This Day In History

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  • Cyclist Lance Armstrong is stripped of his seven Tour de France titles

    On this day in 2012, Lance Armstrong is formally stripped of the seven Tour de France titles he won from 1999 to 2005 and banned for life from competitive cycling after being charged with systematically using illicit performance-enhancing drugs and blood transfusions as well as demanding that some ...
  • The first parachutist

    The first parachute jump of note is made by André-Jacques Garnerin from a hydrogen balloon 3,200 feet above Paris. Leonardo da Vinci conceived the idea of the parachute in his writings, and the Frenchman Louis-Sebastien Lenormand fashioned a kind of parachute out of two umbrellas and jumped from a ...
  • Gay sergeant challenges the Air Force

    Air Force Sergeant Leonard Matlovich, a decorated veteran of the Vietnam War, is given a “general” discharge by the air force after publicly declaring his homosexuality. Matlovich, who appeared in his air force uniform on the cover of Time magazine above the headline “I AM A HOMOSEXUAL,” was ...
  • President Lyndon Johnson signs the Highway Beautification Act

    On October 22, 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Highway Beautification Act, which attempts to limit billboards and other forms of outdoor advertising, as well as junkyards and other unsightly roadside messes, along America’s interstate highways. The act also encouraged “scenic ...
  • Cuban Missile Crisis

    In a televised speech of extraordinary gravity, President John F. Kennedy announces that U.S. spy planes have discovered Soviet missile bases in Cuba. These missile sites—under construction but nearing completion—housed medium-range missiles capable of striking a number of major cities in the ...
  • Germans capture Langemarck during First Battle of Ypres

    On this day in 1914, in a bitter two-day stretch of hand-to-hand fighting, German forces capture the Flemish town of Langemarck from its Belgian and British defenders during the First Battle of Ypres. The trench lines built in the fall of 1914 between the town of Ypres, on the British side, and ...
  • President Thieu turns down peace proposal

    In Saigon, Henry Kissinger meets with South Vietnamese President Thieu to secure his approval of a proposed cease-fire that had been worked out at the secret peace talks with the North Vietnamese in Paris. The proposal presumed a postwar role for the Viet Cong and Thieu rejected the proposed accord ...
  • American forces suffer first casualties in Vietnam

    U.S. military personnel suffer their first casualties in the war when 13 Americans are wounded in three terrorist bombings of Military Assistance Advisory Group and U.S. Information Service installations in Saigon. The rising tide of guerrilla activity in South Vietnam reached an estimated 30 ...
  • Baseball Hall of Fame announcer Red Barber dies at 84

    On October 22, 1992, Red Barber—the legendary announcer for the Brooklyn Dodgers, with a voice that one sportswriter called “a spoonful of sugar drifting through a glass of iced tea”—dies. He was 84 years old. In an era when almost every major league baseball team had a distinct voice—Mel Allen for ...
  • JFK announces a blockade of Cuba

    On this day in 1962, President John F. Kennedy announces to the American people that he has ordered a blockade of Cuba in response to the discovery that Soviet missiles were being installed on the island. In his televised speech, he condemned Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev for the “clandestine, ...