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This Day In History

This Day in History – 1988 Reagan orders troops into Honduras

As part of his continuing effort to put pressure on the leftist Sandinista government in Nicaragua, President Ronald Reagan orders over 3,000 troops to Honduras, claiming that Nicaraguan soldiers had crossed its borders. As with so many of the other actions taken against Nicaragua during the Reagan years, the result was only more confusion and criticism. Since taking office in 1981, the Reagan administration had used an assortment of means to try to remove the leftist Sandinista government of Nicaragua. President Reagan charged that the Sandinistas were pawns of the Soviet Union and were establishing a communist beachhead in the…
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This Day In History

This Day In History – 1974 Pearl Bailey and Richard Nixon serenade a White House audience

On March 1, 1974, in addition to handing up criminal indictments against seven former high-ranking officials in the Nixon administration, a grand jury in the District of Columbia named the president himself as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Watergate cover-up. The drumbeat of bad news was growing louder by the month for President Nixon, as was talk of his possible impeachment. But in politics as in entertainment, the show must go on, and though engulfed in a scandal that would soon bring his presidency to a disgraceful end, Nixon still found time to provide piano accompaniment to the legendary singer…
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This Day In History

This Day In History – 1887 Helen Keller meets her miracle worker

On this day in 1887, Anne Sullivan begins teaching six-year-old Helen Keller, who lost her sight and hearing after a severe illness at the age of 19 months. Under Sullivan’s tutelage, including her pioneering “touch teaching” techniques, the previously uncontrollable Keller flourished, eventually graduating from college and becoming an international lecturer and activist. Sullivan, later dubbed “the miracle worker,” remained Keller’s interpreter and constant companion until the older woman’s death in 1936. Sullivan, born in Massachusetts in 1866, had firsthand experience with being handicapped: As a child, an infection impaired her vision. She then attended the Perkins Institution for the…
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This Day In History

This Day in History – 1949 Actor Robert Mitchum is released after serving time for marijuana possession

Actor Robert Mitchum is released from a Los Angeles County prison farm after spending the final week of his two-month sentence for marijuana possession there. In the fall of 1948, Mitchum, the star of classics such as Cape Fear and Night of the Hunter, was smoking a joint at a small party in the Laurel Canyon area of Los Angeles when detectives burst in and arrested him. Mitchum reportedly said at the time, “Well, this is the bitter end of everything—my career,my marriage, everything.” In fact, it wasn’t really that bad. Mitchum was separated from his wife Dorothy at the…
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1836 Alamo defenders call for help

On this day in 1836, in San Antonio, Texas, Colonel William Travis issues a call for help on behalf of the Texan troops defending the Alamo, an old Spanish mission and fortress under attack by the Mexican army. A native of Alabama, Travis moved to the Mexican state of Texas in 1831. He soon became a leader of the growing movement to overthrow the Mexican government and establish an independent Texan republic. When the Texas revolution began in 1835, Travis became a lieutenant-colonel in the revolutionary army and was given command of troops in the recently captured city of San…
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This Day In History

This Day in History – 1885 Twain publishes The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

On this day in 1885, Mark Twain publishes his famous–and famously controversial–novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Twain (the pen name of Samuel Clemens) first introduced Huck Finn as the best friend of Tom Sawyer, hero of his tremendously successful novel The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876). Though Twain saw Huck’s story as a kind of sequel to his earlier book, the new novel was far more serious, focusing on the institution of slavery and other aspects of life in the antebellum South. At the book’s heart is the journey of Huck and his friend Jim, a runaway slave, down…
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Culture

Today in History: February 14 1929

Sir Alexander Fleming on this day in 1929 left a plate of staphylococcus bacteria uncovered, and he noticed that a mold that had fallen on the culture had killed many of the bacteria. He identified the mold as penicillium notatum, similar to the kind found on bread. Fleming introduced his mold by-product called penicillin to cure bacterial infections which was undoubtedly one of the greatest developments in health and medicine.
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This Day In History

Today In History: February 13 2001

Based on the traditional Chinese martial-arts genre known as wuxia, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon starred Chow Yun Fat and Michelle Yeoh as warriors in 19th-century China, during the Qing dynasty. Kept apart by honor, the two yearn for each other even as they become involved with a heated drama surrounding two younger lovers, played by Zhang Ziyi and Chang Chen. The film went on to earn 10 Oscar nomination and become the first Asian film and only the seventh foreign-language film to be nominated for Best Picture. It became director Ang Lee's biggest film.
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Culture

Today In History: February 12 1912

On February 12, 1912, Hsian-T’ung, the last emperor of China, is forced to abdicate following Sun Yat-sen’s republican revolution. A provisional government was established in his place, ending 267 years of Manchu rule in China and 2,000 years of imperial rule. The former emperor, only six years old, was allowed to keep up his residence in Beijing’s Forbidden City, and he took the name of Henry Pu Yi.
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