Archive for the 'thisdayinhistory' Category
Today marks the 50th anniversary that humankind put a man in space. Everyone is writing about this online. I mean everyone. This is your one stop shop for everything online that is Gagarin. Jalopnik, a car blog, even has an extensive feature on their blog. National Geographic has a huge slideshow with really fantastic photos you need to check out. Boing Boing posted the below video with a link to NASA’s website where there is a feature on Gagarin too. Gizmodo did a great job with their article online too, maybe the best one I read today. Wired did a post about the photos that were altered of some of the soviet astronauts. Google of course jumped in and created a custom image for Gagarin.
Yuri Gagarin carried two personal items with him on his historic first spaceflight. First, cognac. Second, shark repellant. The shark repellant was in case he landed in the sea. Mary Roach via Twitter
Also, Starman: The Truth Behind the Legend of Yuri Gagarin the book came out today. I want to read this really bad, but for now I think I will just watch the movie. Enjoy everyone!
Back in 2006, I did a podcast episode on the Rwandan Holocaust. You can play the episode below:
The Rwandan Holocaust began on this day in 1994. You can read more about it at the links below:
Books on the subject:
Left To Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust – I read this back when I did the podcast on the subject. It is a very graphic and disturbing book, but true to the event.
Watch the rest of this documentary after the jump…
29 years ago today, John Hinckley, Jr. fired six shots at Reagan. Fortunately for Regan he was a terrible shot. I had known about an assassination attempt on Reagan before, but since it happened when I was 2 years old, I never really learned the details about it. So I was shocked when I learned the Hinckley was infatuated with Jodi Foster. Apparently, he was obsessed and had followed (stalked) her for a long time. He watched Taxi Driver 15 times in a row. Foster played a child prostitute in the movie. Robert De Niro’s character in the movie plots to assassinate the president. So, Hinckley thought that would be a good way to get Foster’s attention and affections.
Three people were wounded when Hinckley fired his shots, but no one died. An insanity defense kept him out of the electric chair. He is currently 55 years old and still locked up in a psychiatric ward. He is expected back in court in the Spring of 2011, to see if he will be released on his own at that time. In 1985 Hinckley’s parents wrote a book about their son’s mental condition called, Breaking Points.
Rawhide Down: The Near Assassination of Ronald Reagan
In the President’s Secret Service: Behind the Scenes with Agents in the Line of Fire and the Presidents They Protect
The Reagan Diaries
The Day Reagan Was Shot
Today marks the 32 year since the accident in the very early hours of March 28th at Three Mile Island. I have in the past done a podcast on the subject.
There are a bunch of books on the subject, here is just a few:
Three Mile Island: A Nuclear Crisis in Historical Perspective
The Warning: Accident at Three Mile Island: A Nuclear Omen for the Age of Terror
TMI 25 Years Later: The Three Mile Island Nuclear Power Plant Accident and Its Impact
Meltdown: A Race Against Nuclear Disaster at Three Mile Island: A Reporter’s Story
A cool youtube video series on Three Mile Island:
Today we continue the theme of beautiful women on historyonair.com. Yesterday we mourned the loss of the beautiful and talented Elizabeth Taylor. Today we celebrate the birth of Danica Patrick who today is 29. Why am I writing a post about her? Have you seen her? No, but really she is a very talented woman. She has broken through many barriers to get to where she is.
In 2005, which was her debut season, she won the award for IndyCar Rookie of the Year. From 2005 to 2007 and again in 2009 she won IndyCar Most Popular Driver.
Today she will turn 29. She was born in Beloit, Wisconsin. She lives in Phoenix, Arizona with …her husband, sorry guys. She started racing professionally in IndyCar, but in February 2010, she had her first professional nascar race. Patrick has hosted several TV shows on SpikeTV. She was featured on Sports Illustrated on June 6, 2005 (image below). That was the first time that a Indianapolis 500 driver on the cover since Al Unser in 1987.
She was (of course) a cheerleader in high school, but later dropped out. She did later get her GED. Interesting side notes: Patrick owns a Mercedes-Benz ML 63 AMG, and a Lamborghini Gallardo. She has received two speeding tickets in her hometown of Scottsdale, Arizona. The first, in 2007, was for driving 57 mph in a 40 mph zone, for which she was ordered to attend traffic school; the second, in 2008, was for going 54 mph in a 35 mph zone, and she paid a $196 fine.
Ah, the benefits of having your own blog and choosing the history you want to cover! This was a fun one to cover for a Friday. Happy Birthday Danica and thanks for making my Friday a bit brighter!
Today I’m going to share a very sad story with you. Brittanie Cecil’s story is the heart-wrenching story of the only fan to have ever been killed by an errant puck. On March 16, 2002 Brittanie Cecil went to the Blue Jackets vs. Calgary Flames game. During the game Espen Knutsen, a player on the Blue Jackets hit a slap shot toward the goal, but before it got there it was deflected by another player and it shot up into the stands.
It went right for Brittanie and hit her just above her nose. She was a 13 year old hockey fan at her first game. She was excited to be there. She was bleeding from the hit but it didn’t seem that bad, she was able to talk to everyone around her and with a jacket over her nose she was led out of the stadium and was taken to the hospital just to make sure everything was okay.
Once at the hospital they did some xrays, but Brittanie seemed fine. Even joking with her grandfather that she had a cool souvenir from the game, she had kept the puck. But two days later she complained of a headache and things went down hill from there. It was later discovered that she had a torn artery in the back of her neck. It did not show in the xrays that the hospital had taken. A blood clot developed and eventually cut off the blood circulation to the other two arteries to her brain.
The doctors found the problem and repaired it, but it was too late and Brittanie died 2 days after she was hit by the puck and two days before her 14th birthday. The player who hit the puck, Espen Knutsen blamed himself and was never the same. He tired playing for a few more years, but it didn’t really work out for him and after he ran into the boards a little too hard in 2005, he never came back to the game of hockey.
One good thing that came of all this was that NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman ruled that before games could start for the 2002 season all arenas must install protective netting behind the nets.
Sorry to be a downer today, but I thought this brave little hockey fan should be remembered.
text sources: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1025413/index.htm, http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1026135/index.htm, http://www.bluejacketsxtra.com/live/content/local_news/stories/2010/03/21/brittanies-legacy.html?sid=101
Happy St. Patrick’s Day! I hope you are wearing green or you might get pinched. But why do we pinch? According to the Christina Science Monitor:
No surprise, it’s an entirely American tradition that probably started in the early 1700s. St. Patrick’s revelers thought wearing green made one invisible to leprechauns, fairy creatures who would pinch anyone they could see (anyone not wearing green). People began pinching those who didn’t wear green as a reminder that leprechauns would sneak up and pinch green-abstainers.
Want to listent ot a podcast about St. Patrick’s Day, you’re in luck, I pulled this one out of the vault. All the way back from 2006. Enjoy!
But wait there’s more. Who was the man behind St. Patrick’s Day? According to National Geographic he was:
For starters, the real St. Patrick wasn’t even Irish. He was born in Britain around A.D. 390 to an aristocratic Christian family with a townhouse, a country villa, and plenty of slaves. What’s more, Patrick professed no interest in Christianity as a young boy, Freeman noted. At 16, Patrick’s world turned: He was kidnapped and sent overseas to tend sheep as a slave in the chilly, mountainous countryside of Ireland for seven years. “It was just horrible for him,” Freeman said. “But he got a religious conversion while he was there and became a very deeply believing Christian.”
There is a ton of content to get you St. Patrick’s Day fix on history.com. If that is not enough, try this:
One of my favorites from my high school reading list. One of the few assigned readings I enjoyed at that age and one of the few that I remember. The Scarlet Letter was published on this day in 1850. One of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s most popular and well-known books, largely considered his “great work”. I would be remise if I didn’t mention The House of the Seven Gables, one of his other famous works.
The Scarlet letter is a fictional romance tale set in Puritan Boston in the years 1642 to 1649. There have been several film adaptations of the book:
- The Scarlet Letter 1995 with Demi Moore
- The Scarlet Letter 1979 with Meg Foster
- The Scarlet Letter 1934 with Colleen Moore
- The Scarlet Letter 1972 with Senta Berger
Biographies on Nathaniel Hawthorne:
- Hawthorne: A Life
- Nathaniel Hawthorne
- Nathaniel Hawthorne: A Biography (American Literary Greats)
- Nathaniel Hawthorne in His Times
They didn’t have this when I was in school, but nowadays you don’t even have to read the cliff notes, they have videos for free online that go over the whole book, see below. And if you want more but don’t want to read the WHOLE cliff notes you can read the long description of the story on wikipedia that is basically the whole book. It is amazing, I guess students now don’t have to read the story at all.