Today in history 8/21/2020


Today in history, The warrior Yoritomo is made Shogun without equal in Japan in 1129.

Today in history, France surrenders the island of Corsica to the British in 1794.

Today in history, The first of a series of debates begins between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas. Douglas goes on to win the Senate seat in November, but Lincoln gains national visibility for the first time in 1858.

Today in history, The Mona Lisa, the famous painting by Leonardo da Vinci, is stolen from the Louvre in Paris, where it had hung for more than 100 years. It is recovered in 1913 in 1911.

Today in history, U.S. Marines turn back the first major Japanese ground attack on Guadalcanal in the Battle of Tenaru in 1942.

Today in history, Hawaii is admitted into the Union in 1959.

Today in history, Mary Langdon in Battle, East Sussex, becomes Britain’s first firewoman in 1976.

Today in history 8/10/2020


Today in history, King Francis of France declares that all official documents are to be written in French, not Latin in 1539.

Today in history, Louis XVI of France is arrested and taken into custody as his Swiss Guards are massacred by a Parisian mob in an assault that will become known as the Storming of the Tuileries Palace. The insurrection will be one of the defining events in the history of the French Revolution in 1772.

Today in history, William Driver (see picture below) of Salem, Massachusetts, is the first to use the term “Old Glory” in connection with the American flag, when he gives that name to a large flag aboard his ship, the Charles Daggett in 1831.

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Today in history, The Smithsonian Institution is established in Washington through the bequest of James Smithson (see picture below) in 1846.

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Today in history, The House of Lords in Great Britain gives up its veto power, making the House of Commons the more powerful House in 1911.

Today in history, The National Military Establishment is renamed the Department of Defense in 1949.

Today in history, NASA launches Discoverer 13 (see picture below), a satellite; it would become the first object ever recovered from orbit in 1960.

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Today in history, The last British troops leave Hong Kong. After 156 years of British rule, the island is returned to China in 1997.

Today in history 8/8/2020


Today in history, Charles IX of France signs the Treaty of St. Germain, ending the third war of religion and giving religious freedom to the Huguenots in 1570.

Today in history, The invading armies of Spain, Austria and Bavaria are stopped at the village of St.-Jean-de-Losne, only 50 miles from France in 1636.

Today in history, Jacques Balmat and Dr. Michel-Gabriel Paccard (see picture below) become the first men to climb Mont Blanc in France in 1786.

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Today in history, Thomas Edison (see picture below) patents the mimeograph in 1876.

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Today in history, The first household refrigerating machine is patented in 1899.

Today in history, England’s “Great Train Robbery;” 2.6 million pounds ($7.3 million) is stolen in 1963.

Today in historyPresident Richard Nixon (see picture below) resigns from the presidency as a result of the in 1974.

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Today in historyPioneer-Venus 2 (see picture below) is launched to probe the atmosphere of Venus in 1978.

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Today in history 8/4/2020


Today in history, King Henry III (see picture below) puts down a revolt of English barons lead by Simon de Montfort in 1265.

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Today in history, The Constituent Assembly in France abolishes the privileges of nobility in 1789.

Today in history, The Revenue Cutter service, the parent service of the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard, is organized in 1790.

Today in history, Germany invades Belgium causing Great Britain to declare war on Germany in 1914.

Today in history, Helicopters from the U.S. Air Force Air Rescue Service land in Germany, completing the first transatlantic flight by helicopter in 51 hours and 55 minutes of flight time in 1952.

Today in history, The U.S. launches the first satellite into lunar orbit from a manned spacecraft (Apollo 15) in 1971.

Today in strangeness for 7/19/2020-7/25/2020

Here’s this week’s today in strangeness. Hope you enjoy!

July 19th/20th:

Today in strangeness, Neil Armstrong took his first steps on the moon, 51 years ago today. On this date in 1970, the first (and only) baby was born on Alcatraz Island, during an occupation by Native Americans.

Templar Cross’ Crop Circle Found in France:

July 21st:

Today in strangeness, At around this date in 356 BC, Herostratus set fire to the Temple of Artemis in Ephesus, considered one of the Seven Wonders of the World. He committed the act in a quest for fame. A rain of ants fell on Nancy, France on July 21, 1887. The world’s lowest temperature, -129°F, was recorded at Vostok Station, Antarctica on today’s date in 1983.

Rare Yellow Turtle Found in India:

July 22nd:

Today in strangeness, The Reverend William Archibald Spooner was born on today’s date in 1844. The lecturer became known for what are now called ‘spoonerisms,’ slips of the tongue where the consonants of words are reversed. One of his flubs was issued as he officiated at a wedding: “Son, it is now kisstomary to cuss the bride.”

Eerie Deepfake Video Depicts Nixon Announcing Apollo 11 Disaster:

‘Potato Poltergeist’ Plagues Indian Family:

July 23rd:

Today in strangeness, Happy Neptunalia! Little is known about this ancient Roman festival of Neptune (the god of waters), held on July 23rd, except that the people built huts of branches and foliage in which “they probably feasted, drank, and amused themselves.” On this day in 1995, the National Inventors Hall of Fame opened in Akron, Ohio.

Mysterious Chicken Provides Comfort at Late Teen’s Grave:

July 24th:

Today in strangeness, The largest ice cream sundae in the Milky Way weighed in at 54,914 lbs (9,688 in syrup) at Edmonton, Canada (1988). Female pilot Joann Osterud set the inverted flight record on this date with an upside down flight of 4 hours and 38 minutes (1991).

‘Kraken’ Picked for New NHL Team Name:

July 25th:

Today in strangeness, On this date in 1965, a seminal event in rock and roll history took place when Bob Dylan “went electric” during his infamous performance at the Newport Folk Festival. A hero to the folk music community, Dylan’s switch to electric guitar was seen as the ultimate act of betrayal by many in the audience, who booed the performance. Urban legend has it that event organizer Pete Seeger was so upset by the act that he threatened to cut the wires to the stage with an axe.

Ghost Photographed at Haunted Hotel?: