This Day In History

https://www.history.com
  • Barack Obama’s “Dreams from My Father” is published

    On this day in 1995, “Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance,” a memoir by a little-known law professor named Barack Obama, is published. Obama wrote the book before entering politics; 13 years after it was published, he was elected America’s 44th president. “Dreams from My Father” ...
  • Sitcom actress murdered; death prompts anti-stalking legislation

    On this day in 1989, the 21-year-old actress Rebecca Schaeffer is murdered at her Los Angeles home by Robert John Bardo, a mentally unstable man who had been stalking her. Schaeffer’s death helped lead to the passage in California of legislation aimed at preventing stalking. Schaeffer was ...
  • Video of Titanic wreckage released

    On this day in 1986, new close-up videotapes of the sunken ocean liner Titanic are released to the public. Taken on the first manned expedition to the wreck, the videotapes are stunning in their clarity and detail, showing one of the ship’s majestic grand staircases and a coral-covered chandelier ...
  • Spanish Civil War breaks out

    On July 18, 1936, the Spanish Civil War begins as a revolt by right-wing Spanish military officers in Spanish Morocco and spreads to mainland Spain. From the Canary Islands, General Francisco Franco broadcasts a message calling for all army officers to join the uprising and overthrow Spain’s ...
  • Senator Ted Kennedy drives car off bridge at Chappaquiddick Island

    Shortly after leaving a party on Chappaquiddick Island, Senator Edward “Ted” Kennedy of Massachusetts drives an Oldsmobile off a wooden bridge into a tide-swept pond. Kennedy escaped the submerged car, but his passenger, 28-year-old Mary Jo Kopechne, did not. The senator did not report the fatal ...
  • FDR nominated for unprecedented third term

    On this day in 1940, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who first took office in 1933 as America’s 32nd president, is nominated for an unprecedented third term. Roosevelt, a Democrat, would eventually be elected to a record four terms in office, the only U.S. president to serve more than two terms. ...
  • Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” is published

    On this day in 1925, Volume One of Adolf Hitler’s philosophical autobiography, Mein Kampf, is published. It was a blueprint of his agenda for a Third Reich and a clear exposition of the nightmare that will envelope Europe from 1939 to 1945. The book sold a total ...
  • Harry S Truman signs second Presidential Succession Act

    On this day in 1947, President Harry S Truman signs the Presidential Succession Act. This act revised an older succession act that was passed in 1792 during George Washington’s first term. The original succession act designated the Senate president pro tempore as the first in line to succeed the ...
  • Labor activist and singer Joe Hill sentenced to death

    Convicted of murder on meager evidence, the singing Wobbly Joe Hill is sentenced to be executed in Utah. A native of Sweden who immigrated to the U.S. in 1879, Joe Hill joined the International Workers of the World (IWW) in 1910. The IWW was an industrial union that rejected the capitalist system ...
  • Nero’s Rome burns

    The great fire of Rome breaks out and destroys much of the city on this day in the year 64. Despite the well-known stories, there is no evidence that the Roman emperor, Nero, either started the fire or played the fiddle while it burned. Still, he did use the disaster to further his political ...