Today in history 8/10/2017


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 7/21/2017


Today in history, Henry IV defeats the Percys in the Battle of Shrewsbury in England in 1403.

Today in history, The Peace of Breda ends the Second Anglo-Dutch War and cedes Dutch New Amsterdam to the English in 1667.

Today in history, Russia and Turkey sign the Treaty of Pruth, ending the year-long Russo-Turkish War in 1711.

Today in history, In the first major battle of the Civil WarConfederate forces defeat the Union Army along Bull Run near Manassas Junction, Virginia. The battle becomes known as Manassas by the Confederates, while the Union calls it Bull Run in 1861.

Today in historyWild Bill Hickok (see picture below) kills gunman Dave Tutt in Springfield, Missouri, in what is regarded as the first formal quick-draw duel in 1865.

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Today in history, The James Gang (see picture below) robs a train in Adair, Iowa in 1873.

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Today in history, Mary Church Terrell (see picture below) founds the National Association of Colored Women in Washington, D.C. in 1896.

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Today in historyJohn Scopes is found guilty for teaching evolution in Dayton, Tenn., and is fined $100 in 1925.

Today in history, Sirimavo Bandaranaike (see picture below) becomes the first woman prime minister of Ceylon in 1960.

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Today in history 4/24/2017


Today in history, St. Nicholas I begins his reign as Catholic Pope in 858.

Today in history, Envoys of Montezuma II attend the first Easter mass in Central America in 1519.

Today in history, Claude-Joseph Rouget de Lisle (see picture below) composes “La Marseillaise”. It will become France’s national anthem in 1792.

Today in history, The Library of Congress is established in Washington, D.C. with a $5,000 allocation in 1800.

Today in history, U.S. Marines attack and capture the town of Derna in Tripoli from the Barbary pirates in 1805.

Today in history, A patent is granted for the first soda fountain in 1833.

Today in historySpain declares war on United States, rejecting an ultimatum to withdraw from Cuba in 1898.

Today in history, Irish nationalists launch the Easter Uprising against British occupation in 1916.

Today in history, The Berlin airlift begins to relieve the surrounded city in 1948.

Today in historyWinston Churchill is knighted by Queen Elizabeth II (see picture below) in 1953.

Today in history, President John Kennedy accepts “sole responsibility” for the failed invasion of Cuba at the Bay of Pigs in 1961.

Today in history, The IBM Personal Computer (see picture below) is introduced in 1981.

Today in history 3/29/2017



Today in history, Led by Ragnar Lodbrok (see picture below), Viking raiders sack Paris. In exchange for leaving, the Vikings collect a large ransom from the Frankish defenders in 845.

Today in history, The armies of two kings, Henry VI and Edward IV, collide at Towton in 1461.

Today in history, A permanent European colony is established in present-day Delaware in 1638.

Today in history, The United States purchases Alaska from Russia for $7.2 million dollars in 1867.

Today in history, Coca-Cola goes on sale for the first time at a drugstore in Atlanta. Its inventor, Dr. John Pemberton (see picture below), claims it can cure anything from hysteria to the common cold in 1886.

Today in history, A regular news service begins between New York and London on Marconi’s wireless in 1903.

Today in history, Rodgers and Hammerstein’s musical The King and I opens on Broadway starring Gertrude Lawrence and Yul Brynner in 1951.

Today in history, The 23rd amendment, allowing residents of Washington, D.C. to vote for president, is ratified in 1961.

Today in history 3/27/2017


Today in history, Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon (see picture below)  sights Florida in 1512.

Today in history, The U.S. government establishes a permanent navy with the authorization to build six frigates in 1794.

Today in history, The Treaty of Amiens is signed, ending the French Revolutionary War in 1802.

Today in history, The first long-distance telephone call is made from Boston to New York in 1884.

Today in history, The Italian inventor Guglielmo Marconi achieves the first international radio transmission between England and France in 1899.

Today in history, The first cherry blossom trees (see picture below), a gift from Japan, are planted in Washington, D.C. in 1912.

Today in history, General Dwight Eisenhower declares that the German defenses on the Western Front have been broken in 1945.

Today in history, The United States announces a plan to explore space near the moon in 1958.

Today in history, Washington, D.C. opens its subway system in 1976.