//
archives

Daily History

This category contains 459 posts

February 8, 1587 – Mary, Queen of Scots was beheaded


After 19 years of imprisonment, Mary, Queen of Scots was beheaded at Fotheringhay Castle in England for her complicity in a plot to murder Queen Elizabeth I. In 1542, while just six days old, Mary ascended to the Scottish throne upon the death of her father, King James V. Her mother sent her to be raised in … Continue reading

February 7, 1992 – European Union treaty was signed


After suffering through centuries of bloody conflict, the nations of Western Europe finally united in the spirit of economic cooperation with the signing of the Maastricht Treaty of European Union. The treaty, signed by ministers of the European Community, called for greater economic integration, common foreign and security policies and cooperation between police and other … Continue reading

February 6, 1952 – King George VI died and Elizabeth II became queen


On February 6, 1952, after a long illness, King George VI of Great Britain and Northern Ireland died in his sleep at the royal estate at Sandringham. Princess Elizabeth, the oldest of the king’s two daughters and next in line to succeed him, was in Kenya at the time of her father’s death; she was … Continue reading

February 5, 146 BCE – Punic Wars, between Rome and Carthage, came to an end


On February 5, 146 BCE, the Roman Republic finally triumphed over its nemesis, Carthage, after over a century of fighting. The victory and subsequent destruction of the city of Carthage marked the end of the Punic Wars and represented Rome’s replacement of Carthage as the dominant power of the Western Mediterranean, a position it would hold for the next … Continue reading

February 4, 2004 – Facebook was launched


On February 4, 2004, a Harvard sophomore named Mark Zuckerberg launches The Facebook, a social media website he had built in order to connect Harvard students with one another. By the next day, over a thousand people had registered, and that was only the beginning. Now known simply as Facebook, the site quickly ballooned into one of … Continue reading

February 3, 1998 – US Marine jet severed ski-lift cable in Italy


On February 3, 1998, a U.S. Marine jet flying low over the town of Cavalese in the Italian Alps severed a ski-lift cable, sending a tram crashing to the ground and killing 20 people. Cavalese is located in the Dolomite Mountains, about 20 miles northeast of Trento, Italy. In 1976, 42 people there, including 15 … Continue reading

February 2, 1812 – Russians established Fort Ross in California


Staking a tenuous claim to the riches of the Far West, Russians established Fort Ross on the coast north of San Francisco. As a growing empire with a long Pacific coastline, Russia was in many ways well positioned to play a leading role in the settlement and development of the West. The Russians had begun … Continue reading

February 1, 1979 – Ayatollah Khomeini returned to Iran


On February 1, 1979, the Ayatollah Khomeini returned to Iran in triumph after 15 years of exile. The shah and his family had fled the country two weeks before, and jubilant Iranian revolutionaries were eager to establish a fundamentalist Islamic government under Khomeini’s leadership. Born around the turn of the century, Ruhollah Khomeini was the … Continue reading

January 31, 1950 – Truman announced development of H-bomb


On June 31, 1950, U.S. President Harry S. Truman publicly announced his decision to support the development of the hydrogen bomb, a weapon theorized to be hundreds of times more powerful than the atomic bombs dropped on Japan during World War II. Five months earlier, the United States had lost its nuclear supremacy when the Soviet … Continue reading

January 30, 1948: Mahatma Gandhi assassinated


On January 30, 1948, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, the political and spiritual leader of the Indian independence movement, was assassinated in New Delhi by a Hindu extremist. Born the son of an Indian official in 1869, Gandhi’s Vaishnava mother was deeply religious and early on exposed her son to Jainism, a morally rigorous Indian religion that … Continue reading

January 29, 1977 – “Roots” premiered on television


January 29, 1977 saw the premiere of Roots, a groundbreaking television program. The eight-episode miniseries, which was broadcast over eight consecutive nights, follows a family from its origins in West Africa through generations of slavery and the end of the Civil War.  Roots one of the most-watched television events in American history and a major moment in mainstream … Continue reading

January 28, 1986 – The space shuttle Challenger exploded after liftoff


At 11:38 a.m. EST, on January 28, 1986, the space shuttle Challenger lifted off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, and Christa McAuliffe is on her way to becoming the first ordinary U.S. 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 … Continue reading

January 27, 1945 – Auschwitz is liberated


On January 27, 1945, Soviet troops enter Auschwitz, Poland, freeing the survivors of the network of concentration camps—and finally revealing to the world the depth of the horrors perpetrated there. Auschwitz was really a group of camps, designated I, II, and III. There were also 40 smaller “satellite” camps. It was at Auschwitz II, at Birkenau, established in … Continue reading

January 26, 1926 – John Logie Baird demonstrates TV


On January 26, 1926, John Logie Baird, a Scottish inventor, gives the first public demonstration of a true television system in London, launching a revolution in communication and entertainment. Baird’s invention, a pictorial-transmission machine he called a “televisor,” used mechanical rotating disks to scan moving images into electronic impulses. This information was then transmitted by … Continue reading

January 25, 1971 – Charles Manson and his followers convicted of murder


In Los Angeles, California, cult leader Charles Manson is convicted, along with followers Susan Atkins, Leslie Van Houten, and Patricia Krenwinkle, of the brutal 1969 murders of actress Sharon Tate and six others. In 1967, Manson, a lifetime criminal, was released from a federal penitentiary in Washington State and traveled to San Francisco, where he attracted a following among rebellious young women … Continue reading

January 24, 1972 – Japanese soldier found hiding on Guam after 28 years


After 28 years of hiding in the jungles of Guam, local farmers discover Shoichi Yokoi, a Japanese sergeant who fought in World War II. Guam, a 200-square-mile island in the western Pacific, became a U.S. possession in 1898 after the Spanish-American War. In 1941, the Japanese attacked and captured it, and in 1944, after three years … Continue reading

January 23, 1849 – Elizabeth Blackwell becomes first woman in US to receive a medical degree


At a graduation ceremony at a church in Geneva, New York on January 23, 1849, Geneva Medical College bestows a medical degree upon Elizabeth Blackwell, the first woman in the United States to receive one. Despite the near-uniform opposition of her fellow students and medical professionals, Blackwell pursued her calling with an iron will and dedicated … Continue reading

January 22, 1901 – Queen Victoria dies


The death of Queen Victoria on January 22, 1901, ends an era in which most of her British subjects know no other monarch. Her 63-year reign saw the growth of an empire on which the sun never set. Victoria restored dignity to the English monarchy and ensured its survival as a ceremonial political institution. Born in 1819, … Continue reading

January 21, 1968 – Battle of Khe Sanh begins


One of the most publicized and controversial battles of the Vietnam War begins at Khe Sanh, 14 miles below the DMZ and six miles from the Laotian border. Seized and activated by the U.S. Marines a year earlier, the base, which had been an old French outpost, was used as a staging area for forward patrols and was … Continue reading

January 20, 1981 – Iran Hostage Crisis ended


Minutes after Ronald Reagan’s inauguration as the 40th president of the United States, the 52 U.S. captives held at the U.S. embassy in Teheran, Iran, were released, ending the 444-day Iran Hostage Crisis. On November 4, 1979, the crisis began when militant Iranian students, outraged that the U.S. government had allowed the ousted shah of Iran to travel … Continue reading

January 19, 1966 – Indira Gandhi becomes Indian prime minister


Following the death of Indian Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri, Indira Gandhi becomes head of the Congress Party and thus prime minister of India. She was India’s first female head of government and by the time of her assassination in 1984 was one of its most controversial. Gandhi was the daughter of Jawaharlal Nehru, the first prime minister … Continue reading

January 18, 1919 – Post-World War I peace conference began in Paris


On January 18, 1919, in Paris, France, some of the most powerful people in the world met to begin the long, complicated negotiations that would officially mark the end of the First World War. Leaders of the victorious Allied powers—France, Great Britain, the United States and Italy—would make most of the crucial decisions in Paris over … Continue reading

January 17, 1966 – NBC greenlights “The Monkees”


The inspiration came from the Beatles, the financing came from Screen Gems, the music came from Don Kirshner and the stars came from an exhaustive audition process that began with this ad in Daily Variety in September 1965: Madness! Auditions For Acting Roles in New TV Series Running Parts for 4 Insane Boys, Age 17-21 The ad … Continue reading

January 16, 1979 – Shah flees Iran


Faced with an army mutiny and violent demonstrations against his rule, Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, the leader of Iran since 1941, is forced to flee the country. Fourteen days later, the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the spiritual leader of the Islamic revolution, returned after 15 years of exile and took control of Iran. In 1941, British … Continue reading

January 15, 1972 – “American Pie” hits #1 on the US pop charts


On January 15, 1972, “American Pie,”, an epic poem in musical form that has long been etched in the American popular consciousness, hits #1 on the Billboard charts. The story of Don McLean’s magnum opus begins almost 13 years before its release, on a date with significance well-known to any American who was alive and … Continue reading

writer@craighill.net

Join 1,685 other followers

An archive of all my old posts

Follow me on Twitter

I also have a news site about China: