• RSS This day in history

    • Mass suicide at Jonestown
      On this day in 1978, Peoples Temple founder Jim Jones leads hundreds of his followers in a mass murder-suicide at their agricultural commune in a remote part of the South American nation of Guyana. Many of Jones’ followers willingly ingested a poison-laced punch while others were forced to do so at ...
    • Haig ends Battle of Somme
      Douglas Haig, commander of the British Expeditionary Force in World War I, calls off the Battle of the Somme in France after nearly five months of mass slaughter. The massive Allied offensive began at 7:30 a.m. on July 1, 1916, when 100,000 British soldiers poured out of their trenches and into ...
    • Volkswagen’s “Dream Factory” opens in Resende, Brazil
      On this day in 1996, a revolutionary new Volkswagen factory opens in Resende, Brazil. The million-square-meter Resende factory did not have an ordinary assembly line staffed by Volkswagen workers: In fact, the only people on Volkswagen’s payroll were the quality-control supervisors. Independent ...
    • Terry Waite released
      Shiite Muslim kidnappers in Lebanon free Anglican Church envoy Terry Waite after more than four years of captivity. Waite, looking thinner and his hair grayer, was freed along with American educator Thomas M. Sutherland after intense negotiations by the United Nations. Waite, special envoy of the ...
    • South Vietnamese fight first major battle after U.S. troops are withdrawn
      Sixty South Vietnamese men are killed or wounded when their troops clash with communist forces in the Mekong Delta. The North Vietnamese lost only 14 men. A South Vietnamese spokesman said that the high South Vietnamese casualties were “due to bad fighting on our part.” The battle was the first ...
    • South Vietnamese conduct largest air assault to date
      In the largest air assault of the war thus far, 116 U.S. and South Vietnamese aircraft fly 1,100 South Vietnamese troops into Binh Duong and Tay Ninh Provinces to attack what is believed to be a major communist stronghold. General Nguyen Khanh personally directed the operation, but the troops made ...
    • Nixon appeals to Congress for funds for Cambodia
      President Nixon asks Congress for supplemental appropriations for the Cambodian government of Premier Lon Nol. Nixon requested $155 million in new funds for Cambodia—$85 million of which would be for military assistance, mainly in the form of ammunition. He also asked for an additional $100 ...
    • Sandy Koufax retires
      On November 18, 1966, Sandy Koufax, the ace pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers, retires from baseball. He was just 30 years old, and he was retiring after a great season–he’d led the Dodgers to a National League pennant and won his third Cy Young award. But he had chronic arthritis in his pitching ...
    • Chester Arthur dies in New York
      On this day in 1886, former President Chester Alan Arthur succumbs to complications from a debilitating and fatal kidney ailment known as Bright’s Disease. In the words of former President Rutherford B. Hayes, Arthur’s term as president was most notable for “liquor, snobbery and worse.” Although he ...
    • Railroads create the first time zones
      At exactly noon on this day, American and Canadian railroads begin using four continental time zones to end the confusion of dealing with thousands of local times. The bold move was emblematic of the power shared by the railroad companies. The need for continental time zones stemmed directly from ...
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