamin Spock and 10 other representatives of the New Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam.
    :hippies:

    On this day in 1996, Boston Red Sox pitcher Roger Clemens strikes out 20 Detroit Tigers, tying his own major league record for most strikeouts in a game.
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  8. crogers

    crogers Magnus advocatus diaboli Brigade Member

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    On this day in 1957, the United States detonates a 1.7 kiloton nuclear weapon in an underground tunnel at the Nevada Test Site (NTS), a 1,375 square mile research center located 65 miles north of Las Vegas. The test, known as Rainier, was the first fully contained underground detonation and produced no radioactive fallout. A modified W-25 warhead weighing 218 pounds and measuring 25.7 inches in diameter and 17.4 inches in length was used for the test.
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    On this day in 1973, 26-year-old musician Gram Parsons dies of “multiple drug use” (morphine and tequila) in a California motel room. His death inspired one of the more bizarre automobile-related crimes on record: Two of his friends stashed his body in a borrowed hearse and drove it into the middle of the Joshua Tree National Park, where they doused it with gasoline and set it on fire.
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    On this day in 1995, the Washington Post publishes a 35,000-word manifesto written by the Unabomber, who since the late 1970s had eluded authorities while carrying out a series of bombings across the United States that killed 3 people and injured another 23. After reading the manifesto, David Kaczynski realized the writing style was similar to that of his brother, Theodore Kaczynski, and notified the F.B.I. On April 3, 1996, Ted Kaczynski was arrested at his isolated cabin near Lincoln, Montana, where investigators found evidence linking him to the Unabomber crimes.
    In 1998, Kaczynski agreed to plead guilty and received four life sentences without the possibility of parole. He is serving his sentence at the supermax federal prison in Florence, Colorado.
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    On this day in 1985, a powerful earthquake strikes Mexico City and leaves 10,000 people dead, 30,000 injured and thousands more homeless.
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    On this day in 1893, with the signing of the Electoral Bill by Governor Lord Glasgow, New Zealand becomes the first country in the world to grant national voting rights to women. The bill was the outcome of years of suffragette meetings in towns and cities across the country, with women often traveling considerable distances to hear lectures and speeches, pass resolutions, and sign petitions. New Zealand women first went to the polls in the national elections in November.
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    On this day in 1990, the Martin Scorsese-directed Mafia film Goodfellas, starring Ray Liotta, Robert De Niro, Lorraine Bracco and Joe Pesci, opens in theaters around the United States. The movie, which was based on the best-selling 1986 book Wiseguy, by the New York crime reporter Nicholas Pileggi, tells the true story of the mobster-turned-FBI informant Henry Hill (Liotta), from the 1950s to the 1980s. Goodfellas earned six Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture and Best Director. Pesci won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his performance as the psychotic mobster Tommy DeVito.
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    On this day in 1827, after a duel turns into an all-out brawl, Jim Bowie disembowels a banker in Alexandria, Louisiana, with an early version of his famous Bowie knife. The actual inventor of the Bowie knife, however, was probably not Jim Bowie, but rather his equally belligerent brother, Rezin Bowie, who reportedly came up with the design after nearly being killed in a vicious knife fight.
    :knifeslash:

    On this day in 1966, the Johnson administration and its handling of the war in Vietnam comes under attack from several quarters. A group of 22 eminent U.S. scientists, including seven Nobel laureates, urged the President to halt the use of antipersonnel and anti-crop chemical weapons in Vietnam. In Congress, House Republicans issued a “White Paper” that warned that the United States was becoming “a full-fledged combatant” in a war that was becoming “bigger than the Korean War.” The paper urged the President to end the war “more speedily and at a smaller cost, while safeguarding the independence and freedom of South Vietnam.”
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    On this day in 1969, President Nixon announces the cancellation of the draft calls for November and December. He reduced the draft call by 50,000 (32,000 in November and 18,000 in December). This move accompanied his twin program of turning the war over to the South Vietnamese concurrent with U.S. troop withdrawals and was calculated to quell antiwar protests by students returning to college campuses after the summer.
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    On this day in 1988, just one day after sustaining a head injury in a frightening accident, American diver Greg Louganis wins gold in the springboard competition at the Summer Olympics, in Seoul, South Korea. It was his second consecutive Olympic gold in the event.
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  9. crogers

    crogers Magnus advocatus diaboli Brigade Member

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    On this day in 1963, an optimistic and upbeat President John F. Kennedy suggests that the Soviet Union and the United States cooperate on a mission to mount an expedition to the moon. The proposal caught both the Soviets and many Americans off guard.
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    On this day in 2002, a glacial avalanche in Russia buries a village killing more than 100 people.
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    On this day in 2012, 16 members of a dissident Amish group in Ohio are convicted of federal hate crimes and conspiracy for forcibly cutting the beards and hair of fellow Amish with whom they had religious differences. The government classified the ruthless attacks as hate crimes because beards and long hair have important religious symbolism to the Amish, who are known for their pacifism, plain style of dress and refusal to use many forms of modern technology.
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    On this day in 1519, Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan sets sail from Spain in an effort to find a western sea route to the rich Spice Islands of Indonesia.
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    On this day in 1565, Spanish forces under Pedro Menéndez de Avilés capture the French Huguenot settlement of Fort Caroline, near present-day Jacksonville, Florida. The French, commanded by Rene Goulaine de Laudonniere, lost 135 men in the first instance of colonial warfare between European powers in America. Most of those killed were massacred on the order of Aviles, who allegedly had the slain hanged on trees beside the inscription “Not as Frenchmen, but as heretics.” Laudonniere and some 40 other Huguenots escaped.
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    On this day in 1972, the USAF reveals that U.S. planes have been mining the coastal rivers and canals of northern Quang Tri province below the DMZ, the first mining of waterways within South Vietnam. This was an attempt to impede further reinforcement of North Vietnamese forces in the area and to remove the threat to the newly recaptured city of Quang Tri.
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    On this day in 1968, U.S. military spokesmen defend the use of defoliants in Vietnam at a news conference in Saigon, claiming that the use of the agents in selected areas of South Vietnam had neither appreciably altered the country’s ecology, nor produced any harmful effects on human or animal life.
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    On this day in 1960, California hot rodder Mickey Thompson takes another shot at the world land-speed record. A few weeks earlier, Thompson had become the first American to travel faster than 400 mph on land when he’d piloted his Challenger I (a car that he designed and built himself) across Utah’s Bonneville Salt Flats at 406.6 mph. This drive had made Thompson the fastest man on wheels, but not officially: In order to win a place in the land-speed record books, racers must make a return pass within the hour, and Thompson’s car broke down in the middle of his second run, necessitating a follow-up attempt.
    :shift:

    On this day in 1973, in a highly publicized “Battle of the Sexes” tennis match, top women’s player Billie Jean King, 29, beats Bobby Riggs, 55, a former No. 1 ranked men’s player. Riggs (1918-1995), a self-proclaimed male chauvinist, had boasted that women were inferior, that they couldn’t handle the pressure of the game and that even at his age he could beat any female player. The match was a huge media event, witnessed in person by over 30,000 spectators at the Houston Astrodome and by another 50 million TV viewers worldwide. King made a Cleopatra-style entrance on a gold litter carried by men dressed as ancient slaves, while Riggs arrived in a rickshaw pulled by female models. Legendary sportscaster Howard Cosell called the match, in which King beat Riggs 6-4, 6-3, 6-3. King’s achievement not only helped legitimize women’s professional tennis and female athletes, but it was seen as a victory for women’s rights in general.
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  10. crogers

    crogers Magnus advocatus diaboli Brigade Member

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    On this day in 1780, during the American Revolution, American General Benedict Arnold meets with British Major John Andre to discuss handing over West Point to the British, in return for the promise of a large sum of money and a high position in the British army. The plot was foiled and Arnold, a former American hero, became synonymous with the word “traitor.”
    :backstab:

    On this day in 1938, without warning, a powerful Category 3 hurricane slams into Long Island and southern New England, causing 600 deaths and devastating coastal cities and towns. Also called the Long Island Express, the Great New England Hurricane of 1938 was the most destructive storm to strike the region in the 20th century.
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    On this day in 1792, in Revolutionary France, the Legislative Assembly votes to abolish the monarchy and establish the First Republic. The measure came one year after King Louis XVI reluctantly approved a new constitution that stripped him of much of his power.
    And, eventually, his head! [​IMG]

    On this day in 1942, the U.S. B-29 Superfortress makes its debut flight in Seattle, Washington. It was the largest bomber used in the war by any nation.
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    On this day in 1999, an earthquake in Taiwan kills thousands of people, causes billions of dollars in damages and leaves an estimated 100,000 homeless. It was the worst earthquake to hit Taiwan since a 1935 tremor that killed 3,200 people.
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    On this day in 1967, Gen. William Westmoreland, commander of U.S. Military Assistance Command Vietnam, welcomes 1,200 Thai troops as they arrive in Saigon. By 1969, Thai forces in Vietnam would number more than 12,000. The effort to get additional “Free World Military Forces” to participate in the war in support of South Vietnam was part of President Lyndon Johnson’s “Many Flags” program.
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    On this day in 1961, the U.S. Army’s 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), 1st Special Forces, is activated at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. The Special Forces were formed to organize and train guerrilla bands behind enemy lines. President John F. Kennedy, a strong believer in the potential of the Special Forces in counterinsurgency operations, visited the Special Warfare Center at Fort Bragg to review the program and authorized the Special Forces to wear the headgear that became their symbol, the Green Beret.
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    On this day in 1981, Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Steve Carlton strikes out the 3,118th batter of his career to break Bob Gibson’s National League record for career strikeouts. Despite Carlton’s 10 shutout innings and 12 strikeouts, the Phillies lost the marathon game to the Montreal Expos in the 17th inning, 1-0.
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  11. crogers

    crogers Magnus advocatus diaboli Brigade Member

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    On this day in 1862, President Abraham Lincoln issues a preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, which sets a date for the freedom of more than 3 million black slaves in the United States and recasts the Civil War as a fight against slavery.
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    On this day in 1828, Shaka, founder of the Zulu Kingdom of southern Africa, is murdered by his two half-brothers, Dingane and Mhlangana, after Shaka’s mental illness threatened to destroy the Zulu tribe.
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    On this day in 1953, the first four-level (or “stack”) interchange in the world opens in Los Angeles, California, at the intersection of the Harbor, Hollywood, Pasadena, and Santa Ana freeways. It was, as The Saturday Evening Post wrote, “a mad motorist’s dream”: 32 lanes of traffic weaving in eight directions at once. Today, although the four-level is justly celebrated as a civil engineering landmark, the interchange is complicated, frequently congested, and sometimes downright terrifying. (As its detractors are fond of pointing out, it’s probably no coincidence that this highway octopus straddles not only a fetid sulfur spring but also the former site of the town gallows.)
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    On this day in 1914, in the North Sea, the German U-9 submarine sinks three British cruisers, the Aboukir, the Hogue, and the Cressy, in just over one hour. The one-sided battle, during which 1,400 British sailors lost their lives, alerted the British to the deadly effectiveness of the submarine, which had been generally unrecognized up to that time.
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    On this day in 1975, Sarah Jane Moore aims a gun at President Gerald Ford as he leaves the Saint Francis Hotel in San Francisco, California. The attempt on the president’s life came only 17 days after another woman had tried to assassinate Ford while he was on his way to give a speech to the California legislature in Sacramento.
    Moore’s attempt was thwarted by a bystander, Oliver Sipple, who instinctively grabbed Moore’s arm when she raised the gun. She was able to fire off one shot, but it failed to find its target. Secret Service agents quickly hustled Ford into a waiting vehicle and sped him to safety.
    Sipple received a written letter of thanks form Ford. Later, some critics claimed that the White House initially hesitated to publicly thank Sipple, a former Marine and Vietnam veteran, because he was gay.
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    On this day in 1993, an Amtrak train headed to Miami derails near Mobile, Alabama, killing 47 people. The accident, the deadliest in Amtrak’s history, was caused by a negligent towboat operator and foggy conditions.
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    On this day in 1961, in an important victory for his Cold War foreign policy, President John F. Kennedy signs legislation establishing the Peace Corps as a permanent government agency. Kennedy believed that the Peace Corps could provide a new and unique weapon in the war against communism.
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    On this day in 1927, Jack Dempsey, the “Manassa Mauler,” misses an opportunity to regain the heavyweight boxing title when he fails to return to a neutral corner after knocking down champ Gene Tunney in a title match in Chicago. Dempsey waited five precious seconds before heading to the neutral corner, at which point the referee began the 10-count as the rules dictated. As the referee reached nine seconds, Tunney got back up to his feet. He had actually been down for what amounted to 14 seconds. Tunney went on to win the bout in a decision after 10 rounds.
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