This Day In History

https://www.history.com
  • Sandy Hook shooting occurs in Newtown, Connecticut

    On this day in 2012, at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, Adam Lanza killed 20 first graders and six school employees before turning a gun on himself. Earlier that day, he killed his mother at the home they shared. The Sandy Hook shooting was, at the time, the second-deadliest ...
  • The birth of quantum theory

    German physicist Max Planck publishes his groundbreaking study of the effect of radiation on a “blackbody” substance, and the quantum theory of modern physics is born. Through physical experiments, Planck demonstrated that energy, in certain situations, can exhibit characteristics of physical ...
  • George Washington dies

    George Washington, the American revolutionary leader and first president of the United States, dies of acute laryngitis at his estate in Mount Vernon, Virginia. He was 67 years old. George Washington was born in 1732 to a farm family in Westmoreland County, Virginia. His first direct military ...
  • Indy “Brickyard” is completed

    On this day in 1909, workers place the last of the 3.2 million 10-pound bricks that pave the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Speedway, Indiana (a town surrounded by the city of Indianapolis). Since then, most of that brick has been buried under asphalt, but one yard remains exposed at the ...
  • Amundsen reaches South Pole

    Norwegian Roald Amundsen becomes the first explorer to reach the South Pole, beating his British rival, Robert Falcon Scott. Amundsen, born in Borge, near Oslo, in 1872, was one of the great figures in polar exploration. In 1897, he was first mate on a Belgian expedition that was the first ever to ...
  • Operation Barrel Roll begins

    In Laos, Operation Barrel Roll, the name given to the first phase of the bombing plan approved by President Lyndon B. Johnson on December 1, begins with U.S. planes attacking “targets of opportunity” in northern Laos. This operation was initiated in response to a Pathet Lao offensive in the Plaine ...
  • Kennedy announces intent to increase aid to South Vietnam

    In a public exchange of letters with South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem, President John F. Kennedy formally announces that the United States will increase aid to South Vietnam, which would include the expansion of the U.S. troop commitment. Kennedy, concerned with the recent advances made by ...
  • Stan Smith is born

    On this day in 1946, the American tennis champion Stan Smith is born in Pasadena, California. A three-time All-American at the University of Southern California (USC), Smith captured the NCAA singles title in 1968 and the doubles title in 1967 and 1968. With his USC doubles partner, Bob Lutz, Smith ...
  • First U.S. President George Washington dies

    On this day in 1799, George Washington, the man described by fellow soldier and Virginian Henry Lee as “first in war, first in peace and first in the hearts of his countrymen” dies at his Mount Vernon estate in Virginia. Born in Westmoreland County, Virginia, the second son from the second marriage ...
  • George Washington dies at Mount Vernon

    A major landholder and promoter of western settlement, George Washington dies on this day in 1799 at his Mount Vernon home along the banks of the Potomac. From an early age, the future first president of the United States had a passionate interest in the vast unsettled territories of the West. Like ...