This Day In History

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  • Joan Jett tops the pop charts with “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll”

    With her smoldering looks and guitar hooks, Joan Jett had rock-star charisma to rival any man's. Jett burst onto the scene as a solo artist with "I Love Rock 'n' Roll," the three-chord anthem that topped the Billboard pop chart on March 20, 1982. "I Love Rock 'n' Roll" was originally written and ...
  • Republican Party founded

    In Ripon, Wisconsin, former members of the Whig Party meet to establish a new party to oppose the spread of slavery into the western territories. The Whig Party, which was formed in 1834 to oppose the “tyranny” of President Andrew Jackson, had shown itself incapable of coping with the national ...
  • Nerve gas attack on Tokyo subway

    At the height of the morning rush hour in Tokyo, Japan, five two-man terrorist teams from the Aum Shinrikyo religious cult, riding on separate subway trains, converge at the Kasumigaseki station and secretly release lethal sarin gas into the air. The terrorists then took a sarin antidote and ...
  • Henry V ascends upon father’s death

    King Henry IV, the first English monarch of the Lancastrian dynasty, dies after years of illness, and his eldest son, Henry, ascends to the English throne. In 1399, Henry Bolingbroke was crowned King Henry IV of England following the forced abdication of King Richard II, who was greatly weakened by ...
  • LBJ sends federal troops to Alabama to protect a civil rights march

    On this day in 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson notifies Alabama’s Governor George Wallace that he will use federal authority to call up the Alabama National Guard in order to supervise a planned civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery. Intimidation and discrimination had earlier prevented ...
  • Retired Marine Commandant comments on conduct of war

    Retired U.S. Marine Corps Commandant Gen. David Shoup estimates that up to 800,000 men would be required just to defend South Vietnamese population centers. He further stated that the United States could only achieve military victory by invading the North, but argued that such an operation would ...
  • Americans alarmed about impending French defeat

    After a force of 60,000 Viet Minh with heavy artillery had surrounded 16,000 French troops, news of Dien Bien Phu’s impending fall reaches Washington. French General Henri Navarre had positioned his forces 200 miles behind enemy lines in a remote area adjacent to the Laotian border. He hoped to ...
  • Babe Didrikson goes to the mound for Philly

    On March 20, 1934, Mildred “Babe” Didrikson pitches one inning of exhibition baseball for the Philadelphia Athletics in a game against the Brooklyn Dodgers. She started the first inning, and allowed just one walk and no hits. Though Didrickson was not the first woman to play baseball with major ...
  • LBJ pledges federal troops to Alabama civil-rights march

    On this day in 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson sends a telegram to Governor George Wallace of Alabama in which he agrees to send federal troops to supervise a planned African-American civil-rights march in Wallace’s home state. Later that day, from his ranch in Texas, LBJ read the telegram to ...
  • Ned Buntline born

    Ned Buntline, the “dime millionaire” and discoverer of Buffalo Bill, is born in Stamford, New York. Perhaps more than any single writer, Ned Buntline was responsible for creating a highly romanticized and somewhat misleading image of the American West as the setting for great adventure and ...