Category Archives: This Day in American History

This Day in American History: March 27, 1794 – The U.S. Government establishes a permanent navy

There’s seems to be a bit of a disagreement on this, unless you focus on the word “permanent.” The United States Navy claims 13 October 1775 as the date of its official establishment, when the Second Continental Congress passed a … Continue reading

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This Day in American History: March 23, 1775 – Patrick Henry delivers his speech “Give me liberty, or give me death”

Patrick Henry made the speech during the Second Virginia Convention at St. John’s Church in Richmond. The performance is credited with helping convince fellow delegates to send Virginia troops to assist Continental Army efforts in the Revolutionary War.

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This Day in American History: February 5, 1917 – Congress passes the Immigration Act of 1917

Everything old is new again. The Immigration Act of 1917 (also known as the Literacy Act and less often as the Asiatic Barred Zone Act) was the most sweeping immigration act the United States had passed until that time. It … Continue reading

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This Day in American History: December 21, 1913 – The first crossword puzzle is published

Arthur Wynne’s “word-cross”, the first modern crossword puzzle, was published on this date in the New York World. I love crossword puzzles. Here is the first one with just the grid. You can see the clues here. Try your luck.   … Continue reading

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This Day in American History: December 18, 1965 – The U.S. prohibits slavery

United States Secretary of State William Seward proclaims the adoption of the Thirteenth Amendment, which prohibited slavery throughout the USA.

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This Day in American History: November 4, 2008 – Barack Obama wins the presidency

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This Day in American History: November 2, 1983 – President Reagan signs a bill creating Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is observed on the third Monday of January each year, which is around King’s birthday, January 15.

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This Day in American History: October 30, 1938 – Orson Welles broadcasts H.G. Wells’s “War of the Worlds”

Folklore has it that the Orson Welles Halloween episode radio broadcast of H.G. Wells’s “The War of the Worlds” caused mass panic, though others wonder how that could be given that so few listeners were tuned in.  I will say … Continue reading

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This Day in American History: October 27, 1964 – Ronald Reagan delivers his “A Time for Choosing” speech

In support of Barry Goldwater, Ronald Reagan delivered what is considered one of the most effective political speeches ever made on behalf of another candidate. The speech, called “A Time for Choosing,” was instrumental in launching Reagan’s political career.

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This Day in American History: October 24, 1931 – The George Wasington Bridge opens to public traffic

Almost as interesting a date as September 9, 2013 when some guy in New Jersey ordered lanes closed on the bridge to show what kind of a jerk he is.

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