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On this day, the daily facts thread

zorro Jul 15, 2014

  1. crogers

    crogers Magnus advocatus diaboli Super Moderator Brigade Member

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    On this day in 1979, at 4 a.m., the worst accident in the history of the U.S. nuclear power industry begins when a pressure valve in the Unit-2 reactor at Three Mile Island fails to close. Cooling water, contaminated with radiation, drained from the open valve into adjoining buildings, and the core began to dangerously overheat.
    [​IMG]

    On this day in 1814, the funeral of Dr. Joseph-Ignace Guillotin, the namesake of the infamous execution device, takes place outside of Paris, France. Guillotin had what he felt were the purest motives for inventing the guillotine and was deeply distressed at how his reputation had become besmirched in the aftermath. Guillotin had bestowed the deadly contraption on the French as a "philanthropic gesture" for the systematic criminal justice reform that was taking place in 1789. The machine was intended to show the intellectual and social progress of the Revolution; by killing aristocrats and journeymen the same way, equality in death was ensured.
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    On this day in 1969, Dwight D. Eisenhower, the 34th president of the United States and one of the most highly regarded American generals of World War II, dies in Washington, D.C., at the age of 78.
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    On this day in 1939, in Spain, the Republican defenders of Madrid raise the white flag over the city, bringing to an end the bloody three-year Spanish Civil War.
    [​IMG]

    On this day in 1958, W.C. Handy, one of the most important figures in 20th-century American popular music history, died in New York City. "With all their differences, my forebears had one thing in common: if they had any musical talent, it remained buried." So wrote William Christopher Handy in his autobiography in discussing the absence of music in his home life as a child. Born in northern Alabama in 1873, Handy was raised in a middle-class African-American family that intended for him a career in the church. To them and to his teachers, W.C. Handy wrote, "Becoming a musician would be like selling my soul to the devil." It was a risk that the young Handy decided to take. He was internationally famous by the time he wrote his 1941 memoir, Father of the Blues, although "Stepfather" might have been a more accurate label for the role he played in bringing Blues into the musical mainstream. The significance of his role is not to be underestimated, however.
    :signhere:

    On this day in 1915, the first American citizen is killed in the eight-month-old European conflict that would become known as the First World War.
    Leon Thrasher, a 31-year-old mining engineer and native of Massachusetts, drowned when a German submarine, the U-28, torpedoed the cargo-passenger ship Falaba, on its way from Liverpool to West Africa, off the coast of England. Of the 242 passengers and crew on board the Falaba, 104 drowned.
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    On this day in 2006, Duke University officials suspend the men's lacrosse team for two games following allegations that team members sexually assaulted a stripper hired to perform at a party. Three players were later charged with rape. The case became a national scandal, impacted by issues of race, politics and class. In April 2007, all charges against the young men were dropped due to lack of credible evidence and the district attorney was eventually disbarred for his mishandling of the case.
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    On this day in 1984, Bob Irsay (1923-1997), owner of the once-mighty Baltimore Colts, moves the team to Indianapolis. Without any sort of public announcement, Irsay hired movers to pack up the team's offices in Owings Mills, Maryland, in the middle of the night, while the city of Baltimore slept.
    [​IMG]
     
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  2. crogers

    crogers Magnus advocatus diaboli Super Moderator Brigade Member

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    On this day in 1973, two months after the signing of the Vietnam peace agreement, the last U.S. combat troops leave South Vietnam as Hanoi frees the remaining American prisoners of war held in North Vietnam. America's direct eight-year intervention in the Vietnam War was at an end. In Saigon, some 7,000 U.S. Department of Defense civilian employees remained behind to aid South Vietnam in conducting what looked to be a fierce and ongoing war with communist North Vietnam.
    :yaysmiles:

    On this day in 1974, the unmanned U.S. space probe Mariner 10, launched by NASA in November 1973, becomes the first spacecraft to visit the planet Mercury, sending back close-up images of a celestial body usually obscured because of its proximity to the sun.
    Did somebody say probe? [​IMG]

    On this day in 1929, President Herbert Hoover has a phone installed at his desk in the Oval Office of the White House. It took a while to get the line to Hoover's desk working correctly and the president complained to aides when his son was unable to get through on the Oval Office phone from an outside line. Previously, Hoover had used a phone located in the foyer just outside the office. Telephones and a telephone switchboard had been in use at the White House since 1878, when President Rutherford B. Hayes had the first one installed, but no phone had ever been installed at the president's desk until Hoover's administration.
    [​IMG]

    On this day in 1951, a homemade device explodes at Grand Central Station in New York City, startling commuters but injuring no one. In the next few months, five more bombs were found at landmark sites around New York, including the public library. Authorities realized that this new wave of terrorist acts was the work of the Mad Bomber.
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    On this day in 1945, Gen. George S. Patton's 3rd Army captures Frankfurt, as "Old Blood and Guts" continues his march east.
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    On this day in 1951, in one of the most sensational trials in American history, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg are convicted of espionage for their role in passing atomic secrets to the Soviets during and after World War II. The husband and wife were later sentenced to death and were executed in 1953.
    By present-day standards, the trial was remarkably fast. It began on March 6, and the jury had convicted both of conspiracy to commit espionage by March 29. The Rosenbergs were not helped by a defense that many at the time, and since, have labeled incompetent. More harmful, however, was the testimony of David Greenglass and Harry Gold. Greenglass declared that Julius Rosenberg had set up a meeting during which Greenglass passed the plans for the atomic bomb to Gold. Gold supported Greenglass's accusation and admitted that he then passed the plans along to a Soviet agent. This testimony sealed Julius's fate, and although there was little evidence directly tying Ethel to the crime, prosecutors claimed that she was the brain behind the whole scheme. The jury found both guilty. A few days later, the Rosenbergs were sentenced to death. They were executed on June 19, 1953 in Sing Sing Prison in New York. Both maintained their innocence to the end.
    :thechair: [​IMG]

    On this day in 1971, Lt. William L. Calley is found guilty of premeditated murder at My Lai by a U.S. Army court-martial at Fort Benning, Georgia. Calley, a platoon leader, had led his men in a massacre of Vietnamese civilians, including women and children, at My Lai 4, a cluster of hamlets in Quang Ngai Province on March 16, 1968.
    Calley was found guilty of personally murdering 22 civilians and sentenced to life imprisonment, but his sentence was reduced to 20 years by the Court of Military Appeals and further reduced later to 10 years by the Secretary of the Army. Proclaimed by much of the public as a "scapegoat," Calley was paroled in 1974 after having served about a third of his 10-year sentence.
    Between 347 and 504 unarmed people were killed by U.S. Army soldiers from Company C, 1st Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment and Company B, 4th Battalion, 3rd Infantry Regiment, 11th Brigade, 23rd (Americal) Infantry Division. Victims included men, women, children, and infants. Some of the women were gang-raped and their bodies mutilated as were children as young as 12. Twenty-six soldiers were charged with criminal offenses, but only Lieutenant William Calley Jr., a platoon leader in C Company, was convicted.
    :fuctupshit:
     
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  3. crogers

    crogers Magnus advocatus diaboli Super Moderator Brigade Member

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    On this day in 1981, President Ronald Reagan is shot in the chest outside a Washington, D.C. hotel by a deranged drifter named John Hinckley Jr.
    The president had just finished addressing a labor meeting at the Washington Hilton Hotel and was walking with his entourage to his limousine when Hinckley, standing among a group of reporters, fired six shots at the president, hitting Reagan and three of his attendants. White House Press Secretary James Brady was shot in the head and critically wounded, Secret Service agent Timothy McCarthy was shot in the side, and District of Columbia policeman Thomas Delahanty was shot in the neck. After firing the shots, Hinckley was overpowered and pinned against a wall, and President Reagan, apparently unaware that he'd been shot, was shoved into his limousine by a Secret Service agent and rushed to the hospital.
    :pshoopshoo:

    On this day in 1867, U.S. Secretary of State William H. Seward signs a treaty with Russia for the purchase of Alaska for $7 million. Despite the bargain price of roughly two cents an acre, the Alaskan purchase was ridiculed in Congress and in the press as "Seward's Folly," "Seward's icebox," and President Andrew Johnson's "polar bear garden."
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    On this day in 1974, John Denver's first #1 song, "Sunshine On My Shoulders," reached the top of the pop charts.
    :sunshining:

    On this day in 1855, in territorial Kansas' first election, some 5,000 so-called "Border Ruffians" invade the territory from western Missouri and force the election of a pro-slavery legislature. Although the number of votes cast exceeded the number of eligible voters in the territory, Kansas Governor Andrew Reeder reluctantly approved the election to prevent further bloodshed.
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    On this day in 1814, European forces allied against Napoleonic France march triumphantly into Paris, formally ending a decade of French domination on the Continent.
    Napoleon Bonaparte, one of the greatest military strategists in history, seized control of the French state in 1800, and in 1804 was crowned emperor. By 1807, he controlled an empire that stretched across Europe. In 1812, however, he began to encounter the first significant defeats of his military career, suffering through a disastrous invasion of Russia, losing Spain to the Duke of Wellington, and enduring total defeat against an allied force in 1814. Exiled to the island of Elba, he escaped to France in early 1815 and raised a new Grand Army that enjoyed temporary success before its crushing defeat at Waterloo. He was then exiled to the island of St. Helena, where he died six years later.
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    On this day in 1870, following its ratification by the requisite three-fourths of the states, the 15th Amendment, granting African-American men the right to vote, is formally adopted into the U.S. Constitution. Passed by Congress the year before, the amendment reads, "the right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude." One day after it was adopted, Thomas Peterson-Mundy of Perth Amboy, New Jersey, became the first African American to vote under the authority of the 15th Amendment.
    And it would only take another 50 years before women got the right to vote! [​IMG]

    On this day in 1980, a floating apartment for oil workers in the North Sea collapses, killing 123 people.
    The Alexander Kielland platform housed 208 men who worked on the nearby Edda oil rig in the Ekofisk field, 235 miles east of Dundee, Scotland. Most of the Phillips Petroleum workers were from Norway, although a few were American and British. The platform, held up by two large pontoons, had bedrooms, kitchens and lounges and provided a place for workers to spend their time when not working. At about 6:30 p.m. on March 30, most of the residents were in the platform's small theater watching a movie. Although there were gale conditions in the North Sea that evening, no one was expecting that a large wave would collapse and capsize the platform.
    The capsizing happened very quickly, within 15 minutes of the collapse, so that many of the workers were unable to make it to the lifeboats. The Royal Air Force of Great Britain and Norwegian military both immediately sent rescue helicopters, but the poor weather made it impossible for them to help. Most of the 123 victims drowned. A subsequent investigation revealed that a previously undetected crack in one of main legs of the platform caused the structure's collapse. The Alexander Kielland sat in the water for three years before it was salvaged.
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    On this day in 1965, a bomb explodes in a car parked in front of the U.S. Embassy in Saigon, virtually destroying the building and killing 19 Vietnamese, 2 Americans, and 1 Filipino; 183 others were injured. Congress quickly appropriated $1 million to reconstruct the embassy. Although some U.S. military leaders advocated special retaliatory raids on North Vietnam, President Lyndon B. Johnson refused.
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  4. crogers

    crogers Magnus advocatus diaboli Super Moderator Brigade Member

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    On this day in 1889, the Eiffel Tower is dedicated in Paris in a ceremony presided over by Gustave Eiffel, the tower's designer, and attended by French Prime Minister Pierre Tirard, a handful of other dignitaries, and 200 construction workers.
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    On this day in 1492, in Spain, a royal edict is issued by the nation's Catholic rulers declaring that all Jews who refuse to convert to Christianity will be expelled from the country. Most Spanish Jews chose exile rather than the renunciation of their religion and culture, and the Spanish economy suffered with the loss of an important portion of its workforce. Many Spanish Jews went to North Africa, the Netherlands, and the Americas, where their skills, capital, and commercial connections were put to good use. Among those who chose conversion, some risked their lives by secretly practicing Judaism, while many sincere converts were nonetheless persecuted by the Spanish Inquisition. The Spanish Muslims, or Moors, were ordered to convert to Christianity in 1502.
    :inquiz:

    On this day in 1854, in Tokyo, Commodore Matthew Calbraith Perry, representing the U.S. government, signs the Treaty of Kanagawa with the Japanese government, opening the ports of Shimoda and Hakodate to American trade and permitting the establishment of a U.S. consulate in Japan.
    For a time, Japanese officials refused to speak with Perry, but eventually they accepted letters from U.S. President Millard Fillmore, making the United States the first Western nation to establish relations with Japan since it was declared closed to foreigners in 1683.
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    On this day in 1959, the Dalai Lama, fleeing the Chinese suppression of a national uprising in Tibet, crosses the border into India, where he is granted political asylum.
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    On this day in 1905, Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany arrives in Tangiers to declare his support for the sultan of Morocco, provoking the anger of France and Britain in what will become known as the First Moroccan Crisis, a foreshadowing of the greater conflict between Europe's great nations still to come, the First World War.
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    On this day in 1776, Abigail Adams writes to her husband, John Adams, urging him and the other members of the Continental Congress not to forget about the nation's women when fighting for America's independence from Great Britain.
    The future First Lady wrote in part, "I long to hear that you have declared an independency. And, by the way, in the new code of laws which I suppose it will be necessary for you to make, I desire you would remember the ladies and be more generous and favorable to them than your ancestors. Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the husbands. Remember, all men would be tyrants if they could. If particular care and attention is not paid to the ladies, we are determined to foment a rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice or representation."
    :Writing:

    On this day in 1999, the writing and directing sibling team of Lana and Lilly Wachowski release their second film, the mind-blowing science-fiction blockbuster The Matrix.
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  5. crogers

    crogers Magnus advocatus diaboli Super Moderator Brigade Member

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    On this day in 1700, English pranksters begin popularizing the annual tradition of April Fools’ Day by playing practical jokes on each other.
    Although the day, also called All Fools’ Day, has been celebrated for several centuries by different cultures, its exact origins remain a mystery.
    Some historians speculate that April Fools’ Day dates back to 1582, when France switched from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar, as called for by the Council of Trent in 1563. People who were slow to get the news or failed to recognize that the start of the new year had moved to January 1 and continued to celebrate it during the last week of March through April 1 became the butt of jokes and hoaxes.
    April Fools’ Day spread throughout Britain during the 18th century. In Scotland, the tradition became a two-day event, starting with “hunting the gowk,” in which people were sent on phony errands (gowk is a word for cuckoo bird, a symbol for fool) and followed by Tailie Day, which involved pranks played on people’s derrieres, such as pinning fake tails or “kick me” signs on them.
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    On this day in 1918, the Royal Air Force (RAF) is formed with the amalgamation of the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) and the Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS). The RAF took its place beside the British navy and army as a separate military service with its own ministry.
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    On this day in 1816, Jane Austen responds to a letter from the Prince Regent (the future King George IV) suggesting she write a historic romance, saying, “I could not sit down to write a serious romance under any other motive than to save my life.”
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    On this day in 1963, the ABC television network airs the premiere episode of General Hospital, the daytime drama that will become the network’s most enduring soap opera and the longest-running serial program produced in Hollywood. On the same day, rival network NBC debuts its own medical-themed soap opera, The Doctors.
    FYI, General Hospital is STILL in production, now in its 57th season. The Doctors ran from 1963-1982, then returned in 2008 and is in its 12th season. :TVsurf:

    On this day in 1946, an undersea earthquake off the Alaskan coast triggers a massive tsunami that kills 159 people in Hawaii.
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    On this day 1984, Marvin Gaye is shot and killed by his own father, one day short of his 45th birthday.
    After an argument between father and son escalated into a physical fight, Alberta Gay was trying to calm her son in his bedroom when Marvin Sr. took a revolver given to him by Marvin Jr. and shot him three times in his chest. Marvin Gaye’s brother, Frankie, who lived next door, and who held the legendary singer during his final minutes, later wrote in his memoir that Marvin Gaye’s final, disturbing statement was, “I got what I wanted…. I couldn’t do it myself, so I made him do it.”
    :str8shooter:

    On this day in 1970, President Richard Nixon signs legislation officially banning cigarette ads on television and radio. Nixon, who was an avid pipe smoker, indulging in as many as eight bowls a day, supported the legislation at the increasing insistence of public health advocates.
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  6. crogers

    crogers Magnus advocatus diaboli Super Moderator Brigade Member

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    On this day in 2005, John Paul II, history's most well-traveled pope and the first non-Italian to hold the position since the 16th century, dies at his home in the Vatican. Six days later, two million people packed Vatican City for his funeral, said to be the biggest funeral in history.
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    On this day in 1917, Jeannette Pickering Rankin, the first woman ever elected to Congress, takes her seat in the U.S. Capitol as a representative from Montana.
    FYI, Montana was one of very few states that allowed women to vote prior to 1920.... [​IMG]

    On this day in 1513, near present-day St. Augustine, Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon comes ashore on the Florida coast, and claims the territory for the Spanish crown.
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    On this day in 1982, Argentina invades the Falklands Islands, a British colony since 1892 and British possession since 1833. Argentine amphibious forces rapidly overcame the small garrison of British marines at the town of Stanley on East Falkland and the next day seized the dependent territories of South Georgia and the South Sandwich group. The 1,800 Falkland Islanders, mostly English-speaking sheep farmers, awaited a British response.
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    On this day in 1917, President Woodrow Wilson asks Congress to send U.S. troops into battle against Germany in World War I. In his address to Congress that day, Wilson lamented it is a fearful thing to lead this great peaceful people into war. Four days later, Congress obliged and declared war on Germany.
    FYI, Jeannette Rankin (see above) was one of only 50 representatives to vote against this declaration of war. In 1941, she was the ONLY dissenting vote to FDR's request for a declaration of war in WWII. [​IMG]

    On this day in 1979, the world's first anthrax epidemic begins in Ekaterinburg, Russia (now Sverdlosk). By the time it ended six weeks later, 62 people were dead. Another 32 survived serious illness. Ekaterinburg, as the town was known in Soviet times, also suffered livestock losses from the epidemic.
    It was not until 13 years later, in 1992, that the epidemic was finally explained: workers at the Ekaterinburg biological-weapons plant failed to replace a crucial filter, causing a release of anthrax spores into the outside air. The wind carried the spores to a farming area and infected people and livestock in the area. Had the town been downwind from the plant at the time of the release, the death toll might have been considerably higher.
    :oops:

    On this day in 1992, a jury in New York finds mobster John Gotti, nicknamed the Teflon Don for his ability to elude conviction, guilty on 13 counts, including murder and racketeering. In the wake of the conviction, the assistant director of the FBI's New York office, James Fox, was quoted as saying, "The don is covered in Velcro, and every charge stuck." On June 23 of that year, Gotti was sentenced to life in prison, dealing a significant blow to organized crime.
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  7. crogers

    crogers Magnus advocatus diaboli Super Moderator Brigade Member

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    On this day in 1860, the first Pony Express mail, traveling by horse and rider relay teams, simultaneously leaves St. Joseph, Missouri, and Sacramento, California. Ten days later, on April 13, the westbound rider and mail packet completed the approximately 1,800-mile journey and arrived in Sacramento, beating the eastbound packet's arrival in St. Joseph by two days and setting a new standard for speedy mail delivery. Although ultimately short-lived and unprofitable, the Pony Express captivated America's imagination and helped win federal aid for a more economical overland postal system. It also contributed to the economy of the towns on its route and served the mail-service needs of the American West in the days before the telegraph or an efficient transcontinental railroad.
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    On this day in 1996, at his small wilderness cabin near Lincoln, Montana, Theodore John Kaczynski is arrested by FBI agents and accused of being the Unabomber, the elusive terrorist blamed for 16 mail bombs that killed three people and injured 23 during an 18-year period.
    [​IMG]

    On this day in 1948, President Harry S. Truman signs the Economic Assistance Act, which authorized the creation of a program that would help the nations of Europe recover and rebuild after the devastation wrought by World War II. Commonly known as the Marshall Plan, it aimed to stabilize Europe economically and politically so that European nations would not be tempted by the appeal of communist parties.
    :redcard:

    On this day in 1936, Bruno Richard Hauptmann, convicted in the 1932 kidnapping and murder of the 20-month-old son of Charles A. Lindbergh, is executed by electrocution.
    :thechair:

    On this day in 1948, The Louisiana Hayride radio program premieres on KWKH-AM Shreveport.
    Even the most ardent non-fans of country music can probably name the weekly live show and radio program that is regarded as country music's biggest stage: the Grand Ole Opry, out of Nashville, Tennessee. Yet even many committed country fans are unfamiliar with a program that, during its 1950s heyday, eclipsed even the Opry in terms of its impact on country music itself. From its premiere in 1948 to its final weekly show in 1960, The Lousiana Hayride, out of Shreveport, Louisiana, launched the careers not only of several country-music giants, but also of a young, genre-crossing singer named Elvis Presley, the future King of Rock and Roll.
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    On this day in 1978, the small-scale romantic comedy triumphs over the big-budget space extravaganza. At the 50th annual Academy Awards, held at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles, Woody Allen's Annie Hall won the Oscar for Best Picture, beating out George Lucas' Star Wars.
    :wtf:

    On this day in 1882, one of America's most famous criminals, Jesse James, is shot to death by fellow gang member Bob Ford, who betrayed James for reward money. For 16 years, Jesse and his brother, Frank, committed robberies and murders throughout the Midwest. Detective magazines and pulp novels glamorized the James gang, turning them into mythical Robin Hoods who were driven to crime by unethical landowners and bankers. In reality, Jesse James was a ruthless killer who stole only for himself.
    :backstab:

    On this day in 1969, Secretary of Defense Melvin Laird announces that the United States is moving to "Vietnamize" the war as rapidly as possible. By this, he meant that the responsibility for the fighting would be gradually transferred to the South Vietnamese as they became more combat capable. However, Laird emphasized that it would not serve the United States' purpose to discuss troop withdrawals while the North Vietnamese continued to conduct offensive operations in South Vietnam. Despite Laird's protestations to the contrary, Nixon's "Vietnamization" program, as he would announce it in June, did include a series of scheduled U.S. troop withdrawals, the first of the war.
    :yaysmiles:
     
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  8. crogers

    crogers Magnus advocatus diaboli Super Moderator Brigade Member

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    On this day in 1968, just after 6 p.m., Martin Luther King Jr. is fatally shot while standing on the balcony outside his second-story room at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee. The civil rights leader was in Memphis to support a sanitation workers' strike and was on his way to dinner when a bullet struck him in the jaw and severed his spinal cord. King was pronounced dead after his arrival at a Memphis hospital. He was 39 years old.
    [​IMG]

    One year earlier, on this day in 1967, the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., head of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, delivers a speech entitled "Beyond Vietnam" in front of 3,000 people at Riverside Church in New York City. In it, he says that there is a common link forming between the civil rights and peace movements. King proposed that the United States stop all bombing of North and South Vietnam; declare a unilateral truce in the hope that it would lead to peace talks; set a date for withdrawal of all troops from Vietnam; and give the National Liberation Front a role in negotiations.
    [​IMG]

    On this day in 1973, the "Twin Towers" of the World Trade Center officially open in New York City. The buildings replaced the Empire State Building as the world's tallest building. Though they would only hold that title for a year, they remained a dominant feature of the city's skyline and were recognizable the world over long before they were destroyed in a terrorist attack in 2001.
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    On this day in 1975, at a time when most Americans use typewriters, childhood friends Bill Gates and Paul Allen found Microsoft, a company that makes computer software. Originally based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Microsoft relocated to Washington State in 1979 and eventually grew into a major multinational technology corporation. In 1987, the year after Microsoft went public, 31-year-old Gates became the world's youngest billionaire.
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    On this night in 1865, according to the recollection of one of his friends, Ward Hill Lamon, President Abraham Lincoln dreams of "the subdued sobs of mourners" and a corpse lying on a catafalque in the White House East Room. In the dream, Lincoln asked a soldier standing guard "Who is dead in the White House?" to which the soldier replied, "The President. He was killed by an assassin." Lincoln woke up at that point. On April 11, he told Lamon that the dream had "strangely annoyed" him ever since. Ten days after having the dream, Lincoln was shot dead by an assassin while attending the theater.
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    On this day in 1960, clocking in at three hours and 32 minutes, William Wyler's Technicolor epic Ben-Hur is the behemoth entry at the 32nd annual Academy Awards ceremony, held at the RKO Pantages Theatre in Hollywood. Setting an Oscar record, the film swept 11 of the 12 categories in which it was nominated, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor (Charlton Heston).
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    On this day in 1933, a dirigible crashes in New Jersey, killing 73 people in one of the first air disasters in history. The Akron was the largest airship built in the United States when it took its first flight in August 1931. In its short life of less than two years, it was involved in two fatal accidents.
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    On this day in 2007, syndicated talk radio host Don Imus ignites a firestorm after making racially disparaging remarks about the Rutgers University women's basketball team, insulting their appearance and tattoos and, most infamously, calling them "nappy-headed hos." After a nationwide torrent of criticism, Imus apologized and lost his job but ultimately salvaged his career.
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    On this day in 1974, Opening Day, a 39-year-old Aaron sent the very first pitch he saw over the wall, finally tying Babe Ruth and setting the stage for his ascent to the top of the all-time home runs list.
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  9. crogers

    crogers Magnus advocatus diaboli Super Moderator Brigade Member

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    On this day in 1994, modern rock icon Kurt Cobain commits suicide. His body was discovered inside his home in Seattle, Washington, three days later by Gary Smith, an electrician, who was installing a security system in the suburban house. Despite indications that Cobain, the lead singer of Nirvana, killed himself, several skeptics questioned the circumstances of his death and pinned responsibility on his wife, Courtney Love.
    [​IMG]

    On this day in 1955, Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill, the British leader who guided Great Britain and the Allies through the crisis of World War II, retires as prime minister of Great Britain.
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    On this day in 1992, a march and rally in support of abortion rights for women draws several hundred thousand people to demonstrations in Washington, D.C. One of the largest protest marches on the nation's capital, the pro-choice rally came as the U.S. Supreme Court was about to consider the constitutionality of a Pennsylvania state law that limited access to abortions. Many abortion rights advocates feared that the high court, with its conservative majority, might endorse the Pennsylvania law or even overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that made abortion legal.
    :crybabies:

    On this day in 1792, George Washington exercises the first presidential veto of a Congressional bill. The bill introduced a new plan for dividing seats in the House of Representatives that would have increased the amount of seats for northern states. After consulting with his politically divided and contentious cabinet, Washington, who came from the southern state of Virginia, ultimately decided that the plan was unconstitutional because, in providing for additional representatives for some states, it would have introduced a number of representatives higher than that proscribed by the Constitution.
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    On this day in 1976, Howard Robard Hughes, one of the richest men to emerge from the American West during the 20th century, dies while flying from Acapulco to Houston.
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    On this day in 1968, the morning after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., city officials in Boston, Massachusetts, were scrambling to prepare for an expected second straight night of violent unrest. Similar preparations were being made in cities across America, including in the nation's capital, where armed units of the regular Army patrolled outside the White House and U.S. Capitol following President Johnson's state-of-emergency declaration. But Boston would be nearly alone among America's major cities in remaining quiet and calm that turbulent Friday night, thanks in large part to one of the least quiet and calm musical performers of all time. On this night, James Brown kept the peace in Boston by the sheer force of his music and his personal charisma.
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    On this day in 1859, naturalist Charles Darwin sends his publishers the first three chapters of Origin of Species, which will become one of the most influential books ever published.
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    On this day in 1951, the climax of the most sensational spy trial in American history is reached when a federal judge sentences Julius and Ethel Rosenberg to death for their roles in passing atomic secrets to the Soviets. Although the couple proclaimed their innocence, they died in the electric chair in June 1953.
    :thechair:

    On this day in 1984, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar scores the 31,420th point of his career, breaking the NBA's all-time scoring record, which had been held by Wilt Chamberlain.
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  10. crogers

    crogers Magnus advocatus diaboli Super Moderator Brigade Member

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    On this day in 1917, two days after the U.S. Senate voted 82 to 6 to declare war against Germany, the U.S. House of Representatives endorses the declaration by a vote of 373 to 50, and America formally enters World War I.
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    On this day in 1841, John Tyler is sworn in as president. Tyler was elected as William Harrison's vice president earlier in 1841 and was suddenly thrust into the role of president when Harrison died one month into office. He was the first vice president to immediately assume the role of president after a sitting president's untimely exit and set the precedent for succession thereafter.
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    On this day in 1968, Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey debuts in theaters.
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    On this day in 1909, American explorer Robert Peary accomplishes a long elusive dream, when he, assistant Matthew Henson, and four Eskimos reach what they determine to be the North Pole. Decades after Peary's death, however, navigational errors in his travel log surfaced, placing the expedition in all probability a few miles short of its goal.
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    On this day in 1830, in Fayette Township, New York, Joseph Smith, founder of the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or Mormonism, organizes the Church of Christ during a meeting with a small group of believers.
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    On this day in 1895, writer Oscar Wilde is arrested after losing a libel case against the Marquess of Queensberry.
    Wilde had been engaged in an affair with the marquess's son since 1891, but when the outraged marquess denounced him as a homosexual, Wilde sued the man for libel. However, he lost his case when evidence strongly supported the marquess's observations. Homosexuality was classified as a crime in England at the time, and Wilde was arrested, found guilty, and sentenced to two years of hard labor.
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    On this day in 1970, Sam Sheppard, a doctor convicted of murdering his pregnant wife in a trial that caused a media frenzy in the 1950s, dies of liver failure. After a decade in prison, Sheppard was released following a re-trial. His story is rumored to have loosely inspired the television series and movie The Fugitive.
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    On this day in 1896, the Olympic Games, a long-lost tradition of ancient Greece, are reborn in Athens 1,500 years after being banned by Roman Emperor Theodosius I. At the opening of the Athens Games, King Georgios I of Greece and a crowd of 60,000 spectators welcomed athletes from 13 other nations to the international competition.
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  11. crogers

    crogers Magnus advocatus diaboli Super Moderator Brigade Member

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    On this day in 1994, violence fuels the launch of what would become the worst episode of genocide since World War II: the massacre of an estimated 500,000 to 1 million innocent civilian Tutsis and moderate Hutus. Following the first wave of massacres, Rwandan forces manage to discourage international intervention with the murder of 10 Belgian peacekeeping officers. The Tutsis, a minority group that made up about 10 percent of Rwanda's population, received no assistance from the international community, although the United Nations later conceded that a mere 5,000 soldiers deployed at the outset would have stopped the wholesale slaughter.
    :fuctupshit:

    On this day in 1963, a new Yugoslav constitution proclaims Tito the president for life of the newly named Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
    :irdaking:

    On this day in 1805, after a long winter, the Lewis and Clark expedition departs its camp among the Mandan Indians and resumes its journey West along the Missouri River.
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    On this day in 1945, the Japanese battleship Yamato, ostensibly the greatest battleship in the world, is sunk in Japan's first major counteroffensive in the struggle for Okinawa.
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    On this day in 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower coins one of the most famous Cold War phrases when he suggests the fall of French Indochina to the communists could create a "domino" effect in Southeast Asia. The so-called "domino theory" dominated U.S. thinking about Vietnam for the next decade.
    :labellanese:

    On this day in 1953, by a vote of 57 to 1, Dag Hammarskjold, of Sweden, is elected secretary-general of the United Nations.
    :handshake:

    On this day in 1961, President John F. Kennedy sends a letter to Congress in which he recommends the U.S. participate in an international campaign to preserve ancient temples and historic monuments in the Nile Valley of Egypt. The campaign, initiated by UNESCO, was designed to save sites threatened by the construction of the Aswan High Dam.
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    On this day in 1970, the legendary actor John Wayne wins his first–and only–acting Academy Award, for his starring role in the director Henry Hathaway's Western True Grit.
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  12. crogers

    crogers Magnus advocatus diaboli Super Moderator Brigade Member

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    On this day in 2005, Eric Rudolph agrees to plead guilty to a series of bombings, including the fatal bombing at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, in order to avoid the death penalty. He later cited his anti-abortion and anti-homosexual views as motivation for the bombings.
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    On this day in 1990, 18-year-old Ryan White dies of pneumonia, due to having contracted AIDS from a blood transfusion. He had been given six months to live in December of 1984 but defied expectations and lived for five more years, during which time his story helped educate the public and dispel widespread misconceptions about HIV/AIDS.
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    On this day in 1993, the space shuttle Discovery lifts off from the Kennedy Space Center. On board is astronaut Ellen Ochoa, soon to become the first Hispanic woman in space.
    :astronaut:

    On this day in 1953, Jomo Kenyatta, leader of the Kenyan independence movement, is convicted by Kenya's British rulers of leading the extremist Mau Mau in their violence against white settlers and the colonial government. An advocate of nonviolence and conservatism, he pleaded innocent in the highly politicized trial.
    One of modern Africa's first nationalist leaders, Kenyatta was a great defender of Kenyan and African culture, and wrote eloquently on the plight of Kenyans under colonial rule. He played little part in the Mau Mau uprising of 1952 but was imprisoned for nine years along with other nationalist leaders. Upon his release in 1961, Kenyatta became president of the Kenya African National Union and led negotiations with the British for self-rule. In 1963, Kenya won independence, and in 1964 Kenyatta was elected president. He served in this post until his death in 1978.
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    On this day in 563 B.C., Buddhists celebrate the commemoration of the birth of Gautama Buddha, the founder of Buddhism, thought to have lived in India from 563 B.C. to 483 B.C. Actually, the Buddhist tradition that celebrates his birthday on April 8 originally placed his birth in the 11th century B.C., and it was not until the modern era that scholars determined that he was more likely born in the sixth century B.C., and possibly in May rather than April.
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    On this day in 1994, rock star Kurt Cobain was found dead in his home in Seattle, Washington, with fresh injection marks in both arms and a fatal wound to the head from the 20-gauge shotgun found between his knees. Cobain's suicide brought an end to a life marked by far more suffering than is generally associated with rock superstardom. But rock superstardom never did sit well with Kurt Cobain, a committed social outsider who was reluctantly dubbed the spokesman of his generation. "Success to him seemed like, I think, a brick wall," said friend Greg Sage, a musical hero of Cobain's from the local punk rock scene of the 1980s. "There was nowhere else to go but down."
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    On this day in 1990, "Who killed Laura Palmer?" was the question on everyone's mind, when David Lynch's surreal television drama Twin Peaks premiered on ABC. The naked body of the beautiful blonde homecoming queen was found washed up on a riverbank wrapped in plastic in the show's opening episode, throwing the residents of the small Pacific Northwestern town of Twin Peaks into a tailspin and kicking off the central plotline of the series.
    :TVsurf:

    On this day in 1945, Lutheran pastor and theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer is hanged at Flossenburg, only days before the American liberation of the POW camp. The last words of the brilliant and courageous 39-year-old opponent of Nazism were "This is the end–for me, the beginning of life."
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    On this day in 1972, North Vietnamese 2nd Division troops drive out of Laos and Cambodia to open a third front of their offensive in the Central Highlands, attacking at Kontum and Pleiku in attempt to cut South Vietnam in two. If successful, this would give North Vietnam control of the northern half of South Vietnam.
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    On this day in 1974, Hank Aaron of the Atlanta Braves hits his 715th career home run, breaking Babe Ruth's legendary record of 714 homers. A crowd of 53,775 people, the largest in the history of Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium, was with Aaron that night to cheer when he hit a 4th inning pitch off the Los Angeles Dodgers' Al Downing. However, as Aaron was an African American who had received death threats and racist hate mail during his pursuit of one of baseball's most distinguished records, the achievement was bittersweet.
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  13. crogers

    crogers Magnus advocatus diaboli Super Moderator Brigade Member

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    On this day in 1865, in Appomattox Court House, Virginia, Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrenders his 28,000 troops to Union General Ulysses S. Grant, effectively ending the American Civil War. Forced to abandon the Confederate capital of Richmond, blocked from joining the surviving Confederate force in North Carolina, and harassed constantly by Union cavalry, Lee had no other option.
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    On this day in 1942, Major General Edward P. King Jr. surrenders at Bataan, Philippines–against General Douglas MacArthur's orders–and 78,000 troops (66,000 Filipinos and 12,000 Americans), the largest contingent of U.S. soldiers ever to surrender, are taken captive by the Japanese.
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    On April 9, 1962, Puerto Rican actress Rita Moreno becomes the first Hispanic woman to win an Oscar, for her role of Anita in West Side Story (1961).
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    On this day in 2003, just three weeks into the invasion of Iraq, U.S. forces pull down a bronze statue of Saddam Hussein in Baghdad's Firdos Square, symbolizing the end of the Iraqi president's long, often brutal reign, and a major early victory for the United States.
    :yaysmiles:

    On this day in 2005, nearly eight years after Princess Diana's death in a car crash was mourned the world over, Prince Charles, her widower and heir to the British throne, weds his longtime mistress, Camilla Parker Bowles. The marriage, a private civil ceremony, took place at Windsor Guildhall, 30 miles outside of London. The ceremony was originally supposed to take place on April 8, but had to be rescheduled so as not to conflict with the funeral of Pope John Paul II.
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    On this day in 1959, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) introduces America's first astronauts to the press: Scott Carpenter, L. Gordon Cooper Jr., John H. Glenn Jr., Virgil "Gus" Grissom, Walter Schirra Jr., Alan Shepard Jr., and Donald Slayton. The seven men, all military test pilots, were carefully selected from a group of 32 candidates to take part in Project Mercury, America's first manned space program. NASA planned to begin manned orbital flights in 1961.
    :astronaut:

    On this day in 1881, after a one-day trial, Billy the Kid is found guilty of murdering the Lincoln County, New Mexico, sheriff and is sentenced to hang.
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    On this day in 1859, a 23-year-old Missouri youth named Samuel Langhorne Clemens receives his steamboat pilot's license.
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    On this day in 1939, Marian Anderson sings on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.
    At the height of the Civil Rights Movement in 1963, these famous words were spoken from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.: "I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.'" But Martin Luther King, Jr., was not the first to raise his voice from those steps with a message of hope for America's future. That distinction belongs to the world-famous contralto Marian Anderson, whose performance at the Lincoln Memorial made a compelling case for the transformative power of music, and in a place typically associated with the power of words.
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  14. crogers

    crogers Magnus advocatus diaboli Super Moderator Brigade Member

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    On this day in 1866, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) is founded in New York City by philanthropist and diplomat Henry Bergh, 54.
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    On this day in 1919, Emiliano Zapata, a leader of peasants and indigenous people during the Mexican Revolution, is ambushed and shot to death in Morelos by government forces.
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    On this day in 1942, the day after the surrender of the main Philippine island of Luzon to the Japanese, the 75,000 Filipino and American troops captured on the Bataan Peninsula begin a forced march to a prison camp near Cabanatuan. During this infamous trek, known as the "Bataan Death March," the prisoners were forced to march 85 miles in six days, with only one meal of rice during the entire journey. By the end of the march, which was punctuated with atrocities committed by the Japanese guards, hundreds of Americans and many more Filipinos had died.
    :fuctupshit:

    On this day in 1906, O. Henry's second short story collection, The Four Million, is published. The collection includes one of his most beloved stories, The Gift of the Magi, about a poor but devoted couple who each sacrifice their most valuable possession to buy a gift for the other.
    :irony:

    On this day in 1970, Paul McCartney announces the breakup of the Beatles.
    The legendary rock band the Beatles spent the better part of three years breaking up in the late 1960s, and even longer than that hashing out who did what and why. And by the spring of 1970, there was little more than a tangled set of business relationships keeping the group together. Each of the Beatles was pursuing his musical interests outside of the band, and there were no plans in place to record together as a group. But as far as the public knew, this was just a temporary state of affairs. That all changed on April 10, 1970, when an ambiguous Paul McCartney "self-interview" was seized upon by the international media as an official announcement of a Beatles breakup.
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    On this day in 1953, the horror film The House of Wax, starring Vincent Price, opens at New York's Paramount Theater. Released by Warner Brothers, it was the first movie from a major motion-picture studio to be shot using the three-dimensional, or stereoscopic, film process and one of the first horror films to be shot in color.
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    On this day in 1963, the USS Thresher, an atomic submarine, sinks in the Atlantic Ocean, killing the entire crew. One hundred and twenty-nine sailors and civilians were lost when the sub unexpectedly plunged to the sea floor roughly 300 miles off the coast of New England.
    The Thresher was conducting drills off the coast of Cape Cod. At 9:13 a.m., the USS Skylark, another ship participating in the drills, received a communication from the Thresher that the sub was experiencing minor problems.
    Other attempted communications failed and, only five minutes later, sonar images showed the Thresher breaking apart as it fell to the bottom of the sea. Sixteen officers, 96 sailors and 17 civilians were on board. All were killed.
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    On this day in 1778, Commander John Paul Jones and his crew of 140 men aboard the USS Ranger set sail from the naval port at Brest, France, and head toward the Irish Sea to begin raids on British warships. This was the first mission of its kind during the Revolutionary War.
    :pirateship:

    On this day in 1834, a fire at the LaLaurie mansion in New Orleans, Louisiana, leads to the discovery of a torture chamber where slaves are routinely brutalized by Delphine LaLaurie. Rescuers found a 70-year-old black woman trapped in the kitchen during the fire because she was chained up while LaLaurie was busy saving her furniture. The woman later revealed that she had set the fire in an attempt to escape LaLaurie's torture. She led authorities up to the attic, where seven slaves were tied with spiked iron collars.
    :OMGWTF:

    On this day in 1971, the U.S. table tennis team begins a weeklong visit to the People's Republic of China (PRC) at the invitation of China's communist government. The well-publicized trip was part of the PRC's attempt to build closer diplomatic relations with the United States, and was the beginning of what some pundits in the United States referred to as "ping-pong diplomacy."
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  15. crogers

    crogers Magnus advocatus diaboli Super Moderator Brigade Member

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    On this day in 1814, Napoleon Bonaparte, emperor of France and one of the greatest military leaders in history, abdicates the throne, and, in the Treaty of Fontainebleau, is banished to the Mediterranean island of Elba.
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    On this day in 2015, for the first time in over 50 years, the presidents of the United States and Cuba meet. Barack Obama and Raúl Castro, President of Cuba and brother of Fidel Castro, with whom the United States broke off diplomatic contact in 1961, shook hands and expressed a willingness to put one of the world's highest-profile diplomatic feuds in the past.
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    On this day in 1979, Ugandan dictator Idi Amin flees the Ugandan capital of Kampala as Tanzanian troops and forces of the Uganda National Liberation Front close in. Two days later, Kampala fell and a coalition government of former exiles took power.
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    On this day in 1970, Apollo 13, the third lunar landing mission, is successfully launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, carrying astronauts James A. Lovell, John L. Swigert, and Fred W. Haise. The spacecraft's destination was the Fra Mauro highlands of the moon, where the astronauts were to explore the Imbrium Basin and conduct geological experiments. After an oxygen tank exploded on the evening of April 13, however, the new mission objective became to get the Apollo 13 crew home alive.
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    On this day in 1977, President Jimmy Carter, along with first lady Rosalynn Carter, hosts local children at the traditional White House "Easter egg roll."
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    On this day in 1803, in one of the great surprises in diplomatic history, French Foreign Minister Charles Maurice de Talleyrand makes an offer to sell all of Louisiana Territory to the United States.
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    On this day in 1945, the American Third Army liberates the Buchenwald concentration camp, near Weimar, Germany, a camp that will be judged second only to Auschwitz in the horrors it imposed on its prisoners.
    :thescream:

    On this day in 1951, in perhaps the most famous civilian-military confrontation in the history of the United States, President Harry S. Truman relieves General Douglas MacArthur of command of the U.S. forces in Korea. The firing of MacArthur set off a brief uproar among the American public, but Truman remained committed to keeping the conflict in Korea a "limited war."
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    On this day in 2004, Phil Mickelson wins the Masters Golf Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club, his first major championship in nearly 12 years as a professional golfer.
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  16. crogers

    crogers Magnus advocatus diaboli Super Moderator Brigade Member

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    On this day in 1861, the bloodiest four years in American history begin when Confederate shore batteries under General P.G.T. Beauregard open fire on Union-held Fort Sumter in South Carolina's Charleston Bay. During the next 34 hours, 50 Confederate guns and mortars launched more than 4,000 rounds at the poorly supplied fort. On April 13, U.S. Major Robert Anderson surrendered the fort. Two days later, U.S. President Abraham Lincoln issued a proclamation calling for 75,000 volunteer soldiers to quell the Southern "insurrection."
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    On this day in 1864, during the American Civil War, Major General Nathan Bedford Forrest's Confederate raiders attack the isolated Union garrison at Fort Pillow, Tennessee, overlooking the Mississippi River. The fort, an important part of the Confederate river defense system, was captured by federal forces in 1862. Of the 500-strong Union garrison defending the fort, more than half the soldiers were African-Americans.
    After an initial bombardment, General Forrest asked for the garrison's surrender. The Union commander refused, and Forrest's 1,500 cavalry troopers easily stormed and captured the fort, suffering only moderate casualties. However, the extremely high proportion of Union casualties–231 killed and more than 100 seriously wounded–raised questions about the Confederates' conduct after the battle. Union survivors' accounts, later supported by a federal investigation, concluded that African-American troops were massacred by Forrest's men after surrendering. Southern accounts disputed these findings, and controversy over the battle continues today.
    :fuctupshit:

    On this day in 1954, Bill Haley and the Comets recorded "(We're Gonna) Rock Around The Clock." If rock and roll was a social and cultural revolution, then "(We're Gonna) Rock Around The Clock" was its Declaration of Independence. And if Bill Haley was not exactly the revolution's Thomas Jefferson, it may be fair to call him its John Hancock.


    On this day in 1961, aboard the spacecraft Vostok 1, Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin becomes the first human being to travel into space. During the flight, the 27-year-old test pilot and industrial technician also became the first man to orbit the planet, a feat accomplished by his space capsule in 89 minutes. Vostok 1 orbited Earth at a maximum altitude of 187 miles and was guided entirely by an automatic control system. The only statement attributed to Gagarin during his one hour and 48 minutes in space was, "Полет проходит в обычном режиме; Я в порядке." Erm... "Flight is proceeding normally; I am well."
    :astronaut:

    On this day in 1981, the space shuttle Columbia is launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, becoming the first reusable manned spacecraft to travel into space. Piloted by astronauts Robert L. Crippen and John W. Young, the Columbia undertook a 54-hour space flight of 36 orbits before successfully touching down at California's Edwards Air Force Base on April 14.
    On the other hand, they weren't speaking Russian! :lulz:

    On this day in 1633, chief inquisitor Father Vincenzo Maculani da Firenzuola, appointed by Pope Urban VIII, begins the inquisition of physicist and astronomer Galileo Galilei. Galileo was ordered to turn himself in to the Holy Office to begin trial for holding the belief that the Earth revolves around the Sun, which was deemed heretical by the Catholic Church. Standard practice demanded that the accused be imprisoned and secluded during the trial.
    :inquiz:

    On this day in 1975, in Cambodia, the U.S. ambassador and his staff leave Phnom Penh when the U.S. Navy conducts its evacuation effort, Operation Eagle. On April 3, 1975, as the communist Khmer Rouge forces closed in for the final assault on the capital city, U.S. forces were put on alert for the impending embassy evacuation. An 11-man Marine element flew into the city to prepare for the arrival of the U.S. evacuation helicopters. On April 10, U.S. Ambassador Gunther Dean asked Washington that the evacuation begin no later than April 12.
    At 8:50 a.m. on April 12, an Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Service HH-53 landed a four-man Air Force combat control team to coordinate the operation. Three minutes later, it guided in a Marine Corps helicopter with the first element of the Marine security force. Marine and Air Force helicopters then carried 276 evacuees—including 82 Americans, 159 Cambodians, and 35 foreign nationals—to the safety of U.S. Navy assault carriers in the Gulf of Thailand. By 10 a.m., the Marine contingency force, the advance 11-man element, and the combat control team had been evacuated without any casualties.
    On April 16, the Lon Nol government surrendered to the Khmer Rouge, ending five years of war. With the surrender, the victorious Khmer Rouge evacuated Phnom Penh and set about to reorder Cambodian society, which resulted in a killing spree and the notorious "killing fields." Eventually, hundreds of thousands of Cambodians were murdered or died from exhaustion, hunger, and disease.
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  17. crogers

    crogers Magnus advocatus diaboli Super Moderator Brigade Member

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    On this day in 1970, disaster strikes 200,000 miles from Earth when oxygen tank No. 2 blows up on Apollo 13, the third manned lunar landing mission. Astronauts James A. Lovell, John L. Swigert, and Fred W. Haise had left Earth two days before for the Fra Mauro highlands of the moon but were forced to turn their attention to simply making it home alive.
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    On this day in 1870 the Metropolitan Museum of Art is officially incorporated in New York City. The brainchild of American expatriates in Paris and a number of wealthy New Yorkers, the Met would not put on an exhibition until 1872, but it quickly blossomed into one of the world's premier repositories of fine art, a position it holds to this day.
    :artgallery:

    On this day in 1928, German pilot Hermann Köhl, Irish aviator James Fitzmaurice and Baron Ehrenfried Günther Freiherr von Hünefeld, the expedition's financier, complete the first Europe to North America transatlantic flight, taking off from Ireland and landing safely on a small Canadian island.
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    On this day in 1742, Messiah received its world premiere during the Christian season of Lent, and in the decidedly secular context of a concert hall in Dublin, Ireland.
    Nowadays, the performance of George Frideric Handel's Messiah oratorio at Christmas time is a tradition almost as deeply entrenched as decorating trees and hanging stockings. In churches and concert halls around the world, the most famous piece of sacred music in the English language is performed both full and abridged, both with and without audience participation, but almost always and exclusively during the weeks leading up to the celebration of Christmas. It would surprise many, then, to learn that Messiah was not originally intended as a piece of Christmas music.
    Messiah gained widespread popularity only during the final years of Handel's life, in the late 1750s, but it remains one of the best-known musical works of the Baroque period more than two centuries later. When you consider that Handel composed the score for Messiah in just 24 days, you begin to understand the incredible esteem in which some of his followers held him. As Ludwig van Beethoven said of Handel: "He is the greatest composer that ever lived. I would uncover my head and kneel before his tomb."
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    On this day in 1360, the so-called "Black Monday," a hail storm kills an estimated 1,000 English soldiers in Chartres, France. The storm and the devastation it caused also played a part in the Hundred Years' War between England and France.
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    On this day in 2009, former Major League Baseball all-star pitcher Mark "The Bird" Fidrych is found dead at the age of 54 following an accident at his Massachusetts farm involving a Mack truck he was working on. Fidrych, the 1976 American League Rookie of the Year, suffocated when his clothes got tangled in the truck's power takeoff shaft.
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    On this day in 1997, 21-year-old Tiger Woods wins the prestigious Masters Tournament by a record 12 strokes in Augusta, Georgia. It was Woods' first victory in one of golf's four major championships–the U.S. Open, the British Open, the PGA Championship, and the Masters–and the greatest performance by a professional golfer in more than a century.
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  18. crogers

    crogers Magnus advocatus diaboli Super Moderator Brigade Member

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    On this day in 1865, President Abraham Lincoln is shot in the head at Ford's Theatre in Washington, D.C. The assassin, actor John Wilkes Booth, shouted, "Sic semper tyrannis! (Ever thus to tyrants!) The South is avenged," as he jumped onto the stage and fled on horseback. Lincoln died the next morning.
    :pshoopshoo:

    On this day in 1918, six days after being assigned for the first time to the western front, two American pilots from the U.S. First Aero Squadron engage in America's first aerial dogfight with enemy aircraft. In a battle fought almost directly over the Allied Squadron Aerodome at Toul, France, U.S. fliers Douglas Campbell and Alan Winslow succeeded in shooting down two German two-seaters. By the end of May, Campbell had shot down five enemy aircraft, making him the first American to qualify as a "flying ace" in World War I.
    :snoopy_flies:

    On this day in 1935, in what came to be known as "Black Sunday," one of the most devastating storms of the 1930s Dust Bowl era swept across the region on this day. High winds kicked up clouds of millions of tons of dirt and dust so dense and dark that some eyewitnesses believed the world was coming to an end.
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    On this day in 1818, Noah Webster, a Yale-educated lawyer with an avid interest in language and education, publishes his American Dictionary of the English Language.
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    On this day in 1944, the cargo ship Fort Stikine explodes in a berth in the docks of Bombay, India (now known as Mumbai), killing 1,300 people and injuring another 3,000. As it occurred during World War II, some initially claimed that the massive explosion was caused by Japanese sabotage; in fact, it was a tragic accident.
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    On this day in 1775, the Society for the Relief of Free Negroes Unlawfully Held in Bondage, the first American society dedicated to the cause of abolition, is founded in Philadelphia. The society changes its name to the Pennsylvania Society for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery and the Relief of Free Negroes Unlawfully Held in Bondage in 1784.
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    On this day in 1975, the American airlift of Vietnamese orphans to the United States ends after 2,600 children are transported to America. Operation Baby Lift was initiated to bring South Vietnamese orphans to the United States for adoption by American parents. Baby Lift lasted 10 days and was carried out during the final, desperate phase of the war, as North Vietnamese forces were closing in on Saigon. Baby Lift aircraft ferried orphans across the Pacific until the mission concluded on April 14, only 16 days before the fall of Saigon and the end of the war.
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    On this day in 1960, the Montreal Canadiens defeat the Toronto Maple Leafs to win the Stanley Cup for a record fifth year in a row.
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  19. crogers

    crogers Magnus advocatus diaboli Super Moderator Brigade Member

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    On this day in 1912, at 2:20 a.m., the British ocean liner RMS Titanic sinks into the North Atlantic Ocean about 400 miles south of Newfoundland, Canada. The massive ship, which carried 2,200 passengers and crew, had struck an iceberg two and half hours before.
    Because of a shortage of lifeboats and the lack of satisfactory emergency procedures, more than 1,500 people went down in the sinking ship or froze to death in the icy North Atlantic waters. Most of the 700 or so survivors were women and children.
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    On this day in 2013, two bombs go off near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing three spectators and wounding more than 260 other people in attendance. Four days later, after an intense manhunt that shut down the Boston area, police captured one of the bombing suspects, 19-year-old Dipshit Terrorist*; his older brother and fellow suspect, 26-year-old Tinydick Terrorist*, died following a shootout with law enforcement earlier that same day.
    *Not their real names, but should be! [​IMG]

    On this day in 1865, at 7:22 a.m., Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the United States, dies from a bullet wound inflicted the night before by John Wilkes Booth, an actor and Confederate sympathizer. The president's death came only six days after Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered his massive army at Appomattox, effectively ending the American Civil War.
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    On this day in 1998, Pol Pot, the architect of Cambodia's killing fields, dies of apparently natural causes while serving a life sentence imposed against him by his own Khmer Rouge.
    "Natural causes"? Suuurrre.... [​IMG]

    On this day in 1959, four months after leading a successful revolution in Cuba, Fidel Castro visits the United States. The visit was marked by tensions between Castro and the American government.
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    On this day in 1947, Jackie Robinson, age 28, becomes the first African-American player in Major League Baseball when he steps onto Ebbets Field in Brooklyn to compete for the Brooklyn Dodgers. Robinson broke the color barrier in a sport that had been segregated for more than 50 years.
    Exactly 50 years later, on April 15, 1997, Robinson's groundbreaking career was honored and his uniform number, 42, was retired from Major League Baseball by Commissioner Bud Selig in a ceremony attended by over 50,000 fans at New York City's Shea Stadium. Robinson's was the first-ever number retired by all teams in the league.
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  20. crogers

    crogers Magnus advocatus diaboli Super Moderator Brigade Member

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    On this day in 1972, from Cape Canaveral, Florida, Apollo 16, the fifth of six U.S. lunar landing missions, is successfully launched on its 238,000-mile journey to the moon. On April 20, astronauts John W. Young and Charles M. Duke descended to the lunar surface from Apollo 16, which remained in orbit around the moon with a third astronaut, Thomas K. Mattingly, in command. Young and Duke remained on the moon for nearly three days, and spent more than 20 hours exploring the surface of Earth's only satellite. The two astronauts used the Lunar Rover vehicle to collect more than 200 pounds of rock before returning to Apollo 16 on April 23. Four days later, the three astronauts returned to Earth, safely splashing down in the Pacific Ocean.
    :weownthat:

    On this day in 1943, in Basel, Switzerland, Albert Hofmann, a Swiss chemist working at the Sandoz pharmaceutical research laboratory, accidentally consumes LSD-25, a synthetic drug he had created in 1938 as part of his research into the medicinal value of lysergic acid compounds. After taking the drug, formally known as lysergic acid diethylamide, Dr. Hofmann was disturbed by unusual sensations and hallucinations. In his notes, he related the experience:
    "Last Friday, April 16, 1943, I was forced to interrupt my work in the laboratory in the middle of the afternoon and proceed home, being affected by a remarkable restlessness, combined with a slight dizziness. At home I lay down and sank into a not unpleasant, intoxicated-like condition characterized by an extremely stimulated imagination. In a dreamlike state, with eyes closed (I found the daylight to be unpleasantly glaring), I perceived an uninterrupted stream of fantastic pictures, extraordinary shapes with intense, kaleidoscopic play of colors. After some two hours this condition faded away."
    After intentionally taking the drug again to confirm that it had caused this strange physical and mental state, Dr. Hofmann published a report announcing his discovery, and so LSD made its entry into the world as a hallucinogenic drug. Widespread use of the so-called "mind-expanding" drug did not begin until the 1960s, when counterculture figures such as Albert M. Hubbard, Timothy Leary and Ken Kesey publicly expounded on the benefits of using LSD as a recreational drug. The manufacture, sale, possession, and use of LSD, known to cause negative reactions in some of those who take it, were made illegal in the United States in 1965.
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    On this day in 2007, 32 people died after being gunned down on the campus of Virginia Tech by Shit Head Charlie*, a student at the college who later committed suicide.
    *NOT his real name!:fuctupshit:

    On this day in 2018, the Pulitzer Prize Board awards the Pulitzer Prize for Music to rapper Kendrick Lamar for his 2017 album, DAMN. It was the first time the award had gone to a musical work outside the genres of classical music and jazz, a watershed moment for the Pulitzers and Lamar and a sign of the American cultural elite's recognition of hip-hop as a legitimate artistic medium.
    :shakehead:

    On this day in 1881, on the streets of Dodge City, famous western lawman and gunfighter Bat Masterson fights the last gun battle of his life.
    Early in 1881, news that his younger brother, Jim, was in trouble back in Dodge City reached Masterson in Tombstone, Arizona. Jim's dispute with a business partner and an employee, A.J. Peacock and Al Updegraff respectively, had led to an exchange of gunfire. Though no one had yet been hurt, Jim feared for his life. Masterson immediately took a train to Dodge City.
    When his train pulled into Dodge City on this morning in 1881, Masterson wasted no time. He quickly spotted Peacock and Updegraff and aggressively shouldered his way through the crowded street to confront them. "I have come over a thousand miles to settle this," Masterson reportedly shouted. "I know you are heeled [armed]-now fight!" All three men immediately drew their guns. Masterson took cover behind the railway bed, while Peacock and Updegraff darted around the corner of the city jail. Several other men joined in the gunplay. One bullet meant for Masterson ricocheted and wounded a bystander. Updegraff took a bullet in his right lung.
    The mayor and sheriff arrived with shotguns to stop the battle when a brief lull settled over the scene. Updegraff and the wounded bystander were taken to the doctor and both eventually recovered. In fact, no one was mortally injured in the melee, and since the shootout had been fought fairly by the Dodge City standards of the day, no serious charges were imposed against Masterson. He paid an $8 fine and took the train out of Dodge City that evening.
    Masterson never again fought a gun battle in his life, but the story of the Dodge City shootout and his other exploits ensured Masterson's lasting fame as an icon of the Old West. He spent the next four decades of his life working as sheriff, operating saloons, and eventually trying his hand as a newspaperman in New York City. The old gunfighter finally died of a heart attack in October 1921 at his desk in New York City.
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    On this day in 1947, a giant explosion occurs during the loading of fertilizer onto the freighter Grandcamp at a pier in Texas City, Texas. Nearly 600 people lost their lives and thousands were injured when the ship was literally blown to bits.
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    On this day in 1917, Vladimir Lenin, leader of the revolutionary Bolshevik Party, returns to Petrograd after a decade of exile to take the reins of the Russian Revolution.
    :redcard:
     
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