“The lovers of romance can go elsewhere for satisfaction but where can the lovers of truth turn if not to history?”
~Katharine Anthony

1775 – The Continental Congress authorized construction and administration of the first American naval force – the precursor to the United States Navy.

1792 – The cornerstone was laid for a presidential residence in the newly designated capital city of Washington. The building would eventually become known as the “White House” because its white-gray Virginia freestone contrasted strikingly with the red brick of nearby buildings.

1792 – The first edition of Farmer’s Almanac was published. Forty years later, Robert B. Thomas, founder and editor of the publication, inserted the word “Old” in the title.

To calculate the Almanac’s weather predictions, Thomas studied solar activity, astronomy cycles and weather patterns and used his research to develop a secret forecasting formula, which is still in use today. Other than the Almanac’s prognosticators, few people have seen the formula. It is kept in a black tin box at the Almanac offices in Dublin, New Hampshire.

1845 – A majority of the citizens of the independent Republic of Texas approved a proposed constitution that when accepted by the Congress later that year, made Texas the 28th American state.

1943 – With Mussolini deposed from power and the collapse of the fascist government in three months earlier, the government of Italy declared war on its former Axis partner Germany and joined the battle on the side of the Allies.

1960 – After six games has been played in the World Series, the New York Yankees had scored 46 runs and the Pittsburgh Pirates only 17, yet the series was tied going into game seven. The final game opened with a home run by Rocky Nelson and was concluded by a historic game-winning home run by Bill Mazeroski, giving the Pirates their first world championship in thirty-five years.

1969 – Angela Davis, a 26-year-old black militant who had been hunted for nearly two months on murder and kidnapping charges – and only the third woman to appear on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitive List – was arrested at a Howard Johnson Motor Lodge in midtown Manhattan by agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Davis was subsequently tried and an all-white jury returned a verdict of not guilty. Her experience as a prisoner in the U.S. played a key role in persuading her to fight against what she termed “the prison-industrial complex in the United States.”


1974 – Ed Sullivan (hosted The Toast Of The Town – usually remembered under its second name, The Ed Sullivan Show – for 23 years) died of esophageal cancer at the age of 73.

1975 – Charlie Rich, the man voted Entertainer of the Year for by the Country Music Association of America one year earlier, stood onstage at the CMA awards show to announce that year’s winner of the Association’s biggest award. But after opening the envelope and seeing what was written inside, he had a strange reaction.

Instead of merely reading the name “John Denver” and stepping back from the podium, an obviously drunk Rich reached into his pocket for a cigarette lighter and set the envelope on fire. Though the display shocked the live audience in attendance, John Denver himself was present only via satellite linkup, and he offered a gracious acceptance speech with no idea what had occurred.

In the aftermath of the incident, Rich was blacklisted from the CMA awards show for the rest of his career.

1977 – Four Palestinians hijacked a Lufthansa airliner and demanded the release of 11 imprisoned members of Germany’s Baader-Meinhof terrorist group, also known as the Red Army Faction. The group of ultra-left revolutionaries who terrorized Germany for three decades, assassinated more than 30 corporate, military, and government leaders in an effort to topple capitalism in their homeland.

The hijackers took the plane on a six-country odyssey, eventually landing at Mogadishu, Somalia, on October 17, after shooting Juergen Schumann, one of the plane’s pilots. Early the next morning, a German Special Forces team stormed the aircraft, releasing 86 hostages and killing three of the four hijackers. Only one of the German commandos was wounded. The Red Army Faction’s imprisoned leaders responded to the news later that day by committing suicide in their jail cell, in Stammheim, Germany.

1987 – George Harrison released ‘Got My Mind Set On You’. Harrison had been the first former Beatle to have a solo #1 single (‘My Sweet Lord in 1970) and with ‘Got My Mind Set On You’, he became the last to hit the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

1988 – A radiocarbon dating test was performed on small samples of the Shroud of Turin. The laboratories at the University of Oxford, the University of Arizona, and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology concurred that the samples they tested dated from the Middle Ages, between 1260 and 1390.

2009 – Al Martino died at 82 of natural causes. As a singer, Martino enjoyed great success with ‘I Love You Because’, ‘Spanish Eyes’ and ‘Mary In The Morning’. As an actor, he is best remembered for playing the role of Johnny Fontaine in The Godfather films.

Compiled by Ray Lemire ©2016 RayLemire.com. All Rights Reserved.