Category Archives: This Day in History

February 8th: Mickey Mantle is Threatened with a Lifetime Ban from Baseball, and Subsequently Banned, for Working at a Casino

This Day In History: February 8, 1983 On this day in history, 1983, Mickey Mantle was threatened by the commissioner of baseball, Bowie Kuhn, that if he didn’t stop working for the Claridge Casino in Atlantic City, he’d be put on baseball’s permanently ineligible list, which meant he’d be banned from any Major or Minor League Baseball related activities including […]

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February 4th: Mark Zuckerberg Launches Facebook

This Day In History: February 4, 2004 On this day in history, 2004, Mark Zuckerberg launched a site called TheFacebook, that eventually became just “Facebook” after the company acquired the domain rights to facebook.com for $200,000 in 2005.  The site was originally inspired by a project done by one of Mark Zuckerberg’s high school friends, Adam D’Angelo.  D’Angelo had developed […]

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February 1: Alexander Selkirk is Rescued After Being Stranded on a Deserted Island for Four Years, This is Thought to Have Inspired Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe

This Day In History: February 1, 1709 On this day in history, 1709, Scottish sailor Alexander Selkirk was finally rescued from a deserted island he inhabited for over four years.  The island he found himself on was Más a Tierra, the largest island of the Juan Fernández group of islands, around 400 miles west of South America.  Today the island […]

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January 30: President Andrew Jackson Beats Richard Lawrence with a Cane After Lawrence Attempted to Assassinate Jackson

This Day In History: January 30, 1835 On this day in history, 1835, Richard Lawrence became the first known person to attempt to assassinate a U.S. President, attempting to fire two guns at Andrew Jackson at close range.  His assassination attempt failed only because the guns he pointed at Jackson jammed when he pulled the trigger.  Interestingly, when the guns […]

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January 24: James W. Marshall Discovers a Small Amount of Gold at Sutter’s Mill in California, Sparking the California Gold Rush

This Day In History: January 24, 1848 On this day in history, 1848, James W. Marshall was checking on the progress made the night before in expanding a drainage channel at Sutter’s Mill in Coloma, California (which at the time was part of the Mexican territory, but just 9 days later would be ceded to the U.S.).  Marshall was using […]

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January 23rd: One of the Last Instances of a “Testimony of a Ghost” Being Given Credence to in a U.S. Court Trial Takes Place in the Murder of Elva Zona Heaster

This Day In History: January 23, 1897 On this day in history, 1897, Elva Zona Heaster was found dead in her home, apparently from natural causes.  Her body was discovered by a boy who had been sent to the home by her husband of only a few months, Erasmus Stribbling Trout Shue (also called “Edward”).  Shue had sent the boy […]

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January 19th: The Last Leader of the Fifth Monarchy Men is Hanged, Drawn, and Quartered in London

This Day In History: January 19, 1661 On this day in history, 1661, Thomas Venner was hanged, drawn, and quartered.  Venner was originally a wine-cooper (someone who makes casks) before taking over leadership of the radical group, The Fifth Monarchy Men, after General Thomas Harrison, the previous leader of the group, was hanged, drawn, and quartered for treason himself in […]

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January 18th: The Internet Revolts Against SOPA and PIPA and the General Trend Towards the Censorship of the World Wide Web

This Day In History: January 18, 2012 This day in history thousands of websites, including Wikipedia, Reddit, Boing Boing, TheOatmeal (which gives the most amusing of all the protests, though slightly inappropriate for younger audiences), WordPress, Makezine, Mozilla, and the entire O’Reilly Media network went black (complete list of confirmed websites that are participating), their owners voluntarily taking the sites […]

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January 17th: A B-52G Bomber Collides with Another Plane Over Spain, Dropping Four Nuclear Bombs on Accident

This Day In History: January 17, 1966 On this day in history, 1966, at around 10:30 a.m. a B-52G Bomber collided with a KC-135 Stratotanker, accidentally scattering its payload of four nuclear bombs, 70-kilotons each.  Three of the bombs fell near the fishing village of Palomares, Spain, and the fourth landed in the Mediterranean Sea, taking a full 80 days […]

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January 13th: Dr. William Brydon, One of the Only Survivors of the Massacre of Elphinstone’s Army That Included Over 16,000 People Killed, Safely Makes it to the Garrison in Jalalabad, Afghanistan

This Day In History: January 13, 1842 On this day in history, 1842, Dr. William Brydon, who had part of his skull sheared off at the time, rode an exhausted horse into the British garrison at Jalalabad, Afghanistan.  When asked where the rest of the army was, he replied “I am the army”.  In fact, he wasn’t actually the sole […]

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January 10th: Julius Caesar Makes His Historic, Illegal Crossing of the Rubicon at the Head of a Legion of Soldiers, Starting a Civil War Within Rome

This Day In History: January 10, 49 BC On this day in history, 49 BC, Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon with a legion of his soldiers, which was against Roman law.  Specifically, Governors of Roman provinces (promagistrates) were not allowed to bring any part of their army within Italy itself and, if they tried, they automatically forfeited their right to […]

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January 5th: Alexandre Dumas Fights in His First Duel, During Which His Pants Fall Down

This Day In History: January 5, 1825 On this day in history, 1825, on a bitter cold day, a young Alexandre Dumas, soon to be famed playwright and novelist and current son of Thomas-Alaxandre who was once one of Napoleon’s generals, fights in his first duel. During the duel, Dumas successfully defeated his opponent almost immediately, but, according to his […]

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January 4th: Fender Guitar Company, Which Was Started By an Out of Work Accountant Who Never Learned to Play the Guitar, was Sold to CBS for $13 Million

This Day In History: January 4, 1965 On this day in history, 1965, CBS purchased the Fender Guitar Company for $13 million from Leo Fender.  For reference, this would be around $90 million today.  This was also close to $2 million more than CBS paid for the New York Yankees just two years before.  After CBS continually reduced the quality […]

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December 29th: U.S. Cavalry Massacre More than 150 Lakota Native Americans, Including Women and Children, Near Wounded Knee Creek

This Day In History: December 29, 1890 On this day in history, 1890, the Seventh Cavalry opened fire on a Lakota Native American encampment with four rapid fire Hotchkiss guns, killing 150-300 of the group, including women and children.  Along with the dead Lakota, around 25 of the cavalry troops themselves were killed with another 39 wounded, largely due to […]

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December 23rd: The Poem “The Night Before Christmas” was Published Anonymously

This Day In History: December 23, 1823 On this day in history, 1823, the poem A Visit from St. Nicholas, better known today as The Night Before Christmas or ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas was first published.  The poem first appeared in the New York Sentinel with no author listed, having been delivered for publication by a friend of Clement […]

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December 21st: Pierre and Marie Curie Discover Radium

This Day In History: December 21, 1898 On this day in history, 1898, Marie and Pierre Curie discovered the radioactive element radium (in the form of radium chloride), extracting it from uraninite.   They first removed the uranium from the uraninite sample and then found that the remaining matter was still radioactive, so investigated further.  Along with the barium in the […]

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Dec 19th: Johnny Carson Starts a Month Long, Nation-Wide Toilet Paper Shortage Crisis

This Day In History: December 19, 1973 Much like Orson Welles before him, Johnny Carson once accidentally used his public platform to incite a public panic.  On this day in history, 1973, Carson started a near month long toilet paper shortage in the United States.   In his show, he stated, “You know what’s disappearing from the supermarket shelves?  Toilet paper… […]

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December 16th: Famed Mystic Grigori Rasputin is Murdered by Members of the Russian Aristocracy

This Day In History: December 16, 1916 On this day in history, 1916, the “Mad Monk”, Grigori Rasputin, was murdered by members of the Russian aristocracy. The exact events surrounding his death have given rise to a variety of stories, much of which are probably false.  So what actually happened? First, a brief background on Rasputin:  Grigori Rasputin was born […]

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