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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 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson notifies Alabama's Governor George Wallace that he will use federal authority to call up the Alabama National Guard in order to supervise a planned civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery.
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    On this day in 1995, several packages of deadly sarin gas are set off in the Tokyo subway system killing twelve people and injuring over 5,000. Sarin gas was invented by the Nazis and is one of the most lethal nerve gases known to man. Tokyo police quickly learned who had planted the chemical weapons and began tracking the terrorists down.
    The gas attack was instituted by the Aum Shinrikyo (which means Supreme Truth) cult. The Supreme Truth had thousands of followers all over Japan who believed in their doomsday prophecies. Because it claimed the personal assets of new cult members, the Supreme Truth had well over a billion dollars stashed away. Shoko Asahara, a forty-year-old blind man, was the leader of the cult. Asahara had long hair and a long beard, wore bright robes, and often meditated while sitting on satin pillows. His books included claims that he had the ability to travel through time.
    Japanese authorities raided the Supreme Truth compounds across the country, but could not find Asahara. At one camp at the base of Mt. Fuji, police found tons of the chemicals used to produce sarin gas. They also found plans to buy nuclear weapons from the Russians. The police eventually located Hideo Murai, one of the cult's other top leaders, but when he was being taken into custody he was stabbed to death by an assassin who blamed Murai for the poison gas attack.
    Shortly after, the police found a hidden basement at the Mt. Fuji compound where other cult leaders were holed up, including Masami Tsuchiya, a chemist who admitted making the sarin gas. Still, Asahara remained at large and the Supreme Truth made four more gas attacks on the subways, injuring hundreds more. Another potential deadly chemical bomb was defused in a subway restroom.The nation's top police officer was shot by a masked terrorist, adding to the country's unrest.
    Finally on May 16, Asahara was found in yet another secret room of the Mt. Fuji compound and arrested. Along with scores of the other Supreme Truth leaders, Asahara was charged with murder. Their doomsday predictions had finally come true, albeit on a much smaller and more personal scale than they had envisioned.
    The trial lasted for over 7 years, but, Asahara was executed by hanging on July 6, 2018, at the Tokyo Detention House, 23 years after the sarin gas attack, along with six other cult members. Asahara's final words, as reported by Detention Center officials, assigned his remains to the fourth daughter, who is unsympathetic to the cult and plans to dispose of the ashes at sea; this is being contested by the wife, third daughter, and other family members, who are suspected of wanting to enshrine the ashes where believers can honor them. As of March 2020, the ashes were still at the Tokyo Detention Center.
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    On this day in 1854, in Ripon, Wisconsin, former members of the Whig Party meet to establish a new party to oppose the spread of slavery into the western territories. The Whig Party, which was formed in 1834 to oppose the "tyranny" of President Andrew Jackson, had shown itself incapable of coping with the national crisis over slavery.
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    On this day in 1413, King Henry IV, the first English monarch of the Lancastrian dynasty, dies after years of illness, and his eldest son, Henry, ascends to the English throne.
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    On this day in 1852, Harriet Beecher Stowe's anti-slavery novel, Uncle Tom's Cabin, is published. The novel sold 300,000 copies within three months and was so widely read that when President Abraham Lincoln met Stowe in 1862, he reportedly said, "So this is the little lady who made this big war."
    While living in Cincinnati, Stowe encountered fugitive slaves and the Underground Railroad. Later, she wrote Uncle Tom's Cabin in reaction to recently tightened fugitive slave laws. The book had a major influence on the way the American public viewed slavery. The book established Stowe's reputation as a woman of letters.
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    On this day in 1345, according to scholars at the University of Paris, the Black Death is created from what they call "a triple conjunction of Saturn, Jupiter and Mars in the 40th degree of Aquarius, occurring on the 20th of March 1345″. The Black Death, also known as the Plague, swept across Europe, the Middle East and Asia during the 14th century, leaving an estimated 25 million dead in its wake.
    Wait... isn't that the same thing that caused COVID19? [​IMG]

    On this day in 1861, President Abraham Lincoln's sons, Willie and Tad, are diagnosed with the measles, adding to the president's many troubles.
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  2. crogers

    crogers Magnus advocatus diaboli Super Moderator Brigade Member

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    On this day in 1965, in the name of African American voting rights, 3,200 civil rights demonstrators in Alabama, led by Martin Luther King, Jr., begin a historic march from Selma to Montgomery, the state's capital. Federalized Alabama National Guardsmen and FBI agents were on hand to provide safe passage for the march, which twice had been turned back by Alabama state police at Selma's Edmund Pettus Bridge.
    :mob:

    On this day in 1960, in the black township of Sharpeville, near Johannesburg, South Africa, Afrikaner police open fire on a group of unarmed black South African demonstrators, killing 69 people and wounding 180 in a hail of submachine-gun fire. The demonstrators were protesting against the South African government's restriction of nonwhite travel. In the aftermath of the Sharpeville massacre, protests broke out in Cape Town, and more than 10,000 people were arrested before government troops restored order.
    :fuctupshit:

    On this day in 1952, an event now recognized as history's first major rock-and-roll show, the Moondog Coronation Ball, is held in Cleveland.
    The "Moondog" in question was the legendary disk jockey Alan Freed, the self-styled "father of rock and roll" who was then the host of the enormously popular "Moondog Show" on Cleveland AM radio station WJW. Freed had joined WJW in 1951 as the host of a classical-music program, but he took up a different kind of music at the suggestion of Cleveland record-store owner Leo Mintz, who had noted with great interest the growing popularity, among young customers of all races, of rhythm-and-blues records by black musicians. Mintz decided to sponsor three hours of late-night programming on WJW to showcase rhythm-and-blues music, and Alan Freed was installed as host. Freed quickly took to the task, adopting a new, hip persona and vocabulary that included liberal use of the phrase "rock and roll" to describe the music he was now promoting. As the program grew in popularity, Mintz and Freed decided to do something that had never been done: hold a live dance event featuring some of the artists whose records were appearing on Freed's show. Dubbed "The Moondog Coronation Ball," the event was to feature headliners Paul Williams and his Hucklebuckers and Tiny Grimes and the Rocking Highlanders (a black instrumental group that performed in Scottish kilts).
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    On this day in 1804, after four years of debate and planning, French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte enacts a new legal framework for France, known as the "Napoleonic Code." The civil code gave post-revolutionary France its first coherent set of laws concerning property, colonial affairs, the family and individual rights.
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    On this day in 1980, J.R. Ewing, the character millions love to hate on television's popular prime-time drama Dallas, is shot by an unknown assailant. The shooting made the season-ending episode one of TV's most famous cliffhangers, inspired widespread media coverage and left America wondering "Who shot J.R.?" for the next eight months. On November 21, 1980, the premiere episode of Dallas's third season solved the mystery, identifying Kristin Shepard, J.R.'s mistress (and his wife's sister), as the culprit.
    :TVsurf:

    On this day in 1963, Alcatraz Prison in San Francisco's Bay closes down and transfers its last prisoners. At its peak period of use in 1950s, "The Rock," or "America's Devil Island," housed over 200 inmates at the maximum-security facility. Alcatraz remains an icon of American prisons for its harsh conditions and record for being inescapable.
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    On this day in 1871, journalist Henry Morton Stanley begins his famous search through Africa for the missing British explorer Dr. David Livingstone.
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    On this day in 1943, the second military conspiracy plan to assassinate Hitler in a week fails.
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    On this day in 1980, President Jimmy Carter announces that the U.S. will boycott the Olympic Games scheduled to take place in Moscow that summer. The announcement came after the Soviet Union failed to comply with Carter's February 20, 1980, deadline to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan.
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  3. crogers

    crogers Magnus advocatus diaboli Super Moderator Brigade Member

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    On this day in 1765, in an effort to raise funds to pay off debts and defend the vast new American territories won from the French in the Seven Years' War (1756-1763), the British government passes the Stamp Act. The legislation levied a direct tax on all materials printed for commercial and legal use in the colonies, from newspapers and pamphlets to playing cards and dice.
    :youfuckedup:

    On this day in 2014, 43 people die when a portion of a hill suddenly collapses and buries a neighborhood in the small community of Oso, Washington, some 55 miles northeast of Seattle. It was one of the deadliest mudslides in U.S. history.
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    On this day in 1972, the Equal Rights Amendment is passed by the U.S. Senate and sent to the states for ratification.
    First proposed by the National Woman's political party in 1923, the Equal Rights Amendment was to provide for the legal equality of the sexes and prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex. More than four decades later, the revival of feminism in the late 1960s spurred its introduction into Congress.
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    On this day in 1945, representatives from Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Transjordan, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Yemen meet in Cairo to establish the Arab League, a regional organization of Arab states. Formed to foster economic growth in the region, resolve disputes between its members, and coordinate political aims, members of the Arab League formed a council, with each state receiving one vote. Fifteen more Arab nations eventually joined the organization, which established a common market in 1965.
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    On this day in 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs the Beer and Wine Revenue Act. This law levies a federal tax on all alcoholic beverages to raise revenue for the federal government and gives individual states the option to further regulate the sale and distribution of beer and wine.
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    On this day in 1947, in response to public fears and Congressional investigations into communism in the United States, President Harry S. Truman issues an executive decree establishing a sweeping loyalty investigation of federal employees.
    :redcard:

    On this day in 1983, the Pentagon awards a production contract worth more than $1 billion to AM General Corporation to develop 55,000 High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWV). Nicknamed the Humvee and designed to transport troops and cargo, the wide, rugged vehicles entered the spotlight when they were used by the American military during the 1989 invasion of Panama and the Persian Gulf War in the early 1990s.
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    On this day in 1894, the first championship series for Lord Stanley's Cup is played in Montreal, Canada. The Stanley Cup has since become one of the most cherished and recognized trophies in sport.
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  4. crogers

    crogers Magnus advocatus diaboli Super Moderator Brigade Member

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    On this day in 1839, the initials "O.K." are first published in The Boston Morning Post. Meant as an abbreviation for "oll korrect," a popular slang misspelling of "all correct" at the time, OK steadily made its way into the everyday speech of Americans.
    :ok:

    On this day in 2011, actress Elizabeth Taylor, who appeared in more than 50 films, won two Academy Awards and was synonymous with Hollywood glamour, dies of complications from congestive heart failure at a Los Angeles hospital at age 79. The violet-eyed Taylor began her acting career as a child and spent most of her life in the spotlight. Known for her striking beauty, she was married eight times and later in life became a prominent HIV/AIDS activist.
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    On this day in 1994, Luis Donaldo Colosio, Mexico's ruling party's presidential candidate, is gunned down during a campaign rally in the northern border town of Tijuana.
    :pshoopshoo:

    On this day in 1775, during a speech before the second Virginia Convention, Patrick Henry responds to the increasingly oppressive British rule over the American colonies by declaring, "I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!" Following the signing of the American Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, Patrick Henry was appointed governor of Virginia by the Continental Congress.
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    On this day in 1998, by the time James Cameron took the stage to accept his Academy Award for Best Director, the Oscar dominance of his blockbuster film Titanic was all but assured. Titanic tied the record for most Oscar nominations with 14—joining 1950's All About Eve—and by night's end would tie with Ben Hur (1959) for most wins by sweeping 11 categories, including the coveted Best Picture.
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    On this day in 1919, Benito Mussolini, an Italian World War I veteran and publisher of Socialist newspapers, breaks with the Italian Socialists and establishes the nationalist Fasci di Combattimento, named after the Italian peasant revolutionaries, or "Fighting Bands," from the 19th century. Commonly known as the Fascist Party, Mussolini's new right-wing organization advocated Italian nationalism, had black shirts for uniforms, and launched a program of terrorism and intimidation against its leftist opponents.
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    On this day in 1983, Barney Clark dies 112 days after becoming the world's first recipient of a permanent artificial heart. The 61-year-old dentist spent the last four months of his life in a hospital bed at the University of Utah Medical Center in Salt Lake City, attached to a 350-pound console that pumped air in and out of the aluminum-and-plastic implant through a system of hoses.
    :heartbreaker:

    On this day in 1944, German occupiers shoot more than 300 Italian civilians as a reprisal for an Italian partisan attack on an SS unit.
    :killemall:

    On this day in 1983, in an address to the nation, President Ronald Reagan proposes that the United States embark on a program to develop antimissile technology that would make the country nearly impervious to attack by nuclear missiles. Reagan's speech marked the beginning of what came to be known as the controversial Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), though pundits immediately dubbed it the "Star Wars Initiative."
    :deathstar:
     
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  5. crogers

    crogers Magnus advocatus diaboli Super Moderator Brigade Member

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    On this day in 1989, one of the worst oil spills in U.S. territory begins when the supertanker Exxon Valdez, owned and operated by the Exxon Corporation, runs aground on a reef in Prince William Sound in southern Alaska. An estimated 11 million gallons of oil eventually spilled into the water. Attempts to contain the massive spill were unsuccessful, and wind and currents spread the oil more than 100 miles from its source, eventually polluting more than 700 miles of coastline. Hundreds of thousands of birds and animals were adversely affected by the environmental disaster.
    It was later revealed that Joseph Hazelwood, the captain of the Valdez, was drinking at the time of the accident and allowed an uncertified officer to steer the massive vessel. In March 1990, Hazelwood was convicted of misdemeanor negligence, fined $50,000, and ordered to perform 1,000 hours of community service. In July 1992, an Alaska court overturned Hazelwood's conviction, citing a federal statute that grants freedom from prosecution to those who report an oil spill.
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    On this day in 1999, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) commences air strikes against Yugoslavia with the bombing of Serbian military positions in the Yugoslav province of Kosovo. The NATO offensive came in response to a new wave of ethnic cleansing launched by Serbian forces against the Kosovar Albanians on March 20.
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    On this day in 1603, after 44 years of rule, Queen Elizabeth I of England dies, and King James VI of Scotland ascends to the throne, uniting England and Scotland under a single British monarch.
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    On this day in 1958, Elvis Presley was inducted, starting his day as the King of Rock and Roll, but ending it as a lowly buck private in the United States Army.
    When Elvis Presley turned 18 on January 8, 1953, he fulfilled his patriotic duty and legal obligation to register his name with the Selective Service System, thereby making himself eligible for the draft. The Korean War was still underway at the time, but as a student in good standing at L.C. Humes High School in Memphis, Elvis received a student deferment that kept him from facing conscription during that conflict's final months. Elvis would receive another deferment four years later when his draft number finally came up, but this time for a very different reason: to complete the filming of his third Hollywood movie, King Creole. But, with that obligation fulfilled, Uncle Sam would wait no longer.
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    On this day in 1996, U.S. astronaut Shannon Lucid transfers to the Russian space station Mir from the U.S. space shuttle Atlantis for a planned five-month stay. Lucid was the first female U.S. astronaut to live in a space station.
    :astronaut:

    On this day in 1955, Tennessee Williams' play Cat on a Hot Tin Roof opens in New York, two days before his 44th birthday. The play would win Williams his second Pulitzer Prize.
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    On this day in 1862, abolitionist orator Wendell Phillips is booed while attempting to give a lecture in Cincinnati, Ohio. The angry crowd was opposed to fighting for the freedom of slaves, as Phillips advocated. He was pelted with rocks and eggs before friends whisked him away when a small riot broke out.
    :lynchmob:

    On this day in 2015, the co-pilot of a German airliner deliberately flies the plane into the French Alps, killing himself and the other 149 people onboard. When it crashed, Germanwings flight 9525 had been traveling from Barcelona, Spain, to Dusseldorf, Germany.
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    On this day in 1965, the first "teach-in" is conducted at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor; two hundred faculty members participate by holding special anti-war seminars. Regular classes were canceled, and rallies and speeches dominated for 12 hours. On March 26, there was a similar teach-in at Columbia University in New York City; this form of protest eventually spread to many colleges and universities.
    :hippies:

    On this day in 1975, the North Vietnamese "Ho Chi Minh Campaign" begins. Despite the 1973 Paris Peace Accords cease fire, the fighting had continued between South Vietnamese forces and the North Vietnamese troops in South Vietnam. In December 1974, the North Vietnamese launched a major attack against the lightly defended province of Phuoc Long, located north of Saigon along the Cambodian border. They successfully overran the provincial capital at Phuoc Binh on January 6, 1975.
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  6. crogers

    crogers Magnus advocatus diaboli Super Moderator Brigade Member

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    On this day in 1911, in one of the darkest moments of America's industrial history, the Triangle Shirtwaist Company factory in New York City burns down, killing 146 workers. The tragedy led to the development of a series of laws and regulations that better protected the safety of factory workers.
    The Triangle factory, owned by Max Blanck and Isaac Harris, was located in the top three floors of the 10-story Asch Building in downtown Manhattan. It was a sweatshop in every sense of the word: a cramped space lined with work stations and packed with poor immigrant workers, mostly teen-aged women who did not speak English. At the time of the fire, there were four elevators with access to the factory floors, but only one was fully operational and it could hold only 12 people at a time. There were two stairways down to the street, but one was locked from the outside to prevent theft by the workers and the other opened inward only. The fire escape, as all would come to see, was shoddily constructed, and could not support the weight of more than a few women at a time.
    :panic:

    On this day in 1634, the first colonists to Maryland arrive at St. Clement's Island on Maryland's western shore and found the settlement of St. Mary's.
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    On this day in 1975, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, King Faisal is shot to death by his nephew, Prince Faisal.
    :pshoopshoo:

    On this day in 1957, France, West Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg sign a treaty in Rome establishing the European Economic Community (EEC), also known as the Common Market. The EEC, which came into operation in January 1958, was a major step in Europe's movement toward economic and political union.
    :moarhugs:

    On this day in 2001, Icelandic pop singer Björk makes splash at the Oscars. To some, Oscar night is more about the fashion than the awards themselves. Much of the audience tunes in to see who looks fabulous, who takes the biggest risks, and–of course–who's the most egregious fashion disaster. Of the latter, the infamous "swan dress" worn by the Icelandic pop singer Björk at the 73rd annual Academy Awards is among the most notorious.
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    On this day in 1932, the Supreme Court hands down its decision in the case of Powell v. Alabama. The case arose out of the infamous Scottsboro case. Nine young black men were arrested and accused of raping two white women on train in Alabama. The boys were fortunate to barely escaped a lynch mob sent to kill them, but were railroaded into convictions and death sentences. The Supreme Court overturned the convictions on the basis that they did not have effective representation.
    Victoria Price and Ruby Bates, the alleged victims, were not the virtuous women that the white establishment in Alabama had tried to portray. In fact, both were prostitutes who had concocted the charges out of thin air. Bates eventually recanted her testimony. The accused boys were not given lawyers until the morning of the trial and these attorneys made almost no effort to defend their clients. On the same day that the case began, the defendants were convicted and received death sentences.
    The blatant unfairness of the case attracted the attention of liberals across the country. The transcript of the trial left the Supreme Court with no other choice but to throw out the convictions. Still, Alabama insisted on retrying the defendants. This time, Samuel Leibowitz, one of the premier defense attorneys of the day, came to represent the Scottsboro nine. It didn't matter.
    The jury, all white men because black men were systematically excluded, convicted once again. In fact, there would be many more trials of the Scottsboro defendants over the years and each time the jury convicted and was later reversed on appeal. When the saga finally ended, all of the defendants were finally released. But not after they had served an average of ten years for the phantom crime.
    :fuctupshit:

    On this day in 1967, the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., leads a march of 5,000 antiwar demonstrators in Chicago. In an address to the demonstrators, King declared that the Vietnam War was "a blasphemy against all that America stands for." King first began speaking out against American involvement in Vietnam in the summer of 1965.
    :strike::strike::strike:

    On this day in 1968, after being told by Defense Secretary Clark Clifford that the Vietnam War is a "real loser," President Johnson, still uncertain about his course of action, decides to convene a nine-man panel of retired presidential advisors. The group, which became known as the "Wise Men," included the respected generals Omar Bradley and Matthew Ridgway, distinguished State Department figures like Dean Acheson and George Ball, and McGeorge Bundy, National Security advisor to both the Kennedy and Johnson administrations.
    After two days of deliberation the group reached a consensus: they advised against any further troop increases and recommended that the administration seek a negotiated peace. Although Johnson was initially furious at their conclusions, he quickly came to believe that they were right.
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    On this day in 1958, Sugar Ray Robinson defeats Carmen Basilio to regain the middleweight championship. It was the fifth and final title of his career. Robinson is considered by many to be the greatest prizefighter in history. No less an authority than heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali has said, "My idol will always be Sugar Ray Robinson, who was, and remains, one of the best pound-for-pound fighters to have ever lived in this century."
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  7. crogers

    crogers Magnus advocatus diaboli Super Moderator Brigade Member

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    On this day in 1953, American medical researcher Dr. Jonas Salk announces on a national radio show that he has successfully tested a vaccine against poliomyelitis, the virus that causes the crippling disease of polio. In 1952—an epidemic year for polio—there were 58,000 new cases reported in the United States, and more than 3,000 died from the disease. For promising eventually to eradicate the disease, which is known as "infant paralysis" because it mainly affects children, Dr. Salk was celebrated as the great doctor-benefactor of his time.
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    On this day in 1979, in a ceremony at the White House, Egyptian President Anwar el-Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin sign a historic peace agreement, ending three decades of hostilities between Egypt and Israel and establishing diplomatic and commercial ties.
    :handshake:

    On this day in 1997, following an anonymous tip, police enter a mansion in Rancho Santa Fe, an exclusive suburb of San Diego, California, and discover 39 victims of a mass suicide. The deceased—21 women and 18 men of varying ages—were all found lying peaceably in matching dark clothes and Nike sneakers and had no noticeable signs of blood or trauma. It was later revealed that the men and women were members of the "Heaven's Gate" religious cult, whose leaders preached that suicide would allow them to leave their bodily "containers" and enter an alien spacecraft hidden behind the Hale-Bopp comet.
    Believe it or not, their website is still active....
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    On this day in 1941, Italy attacks the British fleet at Souda Bay, Crete, using detachable warheads to sink a British cruiser. This was the first time manned torpedoes had been employed in naval warfare, adding a new weapon to the world's navies' arsenals.
    The manned torpedo, also known as the "Chariot," was unique. Primarily used to attack enemy ships still in harbor, the Chariots needed "pilots" to "drive" them to their targets. Sitting astride the torpedo on a vehicle that would transport them both, the pilot would guide the missile as close to the target as possible, then ride the vehicle back, usually to a submarine. The Chariot was an enormous advantage; before its development, the closest weapon to the Chariot was the Japanese Kaiten–a human torpedo, or suicide bomb, which had obvious drawbacks.Well, DUH!
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    On this day in 1804, President Thomas Jefferson attends a public party at the Senate and leads a diverse crowd in consuming an enormous loaf of bread dubbed the mammoth loaf. The giant bread was baked to go with the remnants of an enormous block of cheese.
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    On this day in 1987, responding to a 911 call, police raid the Philadelphia home of Gary Heidnik and find an appalling crime scene. In the basement of Heidnik's dilapidated house is a veritable torture chamber where three naked women were found chained to a sewer pipe. A fourth woman, Josefina Rivera, had escaped and called police.
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    On this day in 1969, a group called Women Strike for Peace demonstrate in Washington, D.C., in the first large antiwar demonstration since President Richard Nixon's inauguration in January. The antiwar movement had initially given Nixon a chance to make good on his campaign promises to end the war in Vietnam. However, it became increasingly clear that Nixon had no quick solution. As the fighting dragged on, antiwar sentiment against the president and his handling of the war mounted steadily during his term in office.
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  8. crogers

    crogers Magnus advocatus diaboli Super Moderator Brigade Member

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    On this day in 1998, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves use of the drug Viagra, an oral medication that treats impotence. Sildenafil, the chemical name for Viagra, is an artificial compound that was originally synthesized and studied to treat hypertension (high blood pressure) and angina pectoris (a form of cardiovascular disease). Chemists at the Pfizer pharmaceutical company found, however, that while the drug had little effect on angina, it could induce penile erections, typically within 30 to 60 minutes. Seeing the economic opportunity in such a biochemical effect, Pfizer decided to market the drug for impotence. Sildenafil was patented in 1996, and a mere two years later–a stunningly short time compared to other drugs–it was approved by the FDA for use in treating "erectile dysfunction," the new clinical name for impotence.
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    On this day in 1912, in Washington, D.C., Helen Taft, wife of President William Taft, and the Viscountess Chinda, wife of the Japanese ambassador, plant two Yoshino cherry trees on the northern bank of the Potomac River, near the Jefferson Memorial. The event was held in celebration of a gift, by the Japanese government, of 3,020 cherry trees to the U.S. government.
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    On this day in 1964, the strongest earthquake in American history, measuring 9.2 on the Richter scale, slams southern Alaska, creating a deadly tsunami. Some 131 people were killed and thousands injured.
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    On this day in 1836, in a disastrous setback for the Texans resisting Santa Anna's dictatorial regime, the Mexican army defeats and executes 417 Texas revolutionaries at Goliad.
    :fuctupshit:

    On this day in 1979, Pattie Boyd and Eric Clapton are married.
    In the early decades of the 20th century, the Viennese beauty Alma Mahler inspired groundbreaking works by a quartet of husbands and lovers drawn from nearly every creative discipline: music (Gustav Mahler); literature (Franz Werfel); art (Oskar Kokoschka); and architecture (Walter Gropius). It is possible that no pop-cultural muse will ever equal such a record, but if anyone came close in the modern era, it was the English beauty Pattie Boyd, whose participation in various affairs and marriages among the British rock royalty of the '60s and '70s inspired three famous popular songs, including "Layla," by second husband Eric Clapton.
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    On this day in 1973, the actor Marlon Brando declines the Academy Award for Best Actor for his career-reviving performance in The Godfather The Native American actress Sacheen Littlefeather attended the ceremony in Brando's place, stating that the actor "very regretfully" could not accept the award, as he was protesting Hollywood's portrayal of Native Americans in film.
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    On this day in 1977, two 747 jumbo jets crash into each other on the runway at an airport in the Canary Islands, killing 582 passengers and crew members.
    Both Boeing 747s were charter jets that were not supposed to be at the Los Rodeos Airport on Santa Cruz de Tenerife that day. Both had been scheduled to be at the Las Palmas Airport, where a group of militants had set off a small bomb at the airport's flower shop earlier that day. Thus, a Pan Am charter carrying passengers from Los Angeles and New York to a Mediterranean cruise and a KLM charter with Dutch tourists were both diverted to Santa Cruz on March 27.
    The Los Rodeos airport is known for its sudden fog problems and was not a favorite location for pilots. At 4:40 p.m. on a typically foggy afternoon, the KLM jet was cleared to taxi to the end of the single main runway. The Pan Am jet followed behind it and was to wait in side space while the KLM jet turned around to begin takeoff. However, in the fog, the Pan Am pilot was unable to keep the KLM jet in sight and did not move into the proper position. The Dutch crew of the KLM jet, apparently unable to understand the accented English spoken by the flight controllers, began to take off down the runway before the Pan Am jet was able to move to the side space.
    At the last minute, the Pan Am pilot saw the other 747 coming straight at his own jet and screamed "What's he doing? He'll kill us all!" while attempting to swerve into a grassy field. It was too late. The KLM 747 slammed into the side of the Pan Am jet and both planes erupted into a huge fireball. The only survivors on either plane were those in the very front of the Pan Am 747. Survivor Lynda Daniel later said of the disaster, "It exploded from the back." Most of the people in the first six rows survived.
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    On this day in 1905, the neighbors of Thomas and Ann Farrow, shopkeepers in South London, discover their badly bludgeoned bodies in their home. Thomas was already dead, but Ann was still breathing. She died four days later without ever having regained consciousness. The brutal crime was solved using the newly developed fingerprinting technique. Only three years earlier, the first English court had admitted fingerprint evidence in a petty theft case. The Farrow case was the first time that the cutting-edge technology was used in a high-profile murder case.
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    On this day in 1939, the University of Oregon defeats The Ohio State University 46–33 to win the first-ever NCAA men's basketball tournament. "March Madness," as the tournament became known, has grown exponentially in size and popularity since 1939. By 2005, college basketball had become the most popular sporting event among gamblers, after the Super Bowl. The majority of that betting takes place at tournament time, when Las Vegas, the internet and office pools around the country see action from sports enthusiasts and once-a-year gamblers alike.
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  9. 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.
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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. Up to a million lives were lost in the conflict, the most devastating in Spanish history.
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    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.


    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. Thrasher, who was employed on the Gold Coast in British West Africa, was returning to his post there from England as a passenger on the ship.
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    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 French Revolution; by killing aristocrats and journeymen the same way, equality in death was ensured.
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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.
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  10. crogers

    crogers Magnus advocatus diaboli Super Moderator Brigade Member

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    On this day in 1958, Dr. Charles David Keeling begins regularly measuring the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere from the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawai'i. Over the ensuing years, his research will reveal what is now known as the Keeling Curve: a graph of continuously-taken measurements showing the rapid accumulation of carbon dioxide.
    Previously, scientists had not regularly measured the amount of carbon dioxide in Earth's atmosphere. As part of the International Geophysical Year, an international scientific project that took place between 1957 and 1958, Keeling received funding to conduct monitoring at Mauna Loa and at the South Pole. Some colleagues questioned why sustained monitoring was necessary, but Keeling was steadfast in his desire to take detailed and continuous measurements. Though budget cuts forced him to abandon the South Pole monitoring in the 1960s, the Mauna Loa testing continues to this day.
    On a micro level, the curve zig-zags due to the imbalance in the amount of vegetation in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres - there is more land in the Northern Hemisphere and therefore more plants to "breathe out" oxygen in the Northern summer, lowering CO2 levels, which rise again in the Northern winter. Over many years, however, a stark and undeniable picture has emerged. Keeling's data points form a curve that is steadily increasing, incontrovertible evidence that the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere is rising over time. As other scientists began to study atmospheric carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, a consensus emerged that levels were rising to problematic levels. The recognition of this fact, made possible by Keeling, was one of the earliest and most important steps in mankind's awakening to the reality of climate change.
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    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.
    Mercury is the smallest planet in the solar system and completes its solar orbit in only 88 earth days. Data sent back by Mariner 10 discounted a previously held theory that the planet does not spin on its axis; in fact, the planet has a very slow rotational period that stretches over 58 earth days. Mercury is a water-less, airless world that alternately bakes and freezes as it slowly rotates. Highly inhospitable, Mercury's surface temperature varies from 800º Fahrenheit when facing the sun to -279º when facing away. The planet has no known satellites.
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    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.
    New York's first experience with the so-called Mad Bomber was on November 16, 1940, when a pipe bomb was left in the Edison building with a note that read, "Con Edison crooks, this is for you." More bombs were recovered in 1941, each more powerful than the last, until the Mad Bomber sent a note in December stating, "I will make no more bomb units for the duration of the war." He went on to say that Con Edison, New York's electric utility company, would be brought to justice in due time.
    The patriotic Mad Bomber made good on his promise, although he did periodically send threatening notes to the press. After his flurry of activity in 1951, the Mad Bomber was silent until a bomb went off at Radio City Music Hall in 1954. In 1955, the Mad Bomber hit Grand Central Station, Macy's, the RCA building and the Staten Island Ferry.
    The police had no luck finding the Mad Bomber, but an investigative team working for Con Ed finally tracked him down. Looking through their employment records, they found that George Peter Metesky had been a disgruntled ex-employee since an accident in 1931. Metesky was enraged that Con Ed refused to pay disability benefits and resorted to terrorism as his revenge.
    Metesky, a rather mild-mannered man, was found living with his sisters in Connecticut. He was sent to a mental institution in April 1957 where he stayed until his release in 1973. He died in 1994.
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    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.
    :telephone:

    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.
    :thechair::thechair:

    On this day in 1917, Prime Minister Hjalmar Hammarskjöld of Sweden, father of the famous future United Nations Secretary General Dag Hammarskjöld, resigns after his policy of strict neutrality in World War I—including continued trading with Germany, in violation of the Allied blockade—leads to widespread hunger and political instability in Sweden.
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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 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.
    The My Lai massacre had initially been covered up but came to light one year later. An Army board of inquiry, headed by Lt. Gen. William Peers, investigated the massacre and produced a list of 30 people who knew of the atrocity, but only 14 were charged with crimes. All eventually had their charges dismissed or were acquitted by courts-martial except Calley, whose platoon allegedly killed 200 innocents.
    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.
    :killemall:

    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:
     
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  11. 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.
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    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 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.
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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 only took another 50 years to allow women, of ANY color, to vote! [​IMG]

    On this day in 1980, a floating apartment for oil workers in the North Sea collapses, killing 123 people. 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.
    :drowning:

    On this day in 2009, then-U.S. President Barack Obama issues an ultimatum to struggling American automakers General Motors (GM) and Chrysler: In order to receive additional bailout loans from the government, he says, the companies need to make dramatic changes in the way they run their businesses. The president also announced a set of initiatives intended to assist the struggling U.S. auto industry and boost consumer confidence, including government backing of GM and Chrysler warranties, even if both automakers went out of business.
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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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  12. 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, King Ferdinand II of Aragon and Queen Isabella I of Castille conquered the Nasrid Kingdom of Granada, finally freeing Spain from Muslim rule after nearly 800 years. Not long after, the monarchs, whose marriage and conquests cemented Spain as a unified kingdom, issued the Alhambra Decree, mandating that all Jews be expelled from the country.
    :gtfokax:

    On this day in 1999, law enforcement officers in Elephant Butte, New Mexico, began digging for evidence near the mobile home of David Parker Ray and Cynthia Lea Hendy after more evidence came to light about the couple's activities. On March 22, a twenty-two year old woman was found running naked, except for a padlocked metal collar around her neck, down an unpaved road near Elephant Butte State Park. She told police that Ray and Hendy had abducted her three days earlier in Albuquerque before bringing her to the mobile home where she was raped and tortured.
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    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.
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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 1943, Oklahoma! premieres on Broadway. The financial risk of mounting a Broadway musical is so great that few productions ever make it to the Great White Way without a period of tryouts and revisions outside of New York City. This was as true in the 1940s as it is today, and especially so during the war years, when the producers of an innovative little musical called Away We Go had real concerns about their show's commercial viability. Even with lyrics and music by two of theater's leading lights, Away We Go was believed by many to be a flop in the making. Indeed, an assistant to the famous gossip columnist Walter Winchell captured the prevailing wisdom in a telegram sent from New Haven, Connecticut, during the show's out-of-town tryout. His message read: "No girls. No legs. No chance." This would prove to be one of the most off-base predictions in theater history when the slightly retooled show opened on Broadway under a new title—Oklahoma!—and went on to set a Broadway record of 2,212 performances before finally closing 5 years later.
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    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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    On this day in 1991, after 36 years in existence, the Warsaw Pact—the military alliance between the Soviet Union and its eastern European satellites—comes to an end. The action was yet another sign that the Soviet Union was losing control over its former allies and that the Cold War was falling apart.
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  13. 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.
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    On this day in 1621, at the Plymouth settlement in present-day Massachusetts, the leaders of the Plymouth colonists, acting on behalf of King James I, make a defensive alliance with Massasoit, chief of the Wampanoags. The agreement, in which both parties promised to not "doe hurt" to one another, was the first treaty between a Native American tribe and a group of American colonists. According to the treaty, if a Wampanoag broke the peace, he would be sent to Plymouth for punishment; if a colonist broke the law, he would likewise be sent to the Wampanoags.
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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 1945, after suffering the loss of 116 planes and damage to three aircraft carriers, 50,000 U.S. combat troops, under the command of Lieutenant General Simon B. Buckner Jr., land on the southwest coast of the Japanese island of Okinawa, 350 miles south of Kyushu, the southern main island of Japan.
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    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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    On this day in 1984, Marvin Gaye is shot and killed by his own father, one day short of his 45th birthday. At the peak of his career, Marvin Gaye was the Prince of Motown—the soulful voice behind hits as wide-ranging as "How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)" and "Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)." Like his label-mate Stevie Wonder, Gaye both epitomized and outgrew the crowd-pleasing sound that made Motown famous.
    Over the course of his roughly 25-year recording career, he moved successfully from upbeat pop to "message" music to satin-sheet soul, combining elements of Smokey Robinson, Bob Dylan and Barry White into one complicated and sometimes contradictory package. But as the critic Michael Eric Dyson put it, the man who "chased away the demons of millions… with his heavenly sound and divine art" was chased by demons of his own throughout his 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.
    :TVsurf:

    On this day in 1946, an undersea earthquake off the Alaskan coast triggers a massive tsunami that kills 159 people in Hawaii. In the middle of the night, 13,000 feet beneath the ocean surface, a 7.4-magnitude tremor was recorded in the North Pacific. (The nearest land was Unimak Island, part of the Aleutian chain.) The quake triggered devastating tidal waves throughout the Pacific, particularly in Hawaii.
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    On this day in 1993, race car driver and owner Alan Kulwicki, who won the 1992 National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) Winston Cup championship by one of the tightest margins in series history, is killed in a plane crash near Bristol, Tennessee, where he was scheduled to compete in a race the following day. The 38-year-old Kulwicki had been the first owner-driver to collect the championship since Richard Petty did so in 1979, as well as the first NASCAR champ to hold a college degree.
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  14. 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.
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    On this day in 1513, near present-day St. Augustine, Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León 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.
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    On this day in 1805, Hans Christian Andersen, one of the world's greatest storytellers, is born in Odense, near Copenhagen. Andersen wrote several plays that flopped. Meanwhile, he entertained himself by writing a series of children's stories that he published as collections. The first, Fairy Tales Told for Children, (1835) included "The Princess and the Pea." Andersen released new collections every year or two for decades as he traveled widely in Europe, Africa, and Asia Minor. His stories include "The Ugly Duckling," "The Little Mermaid" and "The Emperor's New Clothes."
    :shakeit:

    On this day in 1979, the world's first anthrax epidemic begins in Ekaterinburg, Russia (now Sverdlovsk). 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.
    As people in Ekaterinburg first began reporting their illnesses, the Soviet government announced that the cause was tainted meat that the victims had eaten. Since the town was known in intelligence circles for its biological-weapons plant, much of the rest of the world was immediately skeptical of the Soviet explanation.
    It was not until 13 years later, in 1992, that the epidemic was finally explained: workers at the Ekaterinburg 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.
    Anthrax is a bacterium that can enter the body through multiple routes. It is most deadly when it is inhaled. It prompts the production of toxic molecules that destroy essential proteins in the body's cells, usually in the lymph nodes.
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    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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  15. 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 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.
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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.
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    On this day in 1996, Ronald H. Brown, the U.S. secretary of commerce, is killed along with 32 other Americans when their U.S. Air Force plane crashes into a mountain near Dubrovnik, Croatia. Brown was leading a delegation of business executives to the former Yugoslavia to explore business opportunities that might help rebuild the war-torn region.
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    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.
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    On this day in 1817, the legendary Texas Ranger and frontiersman “Big Foot” Wallace is born in Lexington, Virginia.
    In 1836, 19-year-old William Alexander Anderson Wallace received news that one of his brothers had been killed in the Battle of Goliad, an early confrontation in the Texan war of independence with Mexico. Pledging to "take pay of the Mexicans" for his brother's death, Wallace left Lexington and headed for Texas. By the time he arrived, the war was over, but Wallace found he liked the spirited independence of the new Republic of Texas and decided to stay.
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    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 to its final weekly show in 1960, The Louisiana 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 when, 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.
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    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.
    His tombstone reads, "Jesse W. James, Died April 3, 1882, Aged 34 years, 6 months, 28 days, Murdered by a traitor and a coward whose name is not worthy to appear here."
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    On this day in 1776, because it lacked sufficient funds to build a strong navy, the Continental Congress gives privateers permission to attack any and all British ships.
    :pirateship:

    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:

    Also on this day in 1969, U.S. military headquarters in Saigon announce that combat deaths for the last week of March have pushed the total number of Americans killed during eight years of U.S. involvement in Vietnam to 33,641. This was 12 more deaths than during the Korean War. By the end of the war, 47,244 Americans had been killed in action in Vietnam. An additional 10,446 died as a result of non-hostile causes like disease and accidents.
    :sosad:
     
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  16. 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.
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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.
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    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 used 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 day in 2013, one of America's best-known and most influential movie critics, Roger Ebert, who reviewed movies for the Chicago Sun-Times for 46 years and on TV for 31 years, dies at age 70 after battling cancer. In 1975, Ebert started co-hosting a movie review program on TV with fellow critic Gene Siskel that eventually turned them both into household names and made their thumbs-up, thumbs-down rating system part of American pop culture.
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    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.
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    On this day in 1960, 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.
    In 1932, the Akron made a flight from New Jersey to the Camp Kearny military base, near San Diego, California. It attempted to land in high winds, with three groups of 30 men each assigned to help pull in the airship and secure it to the ground with ropes. But the Akron, which was filled with helium, began to rise again after the sailors had begun to secure it. Three men held on to their ropes as the Akron rose into the air; two of the three fell from 200 feet and were killed. The third man, Bud Cowart, managed to hold on at the end of the rope for two hours as the Akron dragged him 2,000 feet above the ground. Finally, the crew managed to pull him up into the airship through a porthole.
    The second accident involving the Akron occurred on April 4, 1933, while the U.S. Navy was using the airship to obtain some technical data over New Jersey. It was well-known that dirigibles could experience problems in bad weather, but despite the violent thunderstorms in the area that day, the Akron was not grounded. While in the air over the Atlantic Ocean, a miscommunication over directions by crew members sent the Akron directly into the storm instead of around it. The storm's winds caused the ship to plunge nearly 1,000 feet in a few seconds.
    The crew then made its second mistake: the dirigible's water ballast was dumped in order to make the flying ship rise. However, the ballast dump thrust the Akron up too far, too fast. Critical devices and cables were destroyed and all control was lost. The Akron plunged into the ocean.
    The rescue airship J-3 was sent to help the Akron crew. It also crashed in the storm, killing two of the seven crew members on board. Only three of the Akron's 76 crew members survived the disaster. One of the survivors was the commander who had ordered the fateful ballast dump.
    This was the deadliest air disaster since the crash of the first rigid airship built in the United States, the Shenandoah, which killed 14 people on September 3, 1925.
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    On this day in 1974, as the Major League Baseball season began, all eyes were on Hank Aaron. He had finished 1973 with 713 career home runs, one shy of the all-time record set by Babe Ruth. On Opening Day, a 39-year-old Aaron sent the very first pitch he saw over the wall, finally tying Ruth and setting the stage for his ascent to the top of the all-time home runs list.
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  17. crogers

    crogers Magnus advocatus diaboli Super Moderator Brigade Member

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    On this day in 1994, modern rock icon Kurt Cobain dies by 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.
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    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.
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    On this day in 1614, Pocahontas, daughter of the chief of the Powhatan Indian confederacy, marries English tobacco planter John Rolfe in Jamestown, Virginia. The marriage ensured peace between the Jamestown settlers and the Powhatan Indians for several years.
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    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 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt establishes the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), an innovative federally funded organization that put thousands of Americans to work during the Great Depression on projects with environmental benefits.
    :jdedc:

    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 that 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 On the 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 were executed in June 1953.
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    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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  18. 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 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.
    Peary, a U.S. Navy civil engineer, made his first trip to the interior of Greenland in 1886. In 1891, Henson, a young African American sailor, joined him on his second arctic expedition. Their team made an extended dogsled journey to the northeast of Greenland and explored what became known as “Peary Land.” In 1893, the explorers began working toward the North Pole, and in 1906, during their second attempt, they nearly reached latitude 88 degrees north–only 150 miles from their objective.
    In 1908, the pair traveled to Ellesmere Island by ship and in 1909 raced across hundreds of miles of ice to reach what they calculated as latitude 90 degrees north on April 6, 1909. Although their achievement was widely acclaimed, Dr. Frederick A. Cook challenged their distinction of being the first to reach the North Pole. A former associate of Peary, Cook claimed he had already reached the pole by dogsled the previous year. A major controversy followed, and in 1911 the U.S. Congress formally recognized Peary's claim.
    In recent years, further studies of the conflicting claims suggest that neither expedition reached the exact North Pole, but that Peary and Henson came far closer, falling perhaps 30 miles short. On May 3, 1952, U.S. Lieutenant Colonel Joseph O. Fletcher of Oklahoma stepped out of a plane and walked to the precise location of the North Pole, the first person to undisputedly do so.
    :youfuckedup:

    On this day in 1830, in Fayette, New York, Joseph Smith, founder of the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, organizes the Church of Christ during a meeting with a small group of believers.
    Smith claimed in 1823 that he had been visited by a Christian angel named Moroni who spoke to him of an ancient Hebrew text that had been lost for 1,500 years. The holy text, supposedly engraved on gold plates by a Native American historian in the fourth century, related the story of Israelite peoples who had lived in America in ancient times. During the next six years, Smith dictated an English translation of this text to his wife and other scribes, and in 1830 The Book of Mormon was published. In the same year, Smith founded the Church of Christ—later known as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints—in Fayette.
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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 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 1968, Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey debuts in theaters. Today, few would argue against the greatness of 2001, but on the night of its debut Kubrick felt he had failed. Lead actor Keir Dullea estimated that he saw 250 people walk out of the premier, while Clarke reported hearing a studio executive remark, "Well, that's the end of Stanley Kubrick." Some reviewers agreed, calling the film "plodding," "immensely boring," and even "a disaster." Many reviews were glowing, however – Roger Ebert gave it four stars, while Charles Champlin of The Los Angeles Times called it the "ultimate statement of the science fiction film." Audiences seemed to agree with Champlin, flocking to the film upon its release and creating such demand that many American theaters screened it regularly for over a year. The film went on to win an Oscar for Best Visual Effects and numerous other awards. Today, it is regarded not only as a seminal work of science fiction but as one of the defining films of the 20th century.
    Open the pod bay doors, HAL...:astronaut:

    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 nations to the international competition.
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  19. 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.
    :youfuckedup:

    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.
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    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 1953, by a vote of 57 to 1, Dag Hammarskjöld is elected secretary-general of the United Nations. Hammarskjöld remains the youngest person to have held the Secretary-General post, having been only 47 years old when he was elected.
    On 31 March 1953, the Security Council voted 10-0-1 to recommend Hammarskjöld to the General Assembly, with an abstention from Nationalist China. Shortly after midnight on 1 April 1953, Hammarskjöld was awakened by a telephone call from a journalist with the news, which he dismissed as an April Fool's Day joke.
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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.
    Weighing 72,800 tons and outfitted with nine 18.1-inch guns, the battleship Yamato was Japan's only hope of destroying the Allied fleet off the coast of Okinawa. But insufficient air cover and fuel cursed the endeavor as a suicide mission. Struck by 19 American aerial torpedoes, it was sunk, drowning 2,498 of its crew.
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    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 star turn in the director Henry Hathaway's Western True Grit.
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  20. crogers

    crogers Magnus advocatus diaboli Super Moderator Brigade Member

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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.
    [​IMG] Whenever it was....

    On this day in 2009, the MV Maersk Alabama is hijacked off the coast of Somalia by pirates. The high-profile incident drew worldwide attention to the problem of piracy, commonly believed to be a thing of the past, in the waters off the Horn of Africa. Pirates had not captured a ship sailing under the American flag since the 1820s.
    Decades of instability in Somalia and the accompanying lack of policing in its territorial waters led to a resurgence of piracy in the region that peaked in the late 2000s. Just a day before the attack, the Maersk Alabama received warning from the United States government to stay at least 600 miles off the coast of Somalia, but Captain Richard Phillips kept the ship about 240 miles from the coast, a decision which was later criticized by members of his crew. On April 8, the crew saw a skiff carrying four armed pirates approaching the ship and initiated the protocol for such an event. Chief Engineer Mike Perry got most of the crew to a safe room and managed to swamp the pirates' craft by swinging his ship's rudder, but the pirates were nonetheless able to board and take Phillips hostage. After one of their number was injured fighting with the ship's crew, the other three pirates fled in a lifeboat, taking Phillips with them in the hopes of using him as a bargaining chip.
    Early the next morning, the destroyer USS Bainbridge and another U.S. Navy vessel arrived on the scene. What followed was a three-day standoff, with the pirates holding Phillips in the lifeboat. Attempts to negotiate failed, and at one point the pirates fired (harmlessly) at the destroyer. Finally, on April 12, with authorization from recently inaugurated President Barack Obama, Navy SEAL snipers opened fire on the lifeboat. In a stunning display of accuracy, the SEALS firing from a ship's deck through the windows of the tiny boat hit all three pirates in the head, killing them, while leaving Phillips unharmed.
    The surviving pirate, Abduwali Muse, was taken into custody and later sentenced to over 33 years in U.S. prison—though he was tried as an adult, he and the other hijackers were reportedly all teenagers at the time of the attack. The incident received international attention, bringing the problem of modern-day piracy to many people's attention for the first time. Phillips' story was made into a movie starring Tom Hanks. Piracy remained an issue in the region—the Maersk Alabama herself was the target of four more pirate attacks between 2009 and 2011, each of which was repelled by armed security teams.
    :pirateship:

    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 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.
    I wonder how those "anti-homosexual" views are holding up in the big house....:cf:

    On this day in 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt authorizes almost $5 million to implement work-relief programs. Hoping to lift the country out of the crippling Great Depression, Congress allowed the president to use the funds at his discretion. The act was unprecedented and remains the largest system of public-assistance relief programs in the nation's history.
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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, the question on everyone's mind was "Who killed Laura Palmer?", when David Lynch's surreal television drama Twin Peaks premiered on ABC. The naked body of the blonde homecoming queen was found washed up on the shore 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 plot-line of the series.
    :TVsurf:

    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.
    The three-front attack was part of the North Vietnamese Nguyen Hue Offensive (later known as the "Easter Offensive"), which had been launched on March 30. The offensive was a massive invasion by North Vietnamese forces designed to strike the knockout blow that would win the war for the communists. The attacking force included 14 infantry divisions and 26 separate regiments, with more than 120,000 troops and approximately 1,200 tanks and other armored vehicles.
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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.
    :yaysmiles:
     
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