This day in history

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  • by Editors
    On June 15, 2006, on the remote island of Spitsbergen halfway between mainland Norway and the North Pole, the prime ministers of Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Iceland lay the ceremonial first stone of the Global Seed Vault. The vault, which now has the capacity to hold 2.25 billion seeds, is …Continue reading
  • by Editors
    Robert Falcon Scott’s ship, the Terra Nova, sets sail from Cardiff, Wales on June 15, 1910, bound for Antarctica. Though it will succeed in reaching its objective, the expedition will end in tragedy as Scott and his companions give up their lives in order to become the second party to reach the …Continue reading
  • by Editors
    On this day in 2005, more than two weeks after American teen Natalee Holloway vanished while on a high school graduation trip to the Caribbean island of Aruba, police there search the home of 17-year-old Joran Van der Sloot, one of the last known people to see the young woman alive. Although Van …Continue reading
  • by Editors
    During the Civil War, Ulysses S. Grant’s Army of the Potomac and Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia collide for the last time as the first wave of Union troops attacks Petersburg, a vital Southern rail center 23 miles south of the Confederate capital of Richmond, Virginia. The two massive …Continue reading
  • by Editors
    Representatives of Great Britain and the United States sign the Oregon Treaty, which settles a long-standing dispute with Britain over who controlled the Oregon territory. The treaty established the 49th parallel from the Rocky Mountains to the Strait of Georgia as the boundary between the United …Continue reading
  • by Editors
    Henry Ossian Flipper, born into slavery in Thomasville, Georgia, in 1856, becomes the first African American cadet to graduate from the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York on June 14, 1877.  The United States Military Academy—the first military school in America—was founded …Continue reading
  • by Editors
    Following a revolt by the English nobility against his rule, King John puts his royal seal on Magna Carta, or “the Great Charter.” The document, essentially a peace treaty between John and his barons, guaranteed that the king would respect feudal rights and privileges, uphold the freedom of …Continue reading
  • by Editors
    On June 15, 1943, Paul Blobel, an SS colonel, is given the assignment of coordinating the destruction of the evidence of the grossest of Nazi atrocities, the systematic extermination of European Jews. As the summer of 1943 approached, Allied forces had begun making cracks in Axis strongholds, in …Continue reading
  • by Editors
    At a meeting of the National Security Council, McGeorge Bundy, national security advisor to President Lyndon B. Johnson, informs those in attendance that President Johnson has decided to postpone submitting a resolution to Congress asking for authority to wage war.  The situation in South …Continue reading
  • by Editors
    On June 15, 1775, George Washington, who would one day become the first American president, accepts an assignment to lead the Continental Army. Washington had been managing his family’s plantation and serving in the Virginia House of Burgesses when the second Continental Congress unanimously voted …Continue reading

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Topics in the news around this time of year…

  • by Editors
    Even before the U.S. Constitution was created, its framers understood that it would have to be amended to confront future challenges and adapt and grow alongside the new nation. In creating the amendment process for what would become the permanent U.S. Constitution, the framers made constitutional …Continue reading
  • by Editors
    In the late 1970s and early 1980s, a virus that had previously appeared sporadically around the world began to spread throughout the United States. Originally identified as a “gay disease” because gay men were one of the primary groups afflicted, HIV and the syndrome it causes, Acquired Immune …Continue reading
  • by Editors
    From August to October of 1858, Abraham Lincoln, the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate from Illinois, took on the incumbent Democratic Senator Stephen A. Douglas in a series of seven debates. Thousands of spectators and newspaper reporters from around the country watched as the two men battled …Continue reading
  • From chariots to tanks and everything in-between, these pieces of battle tech have changed the way we operate in our everyday lives and on the battlefield, in this episode of History Countdown.Continue reading
  • History Countdown: From goggles to kayaks and much more, these are eight inventions of American Indigenous people that will never be forgotten.Continue reading
  • by Kieran Mulvaney
    Joe Louis wanted redemption, to remain the heavyweight boxing champion of the world and to avenge his sole defeat. Max Schmeling wanted repetition, the chance to regain the title he had lost and to defeat the younger man, just as he had beaten him two years earlier. As the bell rang and they walked …Continue reading
  • by Editors
    On June 5, 1981, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention publishes an article in its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report describing five cases of a rare lung infection, PCP, in young, otherwise healthy gay men in Los Angeles. It was unknown at the time, but the article is describing the …Continue reading
  • Discover the true story of ancient, but lesser known, civilizations like Nineveh, Catalhoyuk, and Tiwanaku, in this episode of History Countdown.Continue reading
  • by Editors
    In what became known as the Munich Massacre, eight terrorists wearing tracksuits and carrying gym bags filled with grenades and assault rifles, breached the Olympic Village at the Summer Games in Munich before dawn on September 5, 1972. The terrorists, associated with Black September, an extremist …Continue reading
  • Many inventions that we use today were invented by the military—from zippers to Super Glue and even computers. Continue reading

Stories in the news…

  • by Sarah Pruitt
    Title IX, the landmark gender equity law passed as part of the Education Amendments of 1972, banned sex discrimination in federally funded education programs. Its protections would open doors for girls and women in admission, academic majors, teaching positions, vocational programs and individual …Continue reading
  • by Sara Kettler
    Horse racing has been called the "Sport of Kings," and, just like royalty, racing has a scandal-filled history. Some misconduct has been about manipulating races, whether by influencing jockeys or the recurring phenomenon of horse switching. While attention has also fallen on the treatment of …Continue reading
  • by Amanda Onion
    Greg Louganis knew something was off as soon as his feet left the springboard. It was September 19, 1988, and the U.S. diver who had won two golds at the previous Olympics, was competing in the preliminaries at the Seoul Olympic Games. He later recounted to ABC’s Barbara Walters that he knew it …Continue reading
  • by Tim Ott
    In 1933, shortly after assuming power as chancellor of Germany, Adolf Hitler moved forward with plans to turn the 1936 Summer and Winter Olympics into showcases for his regime. He ordered the construction of a massive new stadium in Berlin and channeled funds toward the completion of an airport to …Continue reading
  • by Becky Little
    When the United States entered World War II, Franklin D. Roosevelt made it clear that he thought Major League Baseball should continue. But as thousands of minor league players and over 500 major league players—including Joe DiMaggio—left their teams to serve in the military, Chicago Cubs owner …Continue reading
  • by Steven M. Gillon
    On June 8, 1968, a 21-car train carried the body of slain New York senator and presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy from New York’s Penn Station to Washington D.C.’s Union Station. Before airplanes and the interstate highway system, the train was a defining feature of the burial proceedings for …Continue reading
  • by Dave Roos
    There are two layers to every water polo match: the graceful athleticism above the water, and the rough play and cheap shots hidden beneath the surface. The 1956 Melbourne Olympics were a lot like a game of water polo. On the surface, they were billed as the “friendly games,” but simmering below …Continue reading
  • by Becky Little
    Henry Ford revolutionized American manufacturing, bringing automobiles to the masses and creating a foundation for America’s middle class by pioneering liveable factory wages. But his broader social legacy is complicated. In addition to those accomplishments, Ford used his leverage as an …Continue reading
  • by Rachel Chang
    Whether long-time American legend Serena Williams, Japanese hotshot Naomi Osaka or Canadian sensation Bianca Andreesu captures the title at a tennis Grand Slam tournament these days, one thing’s for sure: The women’s players will get the same prize money as the men’s winner. But that wasn’t …Continue reading
  • by Alexis Clark
    After Allied Forces defeated Germany in World War II, the United States began its occupation of West Germany from 1945 to 1955. Although American soldiers were tasked with promoting democracy to a country ravaged by fascism, Jim Crow prevailed in the U.S. military and Black GIs were subjected to …Continue reading
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