Culture

Today in History: February 11 1776

On this day in 1776, Georgia’s royal governor, Sir James Wright, escapes from his residence in Savannah to the safety of a waiting British warship, the HMS Scarborough and returns to London. Governor Wright had been taken into custody and placed under house arrest nearly a month earlier on January 18, 1776, by Patriots under the command of Major Joseph Habersham of the Provincial Congress. Wright was the only colonial governor and Georgia the only colony to successfully implement the Stamp Act in 1765. As revolutionary fervor grew elsewhere in the colonies, Georgia remained the most loyal colony, declining to send delegates…
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Culture

Today in History: February 10 1861

On this day in 1861, Jefferson Davis, a former senator from Mississippi who served as secretary of war in the 1850s, received word he has been selected president of the new Confederate States of America. Delegates at the Confederacy’s constitutional convention in Montgomery, Alabama chose him for the job. Davis remained president of the Confederacy until its government was dissolved on May 5, 1865. Less than a week later, he was captured by the Union and jailed for two years. He died at age 81 in New Orleans in 1889.  
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This Day In History

This Day in History -1936 U.S. Baseball Hall of Fame elects first members

On January 29, 1936, the Baseball Hall of Fame elects its first members in Cooperstown, New York: Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner, Christy Matthewson and Walter Johnson. The Hall of Fame actually had its beginnings in 1935, when plans were made to build a museum devoted to baseball and its 100-year history. A private organization based in Cooperstown called the Clark Foundation thought that establishing the Baseball Hall of Fame in their city would help to reinvigorate the area’s Depression-ravaged economy by attracting tourists. To help sell the idea, the foundation advanced the idea that Civil War hero Abner…
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This Day In History

This Day in History – 1986 Challenger explodes

At 11:38 EST, on January 28, 1986, the space shuttle Challenger lifts off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, and Christa McAuliffe is on her way to becoming the first ordinary civilian to travel into space. McAuliffe, a 37-year-old high school social studies teacher from New Hampshire, won a competition that earned her a place among the seven-member crew of the Challenger. She underwent months of shuttle training but then, beginning January 23, was forced to wait six long days as the Challenger‘s launch countdown was repeatedly delayed because of weather and technical problems. Finally, on January 28, the shuttle lifted off.…
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This Day In History

This Day in History – 1888 National Geographic Society founded

On January 27, 1888, the National Geographic Society is founded in Washington, , for “the increase and diffusion of geographical knowledge.” The 33 men who originally met and formed the National Geographic Society were a diverse group of geographers, explorers, teachers, lawyers, cartographers, military officers and financiers. All shared an interest in scientific and geographical knowledge, as well as an opinion that in a time of discovery, invention, change and mass communication, Americans were becoming more curious about the world around them. With this in mind, the men drafted a constitution and elected as the Society’s president a lawyer and…
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This Day In History

This Day in History – 1973 Supreme Court legalizes abortion

In a historic decision, the Supreme Court rules in Roe v. Wade that women, as part of their constitutional right to privacy, can terminate a pregnancy during its first two trimesters. Only during the last trimester, when the fetus can survive outside the womb, would states be permitted to regulate abortion of a healthy pregnancy. The controversial ruling, essentially reversing a century of anti-abortion legislation in the United States, was the result of a call by many American women for control over their own reproductive processes. Although defended by the Supreme Court on several occasions, the legalization of abortion became…
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This Day In History

This Day in History – 1981 Iran Hostage Crisis ends

Minutes after Ronald Reagan’s inauguration as the 40th president of the United States, the 52 captives held at the embassy in Teheran, Iran, are released, ending the 444-day Iran Hostage Crisis. On November 4, 1979, the crisis began when militant Iranian students, outraged that the government had allowed the ousted shah of Iran to travel to New York City for medical treatment, seized the embassy in Teheran. The Ayatollah Khomeini, Iran’s political and religious leader, took over the hostage situation, refusing all appeals to release the hostages, even after the Security Council demanded an end to the crisis in an…
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Culture

US Observes Martin Luther King Jr Day

VOA News Americans across the country are pausing Monday to observe the federal holiday marking the birthday of slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. King first rose to prominence in 1955 when he led a successful boycott of the public buses in the southern city of Montgomery, Alabama, forcing the city to end its practice of segregating black passengers. He became the central figure of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and '60s, inspiring millions with his famous "I Have a Dream" speech during the 1963 March on Washington. Nobel Peace Prize winner He received the Nobel…
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This Day In History

This Day in History – 1929 Martin Luther King Jr. born

On January 15, 1929, Martin Luther King Jr. is born in Atlanta, Georgia, the son of a Baptist minister. King received a doctorate degree in theology and in 1955 helped organized the first major protest of the African-American civil rights movement: the successful Montgomery Bus Boycott. Influenced by Mohandas Gandhi, he advocated civil disobedience and nonviolent resistance to segregation in the South. The peaceful protests he led throughout the American South were often met with violence, but King and his followers persisted, and the movement gained momentum. A powerful orator, King appealed to Christian and American ideals and won growing support from the federal…
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This Day In History

1966 Johnson appoints first African-American cabinet member

On this day in 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson appoints the first African-American cabinet member, making Robert C. Weaver head of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the agency that develops and implements national housing policy and enforces fair housing laws. In keeping with his vision for a Great Society, Johnson sought to improve race relations and eliminate urban blight. As many of the country’s African Americans lived in run-down inner-city areas, appointing Weaver was an attempt to show his African-American constituency that he meant business on both counts. Weaver’s expertise in social and economic issues concerning urban…
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