Archive for January, 2009
1648 – Treaty of Munster and Osnabruck ends Eighty Years; War beween Netherlands and Spain
1649 – King Charles I beheaded
1661 – Oliver Cromwell is ritually executed, after having been dead for 2 years, on the anniversary of Charles I’s death
1790 – First life boat tested on the River Tyne
1820 – Edward Bransfield sights the Trinity Peninsula and claims discovery of Antarctica
1826 – World’s first suspension bridge, Menai Suspension Bridge, opens connecting Isle of Anglesey to the north West coast of Wales
1835 – First known assassination attempt against an American president: lunatic attempts to shoot Andrew Jackson (the mentally-ill man believed he was King Richard III of England, that Jackson had killed his father nine years before (despite the fact his father had never been to the US and Jackson never came anywhere near him), and that the federal government was holding his massive fortune from him to prevent him from becoming King). Jackson survives because both pistols used in the attack misfired. The man was found not guilty by reason of insanity and eventually ended up in the same hospital Ronald Reagan’s would-be assassin was committed to.
1841 – Fire destroys 2/3 of Mayaguez, Puerto Rico
1847 – City of Yerba Buena is rename San Francisco, California
1862 – First American ironclad warship, the USS Monitor, is launched
1889 – Austrian Archduke Crown Prince Rudolf and his mistress Baroness Mary Vetsera found dead in murder-suicide
1911 – First airplane rescue at sea
1911 – Royal Canadian Navy formed
1913 – Irish Home Rule Bill rejected by British Parliament
1933 – Adolf Hitler becomes Chancellor of Germany
1943 – Japanese torpedoes sink the USS Chicago
1945 – Soviets sink German refugee ship Wilhelm Gustloff, killing 9,000 in worst maritime disaster in history
1945 – Hitler makes last public address via radio
1948 – Mohandas Gandhi assassinated by Hindu extremist
1956 – Martin Luther King Jr’s home bombed in retaliation for Montgomery Bus Boycott
1962 – Two of the Flying Wallendas circus family killed when seven-person human pyramid collapses
1968 – Tet Offensive surprise attack by Viet Cong
1969 – The Beatles’ last public performance on the roof of Apple Records in London broken up by the police (who knew Sting hated the Beatles so much?)
1972 – Bloody Sunday: British paratroopers kill 14 marchers in Northern Ireland
1976 – George H.W. Bush becomes 11th Director of the CIA
1982 – First computer virus written (400 lines long, disguised as an Apple boot program called “Elk Cloner”)
1989 – American embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan closes
1995 – National Institutes for Health announces successful trials testing first preventive treatment for sickle-cell disease
1996 – Comet Hyakutake discovered by amateur astronomer
2003 – Belgium becomes second country to legally recognize same-sex marriage (Netherlands was the first, with other countries to follow: Canada, Nepal, Norway, South Africa, Spain, and Sweden)
Here are the notes from Robert Wood’s Daily State Department Press Briefing. Find the full transcript here.
|Blackwater License Not Approved / U.S. Will Comply With Iraqi Decision / U.S Looking at Options|
|Doing Everything to Make Sure Embassy Employees Have the Security They Need|
|A Vibrant Democracy / Iraqi Government Trying to Make Sure Elections Safe During Elections / Want a Free and Fair Elections|
|Human Rights Issues Part of Overall Review / Review Currently Underway|
|Robert Levinson Case / U.S. Working to Get Information on Levinson’s Whereabouts|
|Nobody from the Administration has Been Tasked to Draft Any Kind of Letter to the Iranians|
|Currently a Review on Iran|
|U.S. Wants Iran to Stop Playing a Negative Role in Iraq|
|U.S. Calls on Iran to Play a Positive, Productive Role in Middle East|
|U/S Burns to Attend P-5+1 Meeting / U/S Burns Will Share Initial Thoughts Upon Return to Formulate Iran Policy|
|Iraq is a Democracy / U.S. wants to See Free and Fair Democratic Elections in Iraq|
|Letters Requesting Aid to Gaza / U.S. Looking to see How it Can Enhance Assistance to Gaza|
|Secretary Clinton Very Concerned About the People of Gaza|
|Special Envoy Mitchell Visit to Middle East/ Meetings in Jerusalem and Ramallah|
|Afghanistan is a High Priority for Current Administration|
|U.S. will have Discussions with Allies to Help Improve Situation on the Ground|
|Security / Important to See Elections Go Forward|
|Ambassador Holbrooke to Attend Munich Security Conference/ Following Munich Ambassador Holbrooke will Travel to South Central Asia Region / Plans Touch Base with Various Leaders in Region|
|Secretary Very Active During Transition|
|U.S Government Takes Very Seriously Accusations of Misconduct of any U.S. Official|
Here’s one of those serendipitous things that just writes itself.
Jumeirah Beach in Dubai is closed today because toilet paper, feces, and swarms of E coli bacteria are washing up on its shore, mysteriously to clueless city-planners who’ve never spent any time around Illinois’ city and state workers, particularly road crews and other short-cutting Houdinis.
In short, Dubai spared no expense building fabulous fantasy worlds to jumpstart a tourist economy catering to the wealthiest of the wealthy and most entitled of the entitled (Caroline Kennedy, your ears are ringing for a reason!).
Once city officials realized the pampered and privileged were swimming in the world’s largest and most expensive toilet, Dubai’s own Encyclopedia Brown traced the sewage to a storm drain near a dock, and then followed the sewer line (by computer, we hope, for his sake) for miles to an industrial area, where he found city workers dumping human waste down storm drains, because that was cheaper and easier to do than whatever they were supposed to actually do with the neverending truckloads of port-a-potty waste they drag from construction sites every day.
There was no one in charge, at the very top, who had any idea that people on the very bottom of this cause and effect chain would cut corners out of laziness and greed to cause an enormous disaster that’s, for the moment at least, ruined the very thing massive infusions of cash were intended to create.
Dubai wanted to create the world’s largest high-end tourist economy, so it dumped billions into what’s essentially a localized building-spree construction stimulus package. But, no one in Dubai was properly focused on the mundane details of executing that stimulus properly, and so mismanagement allowed commonplace shortcuts and low-on-the-totem-pole laziness to foul up the tourisit economy with a literal ocean of excrement.
It’s a small world after all, because what’s happening in Dubai is destined to happen with the Trillion Dollar Obama Stimulus Package Democrats passed in the House today.
Because people like Dr. Steven Chu as Energy Secretary and Ray LaHood overseeing the Department of Transportation are either not capable or are unwilling to prevent the mission stray, short cuts, and corruption that’s going to ensure those stimulus dollars end up in an equivalent cesspool, instead of creating the magical fairyland of hope and change Obama’s promised.
Workers hired to transport sewage to a treatment facility but instead dumping it into a sewer is classic…and something we can see happening here in Illinois as readily as it does, apparently, in Dubai.
In Cuyahoga County, Ohio (Cleveland area), as another example, roads are torn up and “repaired” every three years with planned obselescience demanding the jobs done with those federal transportation dollars crumble after two years of Ohio’s salted winters. And that’s before any trillion dollar stimulus package. That’s how things have been done in Ohio for decades, and why the joke in Cleveland is there are four seasons in Cuyahoga County: orange barrel season, winter, spring orange barrel season, and summer orange barrel season.
Somewhere between approving massive transportation infrastructure projects and shovels meeting the ground, the intent of creating solid roads to maximize benefit to taxpayers is demented into substandard concrete, shoddy work, and guaranteed lifetime jobs for road crews (since they’ll be back to rebuild those same roads in three years, after the ones they’re working on today fail as planned, ready for the next round of transportation spending to start the cycle again).
Our concern with Dr. Steven Chu at Energy, particularly, is crystal clear in the Dubai example.
Chu is the well-meaning, brilliant, cutting-edge, hip, forward-thinking Utopian who’s approving designs for glorious, soaring, innovative, breathtaking pieces of construction like the iconic Dubai “sailboat” hotel pictured above — who has no concept of how everything he builds on those sandy white beaches will be soon covered in feces because he does not anticipate the graft, corruption, sloth, greed, and ineptitude of those charged with executing his grand visions and delivering those projects.
We love Dr. Steven Chu. He is a wonderful dreamer. He is a brilliant man and an amazing professor. But we don’t trust him to keep shit off the beach.
Not that he doesn’t want to, but that he’ll be one of the glamorous hipsters sipping pomegranate martinis on the stunning veranda, wondering “What’s that smell?” as toilet paper washes up on the beach, incomprehensibly to him. “How the hell did that happen?”, he’ll ask, calculating the odds of such a miraculous shitstorm and realizing, far too late, that he was never the right person to keep any of this from happening.
Because he’s not.
And the Energy Department’s getting a MASSIVE share of that Trillion Dollar Spending Project, which Chu will steer towards grande projects that are noble and innovative and interesting, we’re sure — and which will then send billions of dollars down dark sewers never to be seen again, where greedy corrupt men will lurk with pocketbooks open, ready to cash in on the hubris and naiveity of the new administration.
And if that’s not bad enough, this is actually the BEST CASE SCENARIO of what’s going to happen to that stimulus money. Dr. Steven Chu is A GOOD MAN who does not intend to defraud anyone.
Ray LaHood is a product of Illinois politics. He is running completely below radar, and he’s now in charge of the Department of Transportation, which already has a solid reputation for pouring billions down the sewer and into the hands of the mob and corrupt politicians (and of rebuilding the same roads every three years, or using substandard materials on bridges and pocketing the difference, etc).
Just how much of a mess will be made when the Secretary in charge of a Department as large as Transportation is NOT A GOOD MAN, like Chu, and is instead someone like LaHood (whom most Americans have never even heard of)?
When we heard that bit about Dubai’s city workers dumping sewage down the drain instead of properly taking it to the treatment facility like they were supposed to, we smiled because we immediately thought of none other than Ray LaHood. That’s EXACTLY the sort of thing he would have thought to do himself in his younger days, if he was in charge of those sewage trucks.
This is why we keep telling all of you that bringing so much of Chicago and Illinois to Washington is a very, very bad idea.
If you think what happened to Jumeirah Beach is bad, just wait to see what happens to the whole country, when the stimulus not only doesn’t do what it’s supposed to do, but the bill for it all hits us square in the stomach for the next, what, 50 years?
What’s that smell?
UPDATE: Serendipity is right, because if you don’t think this will happen with the stimulus bill, just have a look at this take in Newsweek about Wall Street’s squandering of the bailout it got this summer.
Merril Lynch is renovating executives’ offices. Citigroup is buying $50 million private jets. It’s outrageous, but it’s unfortunately just the beginning of what’s to come.
There is some sort of remarkable sense-making, logical, truth-speaking robot over at CNN impersonating Campbell Brown.
It looks like her. Its voice sounds like hers. It has all of her distinctive mannerisms and wears her signature odd fashion choices.
But it can’t be her, because Campbell Brown never once called Obama out on anything during the primaries, and the new and improved Camp-bot’s calling him out left and right, and twice on Thursdays.
Today she’s hitting Obama for first pledging not to bring lobbyists into the highest reaches of our goverment, but then supporting a former Goldman Sachs lobbyist to be a top aide to Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner (the man who now oversees the IRS, which makes Americans pay taxes, while he himself has a history of tax evasion).
Hope! Change! Hypocrisy!
Camp-bot, we could get used to having you around. Wish you existed during the primaries, when we repeatedly warned Obama doesn’t keep promises and pivots positions whichever way the wind blows, but better late than never.
Who knows where the real Campbell Brown is — but, wherever that is, possibly in some sweaty box on an island filled with dinosaurs sinking in quicksand, we hope she stays there, ’cause this Camp-bot RULES!
904 – Sergius III comes out of retirement to take papacy from deposed antipope Christopher
1676 – Feodor III becomes Tsar of Russia
1814 – France defeats Russia and Prussia in the Battle of the Brienne
1834 – President Jackson orders first use of federal soldiers to suppress a labor dispute
1845 – “The Raven” by Edgar Allen Poe is published in the New York Evening Mirror
1850 – Henry Clay introduces the Compromise of 1850 to the US Congress
1856 – Queen Victoria institutes the Victoria Cross
1861 – Kansas becomes 34th US state
1886 – Karl Benz patents the first successful gasoline-powered automobile
1891 – Queen Liluokalani becomes last monarch of Hawaii
1900 – American League organizes in Philadelphia with 8 original teams
1916 – Paris bombed by German zeppelins
1936 – First inductees to the Baseball Hall of Fame are announced
1944 – USS Missouri, the last battleship commissioned by the US Navy, is launched
1963 – First inductees to Pro Football Hall of Fame are announced
1978 – Sweden outlaws aerosal sprays
1989 – Hungary and South Korea establish diplomatic relations
1996 – Jacques Chirac announces definitive end to French nuclear testing
2002 – President George W. Bush describes “regimes that sponsor terror” as an Axis of Evil, including Iraq, Iran, and North Korea
2005 – First direct commercial flights from mainland China to Taiwan since 1949 begin
Do you have popcorn to pop or nachos to eat for tomorrow? Buffalo tenders and crudite? Spinach and artichoke dip? Sausage and marshmallow pizza from Pie Hole in Boystown?
Yah, big surprise the HillBuzz gang’s not all revved up for the Super Bowl on Sunday (Super Bowl, what’s that? If there’s not blue tights, a speedo, and a red cape involved, how super can it really be?) but we’re like sugar-fueled kids on Christmas Eve waiting for Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich to appear at his impeachment trial tomorrow and let slip all sorts of crazy on an unsuspecting nation.
Well, kids at Christmas who love politics, anyway, in January, not Christmas, and are all in their 30s. But, otherwise, it’s basically the same.
And Santa’s a medium-sized wild and crazy Serbian guy rocking a perfectly-coiffed pompadour, with Heaven knows what up his sleeves, or what twists, turns, tricks, or Charo in store.
Tomorrow, Rod Blagojevich will dance, not bullfight.
Because, seriously, the man’s good at what he does, and the seeming insanity of his recent behavior has a punchline tomorrow you will not want to miss. We plan on live-blogging his impeachment trial appearance for those of you who won’t be near your TVs.
We would not miss this for the WORLD.
Blagojevich is Lex Luther with a really bad wig, 95% less supervillainy, old school showmanship, and big brass ostrich egg, uh, gumption. He’s the matador entering the coliseum at sunset, in his most dazzling disco polyester, unarmed and uninvited, ready to shake, rattle, and let the dice roll.
The clodding bovines in our state senate have no idea what they’re in for.
We have no idea what’s going to happen, but are sure dying to find out.
Who knows how Blago will emerge — besides taking another flourished step into perverse legend.
The media eviscerated former President George W. Bush for trying to open a locked door in Beijing in 2005, in a room and building he had never been in before, in a country in which he does not speak the native language, when all the doors around him looked exactly the same and he’d just come off a grueling flight overseas and endured countless meetings, interviews, and briefings.
With footage of that mistake continuously looped into every clips reel cobbled together to mock the former president.
And yet, today, Obama (in his own home, in his own country, where he not only speaks the native language but is hailed as the greatest orator of all time by a fawning press) tried to walk through a window and the media looked away, slurping the purple Kool-Aid of Lethe.
We personally don’t think either of them should be ridiculed for trying to open the wrong door (or window, as the case may be), because all of us who don’t have media trailing us everywhere do this sort of thing all the time.
But, if the press even pretends to be fair (which, admittedly, it doesn’t), it needs to remember that what they did to Bush is what they should do to Obama.
A door’s a door. Even when it’s a window.
A mistake’s a mistake.
Believe it or not, the most bizarre thing to happen in Chicago for a while has nothing even remotely to do with Governor Rod Blagojevich or his three ring circus of an impeachment trial – it was Mayor Daley’s appointment of Ron Huberman to head up Chicago Public Schools.
For those of you not from Chicago, Huberman’s the new Obama around here (Obama Part Deux, as we call him) — a man beloved by the Chicago political machine, and Mayor Daley personally, who has been pushed up through the ranks at breakneck speed, regardless of his actual accomplishments or abilities, mainly because of his look, style, and telegenic image.
He is Mayor Daley’s chosen successor when our imperial mayor decides to step down from office, after the 2016 Olympics (which will be Daley’s personal triumphe and swansong). It’s been clear for some time that Daley wants Huberman to be our next Mayor, running in 2018 after Daley retires as the longest-serving Mayor Chicago’s ever seen.
Thus, Huberman is Daley’s personal pet project, regardless of his ability to actually deliver on any of his promises. He’s openly gay (and very often seen at Sidetrack here in Boystown), biracial, a former beat cop, and until yesterday, the head of Chicago’s failing transit system, the CTA.
Not that he did anything to improve the CTA in the last two years, and leaves it deeper in debt and further up the creek without paddles than he found it.
Two years ago, without having any experience with major transportation systems, Da Mayor appointed Huberman head of an agency crippled with disintegrating infrastructure, lazy employees, massive budget shortfalls, and probably the greatest source of graft and corruption in a 50-mile radius of Chicagoland.
Part of that graft is the $900 million+ mythical “transportation hub” Daley’s buried underneathe Block 37’s new eyesore development in the heart of the Loop: it’s basically a pharaoh’s tomb of wasted riches, an enormous unusable train station hundreds of feet below street level, without access to trains, sealed off indefinitely until billions in federal funding can be pumped into Chicago to dig monstrous tunnels below the watertable that reach out to both O’Hare and Midway (soon to be Barack H. Obama International Airport). This is Daley’s unrealistic dream of building privately-contracted Japanese-style bullet trains to race nonstop from both airports to this “transportation hub” in the center of the city, bringing people from both airports to the Loop in 12 minutes (instead of 45-75 minutes or so, depending on delays) for about $15 a ride. November 4th was a very good day for Daley, as an Obama Administration means stimulus funds will most likely be sunk into this, as it greatly helps Chicago’s Olympics bid.
Installing loyalist Huberman at CTA was a move by Daley to keep the real costs of the Block 37 transportation hub underwraps, while doing whatever else Daley wanted, no questions asked. Huberman was promoted to high positions not because he is the most qualified, but like Obama before him, because his biography is “inspirational”: Huberman went to the University of Chicago part-time at night while working as a Chicago cop to get his MBA. He is a bright and attractive biracial gay man, who by nature of his appointment to any agency, brings diversity on many levels to a classicly image-conscience city. Mayor Daley is a showman, and knows full well that his own gruff persona needs a slick, attractive, puppet like Huberman carrying out his orders.
But putting a man with no education background, who was never even a substitute teacher or reading tutor, let alone expert in school management or professional education, in charge of one of the largest failing school systems in the country is madness, even for Daley.
There are worse choices to head Chicago’s public schools. Barbara Bird Bennett, the administrative disgrace who drove Cleveland’s public schools into the ground for seven years, comes immediately to mind. Huberman is definitely not on that scale of willful ineptitude and gleeful corruption, but he’s completely out of his element handling the hydra of titanic problems facing Chicago’s schools.
And Huberman’s replacing Arne Duncan, who Obama elevated to Secretary of Education, despite his poor performance here with Chicago’s schools. So, in essence, like with a lot of things, Chicago’s problems are now the nation’s, as things on the ground here in the Windy City get worse than they were before.
Unlike the CTA, though, which the media here largely ignores and everyone accepts as unmanageable and hopeless, people are emotionally invested in public schools because of the children they serve. Who have parents…who are upset today someone uncertified to even teach in a school and unqualified to be a principal of one is now in charge of ALL of them.
Daley was very smart to make this appointment this week, with all eyes on Blagojevich, thus limiting the news coverage of the appointment. While Huberman’s tossing back Pilsners at Sidetrack celebrating his new job, we wonder just how bad the school system will get under a charismatic, attractive, machine-backed man who wants to bring his own special blend of hope and change to a failing system (just like the hope and change he didn’t bring to the CTA, though he promised everyone lemonade and pixie dust).
Check out the link above: it’s a live stream of the Blagojevich Impeachment trial here in Illinois.
Honestly, we don’t know what to tell you about what’s going on with this, because we have no idea how to clarify what Governor Blagojevich is doing. We have our own theories, and those of others here in Chicago, but there’s no clear consensus. But some of you have asked for our take, so here goes:
(1) The news media claims Blagojevich is crazy and doomed. This is the same news media that claimed Harry Reid could bar Roland Burris from the Senate and HRH Princess Caroline of Kennedy would move to Washington and assume Hillary Clinton’s seat. We all know how those matters worked out, so the media’s drumbeat against Blagojevich makes us wonder what’s really going to happen to him. Lately, when the media insists something, it’s been dead wrong.
(2) Local politicians we know all say Blagojevich will be convicted in the Senate trial this week. But, like (1) above, these people all thought Burris would be barred from the Senate and Kennedy would replace Clinton. So, this doesn’t sway us either.
(3) People we know who worked for Blagojevich in the past say he is erratic, egotistical, money-grubbing, and hard to deal with, but they say the man is SMART, and as crazy as a fox. None of the seemingly crazy things he does stems from any actual mental illness — they are very much calculated. He hasn’t survived as long as he had, involved in as many shenanigans as he’s been involved in, without being good at what he does. The nonstop national media Blagojevich has been doing is puzzling, to be sure. To some people, he’s just out there making himself look crazy; to others, he’s making the whole impeachment in Illinois look like a colossal farce. That’s particularly true when it comes to insisting over and over again that he’s not being allowed to call witnesses he wants for his own defense, like Obama advisers Valerie Jarret and Rahm Emanuel. By doing that, he’s impeaching the impeachment process, and in his own way making those sitting in judgment of him look like a kangaroo court. But, to what end? Does he intend to embarrass state senators into acquitting him? Will voters hold that against those state senators in the next election? Who is the real audience for those TV appearances?
(4) One theory we have is that Blagojevich accepts the fact he’s going to be booted out of office, but that his TV appearances are designed purposefully to make the impeachment as big of a national joke and circus as possible so it taints all possible juries for his criminal trial. No one will soon forget what’s happening right now…and maybe Blagojevich is counting on that, so jurors down the road will keep thinking back to those TV appearances where Blagojevich repeatedly told anyone who would listen that he was unable to mount the defense he wanted, and that he was unable to call witnesses who he claimed would exonerate him. Perhaps he’s trying to favorably prejudice an anticipated criminal trial jury.
(5) Or, perhaps he’s trying to soak up as much national attention as possible in hopes that he, or his wife Patti, can land a lucrative book deal out of all of this, as the Blagojevich family is in desperate need of money to pay massive legal bills (which is the reason Blagojevich wouldn’t resign, because he needed his $150,000/year Governor’s salary). The crazier and more memorable that Blagojevich makes this trial, the bigger circus he inflates the process into, then the more likely people will want to read all about it.
(6) Or, maybe he’s really just doing this all for his own amusement, enjoying a last dance on the Titanic, playing in his own band all the way to the bitter end. Maybe this is just him being the stubborn, erratic, egomaniac, loving every minute of spotlight in the way other celebrity train wrecks have in the past, from Anna Nicole Smith to Britney Spears and everyone notorious in between. Perhaps he wants more air time on Saturday Night Live. He could be gunning for loads more political cartoons. It could all be about getting his name in as many papers as he can, for probably the last time in his life he can command the national stage.
Maybe…but somehow we don’t think so.
Blagojevich is a bad Governor, no doubt, but when we look at what evidence the impeachment trial’s brought against him, the case is weak, when considered against the awesome constitutional collision of one branch of government removing the other. If all bad Governors were removed, then Bob Taft would have been impeached in Ohio, but he wasn’t. Bill Richardson would be impeached in New Mexico, but he hasn’t been, and won’t be. We have a lot of bad Senators and Members of Congress too. Can we impeach or remove them all just because they are bad?
Or do their particular individual levels of bad have to rise to such a level, as defined in state constitutions, and as documented in such incontrovertible evidence, that legislative bodies have no choice under the rock solid rules put in front of them to remove these people from office?
Impeachment is serious business, and it sets a precedent.
Because the media’s the quality that it is, we have no idea how seriously the state senators of Illinois are really taking all of this, and how much they are looking towards the future, since Blagojevich would be the first Governor of Illinois impeached and convicted in the state senate. What does that mean for other Governors after him if impeachment was easier than it should have been? Will this become a common-used tool in the future?
That’s not how our state constitution was written here in Illinois. In all of our years of statehood, this would be the first Governor removed from office. There has to be a reason for that, as we’ve had some pretty terrible Governors here in Illinois, as there have been in most states.
1521 – The Diet of Worms begins
1547 – Henry VIII dies, making Edward VI the first Protestant ruler of England
1573 – Articles of Warsaw Confederation are signed, sanctioning freedom of religion in Poland
1754 – The word “serendipity” is coined
1624 – Saint Kitts founded as first British colony in the Caribbean
1724 – Peter the Great founds the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences (today’s Russian Academy of Sciences)
1813 – Pride and Prejudice is first published in the United Kingdom
1820 – Russian expedition discovers Antaractica
1855 – First locomotive runs from the Atlantic to the Pacific on the Panama Railway
1878 – Yale Daily News is the first daily college newspaper in the United States
1887 – World’s largest snowflakes reported in Fort Keogh, Montand (15 inches wide and 8 inches thick)
1902 – Carnegie Institution founded in Washington, DC with $10 million from Andrew Carnegie
1909 – US troops leave Cuba with the exception of Guantanamo Bay Naval Base
1915 – United States Coast Guard is created by Act of Congress
1916 – Louis D. Brandeis becomes first Jewish SCOTUS Justice
1917 – Municipally owned streetcars take to the streets of San Francisco
1921 – Symbolic Tomb of the Unknown Soldier installed beneathe Arc de Triomphe in Paris to honor the fallen of WWI
1922 – Knickerbocker Storm is Washington, DC’s biggest snowstorm: collapses roof of Knickerbocker Theater (city’s greates loss of life)
1933 – Name “Pakistan” is coined by Indian Muslims seeking independence
1934 – First ski tow begins operating in the US (in Vermont)
1935 – Iceland is first western country to legalize therapeutic abortion
1945 – Supplies reach China over newly reopened Burma Road
1958 – Lego company patents its bricks (Hooray!, shouts Gary McIntire)
1981 – President Reagan lifts remaining domestic petroleum price and allocation controls, helping to end the 1979 energy crisis and begin the 1980s oil glut
1985 – USA for Africa records “We Are the World” to raise funds for Ethiopian famine relief
1986 – Space Shuttle Challenger breaks apart after liftoff, with seven brave men and women aboard, including the first teacher in space, Christa McAuliffe