Tag Archives: this day in history

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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December 13th: A 22 Pound Tumor is Found in the Woman Who Would Soon Become the First Person to Survive an Oophorectomy

This Day In History: December 13, 1809 On this day in history, 1809, the woman who would soon become the first to survive an oophorectomy was diagnosed as not being pregnant past term, as she had thought, but having an extremely large tumor, which isn’t that different than a baby when you think about it, but you know… bigger, in […]

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December 12th: The First Wireless Radio Signal to Span the Atlantic is Recieved

This Day In History: December 12, 1901 On this day in history, 1901, Nobel Prize winner Guglielmo Marconi’s radio device became the first such device to successfully transmit a signal all the way across the Atlantic Ocean, from Poldhu, Cornwall, UK to Signal Hill in St. John’s Newfoundland, Canada, a span of about 2100 miles.  His receiving device used a […]

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December 9th: Pinckney Benton Stewart Pinchback Becomes the First African American to Serve as a Governor of a U.S. State

This Day In History: December 9, 1872 On this day in history, 1872, Pinckney Benton Stewart Pinchback became the first person of African American descent to serve as the governor of a U.S. state.  Pinchback was born the son of a freed slave (African-Cherokee-Welsh-German descent) and her former white owner (Scottish-Irish-Welsh-German descent), who married her.  His father was reasonably well […]

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December 8th: SpaceX Becomes the First Non-Government Entity to Launch a Spacecraft Into Orbit and Recover the Craft

This Day In History: December 8, 2010 On this day just one year ago, SpaceX became the first privately held entity to successfully launch a spacecraft into orbit and then subsequently recover it (they were also the first private company to launch something in orbit with a liquid-fueled vehicle around a year earlier when their Falcon 1 rocket put a […]

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December 5: Prohibition Officially Ends in the United States

This Day In History: December 5, 1933 On this day in history, 1933, Prohibition officially ended when Utah became the 36th state to ratify the 21st Amendment, originally proposed by Congress on February 20, 1933.  Once ratified, this constitutional amendment repealed the 18 Amendment.  The 18th Amendment, passed in 1919, banned the manufacture, sale, and transportation of alcoholic beverages in […]

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December 4th: The Mary Celeste is Found Completely Abandoned Yet Still Containing All Its Cargo, Plenty of Food and Water, and Still Under Sail. The Crew Were Never Seen Again

This Day In History: December 4, 1872 On this day in 1872, the crew of the British craft Dei Gratia spotted the Mary Celeste (originally named The Amazon before being purchased and rechristened) still under sail, but yawing slightly.  Upon closer inspection, they observed that no members of the crew were on deck.  After several hours of watching from a […]

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December 2nd: The First Man-Made Self Sustainable Nuclear Chain Reaction is Initiated

This Day In History: Dec 2, 1942 On this day in history, at 3:25 pm CST, 1942, as part of the Manhattan Project, famed physicist and Nobel Prize winner Enrico Fermi, the “father of the atomic bomb”, and his team successfully started the word’s first man-made self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction on a racquetball court under the west stands of Stagg […]

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December 1st: Rosa Parks is Arrested for Refusing to Give Up Her Seat on the Bus to a White Man

This Day In History: December 1, 1955 On this day in history in 1955, Rosa Parks’ simple act of refusing to give up her seat on a bus to a white man in Montgomery, Alabama sparks the Montgomery Bus Boycott which in turn stimulates the Civil Rights Movement. It also vaulted Martin Luther King, Jr. into the national spotlight as […]

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The Development of the Video Game “Pong” was a Training Exercise for a New Gaming Developer at Atari and Wasn’t Originally Intended to Be Released

In 1972, a 29 year old Nolan Bushnell and a 35 year old Ted Dabney were fresh off a sort of successful failure in an arcade game known as Computer Space, which was more or less just a very blatant rip-off of a previous game Bushnell had come across called Spacewar! The pair had gotten a company called Nutting Associates […]

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November 30th: A Meteorite Hits a Woman Napping in Her Home, Making Her the First Known Human to Be Struck by an Extraterrestrial Object

This Day In History: November 30, 1954 On this date in history in 1954 a meteorite hit 31 year old Ann Elizabeth Hodges who was napping in the living room of her home at the time.  This made her the first known human being to be struck by an extraterrestrial object. Somewhat humorously, Hodges lived across the street from the […]

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November 23: Thespis of Icaria Becomes the World’s First Actor

This Day In History: November 23, 534 BC November 23 marks the traditional date when the first ever human being to take the stage and portray someone else other than himself took place.  This person, according to various sources, most notably Aristotle, was a man named Thespis of Icaria. (which is also where we get the word “thespian”, meaning “actor”)  […]

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November 21: Two Frenchman Make the World’s First Untethered Manned Hot Air Balloon Flight

This Day In History: November 21, 1783 In Paris, France, Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier and François Laurent d’Arlandes made the first untethered manned flight in a Montgolfier hot air balloon.  After several practice runs to get the feel for how to work the balloon, de Rozier and d’Arlandes finally made their first untethered flight leaving at 2:00 p.m. from the […]

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November 20th: A 160,000 Pound Sperm Whale Destroys the Whaling Ship, Essex, an Event that Partly Inspired the Novel Moby Dick

This Date in History: November 20, 1820 On this date in 1820, an estimated 80 ton sperm whale attacked and destroyed the whaling ship, Essex, an event that partly inspired the novel Moby Dick.  Sailing around 2,000 miles west of South America, the crew of the Essex encountered a huge whale, which they claimed was around 85 feet long, though […]

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November 19th: Abraham Lincoln Delivers the Gettysburg Address

This Day In History: November 19, 1863 Abraham Lincoln was invited to the dedication ceremony of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery, not as the primary speaker, but simply to follow famed orator and U.S. Senator Edward Everett.  Everett first gave a well received speech that lasted around two hours; Lincoln then got up and gave his now famous address which was […]

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