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Today In History

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Today in History: World War II Begins

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

germaninvasion1939On September 1, 1939, World War II begins as Nazi Germany invades Poland.

French news account of events in English, which aired August 31:


German news account of events in English:

Adolph Hitler's ...

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Today in History: The 19th Amendment

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Suffragists rally, February 1913, waving pennants reading Votes for Women.

Suffragists rally, February 1913, waving pennants reading Votes for Women.

On August 26, 1920, the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution, guaranteeing American women the right to vote, was ...

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Today in History: U-2

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The trial of Francis Gary Powers in Moscow in August, 1960.

The trial of Francis Gary Powers in Moscow in August, 1960.

On August 19, 1960, a Soviet military court sentenced U.S. pilot Gary Powers to 10 years in prison. On ...

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Today in History: Tryst with Destiny

Friday, August 14, 2009

nehruOn August 14, 1947, the eve of India's independence from British rule, Jawaharlal Nehru delivers his famous 'Tryst with Destiny' speech:

'Long years ago we made a tryst with destiny, and now the time comes when we shall redeem our pledge, not wholly or in full measure, but very substantially. At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom. A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new, when an age ends, and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance. It is fitting that at this solemn moment we take the pledge of dedication to the service of India and her people and to the still larger cause of humanity.'

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Today in History: Hiroshima

Thursday, August 06, 2009

On August 6, 1945, the Enola Gay dropped nuclear bomb "Little Boy" on the Japanese city of Hiroshima, killing an estimated 140,000 people.

Chaplain William Downey delivers a prayer for the crew of the Enola Gay before their flight:

“We pray Thee that the end of the war may come soon and that once more we may know peace on earth. May the men who fly this night be kept safe in Thy care and may they be returned safely to us. We shall go forward trusting in Thee knowing that we are in Thy care now and forever in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.”

President Harry Truman announced the bombing from aboard the USS. Augusta. Here he discusses the event:

"A short time ago, an American airplane dropped one bomb on Hiroshima and destroyed its usefulness to the enemy. That bomb has more power than 20,000 tons of TNT. The Japanese began the war from the air at Pearl Harbor. They have been repaid many fold. And the end is not yet. With this bomb, we have now added a new and revolutionary increase in destruction to supplement the growing power of our armed forces. In their present form, these bombs are now in production and even more powerful forms are in development. It is an atomic bomb. It is a harnessing of the basic power of the universe. The force from which the sun draws its power has been loosened against those who brought war to the Far East."

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Today in History: Gulf of Tonkin Resolution

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

gulfoftonkinOn August 4, 1964, President Lyndon Baines Johnson calls on Congress to pass the Gulf of Tonkin resolution, which would give him broad powers in dealing with reported North Vietnamese attacks on United States forces.

“As president and commander in chief, it is my duty to the American people to report that renewed hostile actions against the United States ships on the high seas in the Gulf of Tonkin have today required me to order the military forces of the United States to take action in reply. The initial attack on the destroyer Maddox on August 2nd was repeated today by a number of hostile vessels attacking two U.S. destroyers with torpedoes....Repeated acts of violence against the armed forces of the United States must be met not only with alert defense, but with positive reply. That reply is being given as I speak to you tonight.....The determination of all Americas to carry out our full commitment to the people and to the government of South Vietnam will be redoubled by this outrage.

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Today in History: Berlin Olympics

Saturday, August 01, 2009

On August 1, 1936, Adolf Hitler presided over the opening ceremony of the Olympic games. Also in this clip, American Jesse Owens on winning several gold medals.

Thanks to WNYC Archivist Andy Lanset

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40 Years Later: Walking on the Moon

Monday, July 20, 2009

The Brian Lehrer Show

Brian Lehrer celebrates the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission with recordings of the moon landing and President Richard Nixon's conversation with Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong. Listeners add memories of the moon walk and thoughts on space exploration.

The Leonard Lopate Show

...

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Today in History: JFK in Berlin

Friday, June 26, 2009

On June 26, 1963, President John F. Kennedy addressed a vast crowd of Germans on Rudolph Wilde Platz near the Berlin Wall. In his speech, Kennedy condemns the wall separating East from West, calling it a "vivid demonstration of the failures of the Communist system" and praised ...

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Today in History: Julius and Ethel Rosenberg

Friday, June 19, 2009

Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, separated by heavy wire screen as they leave U.S. Court House after being found guilty by jury.

Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, separated by heavy wire screen as they leave U.S. Court House after being found guilty by ...

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Today in History: Amelia Earhart

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Amelia Earhart in 1928.

Amelia Earhart in 1928.

On June 18, 1928, Amelia Earhart completes the flight that made her the first woman to successfully fly across the Atlantic Ocean. This clip is a radio broadcast “A Woman’s Place in Science” from 1935.

“This modern world of science and invention is of particular interest to women, for the lives of women have been more affected by its new horizons than those of any other group. Profound and stirring as have been accomplishments in the remoter fields of pure research, it is in the home that the applications of scientific achievement have perhaps been most far-reaching, and it is through changing conditions there that women have become the greatest beneficiaries in the modern scheme.

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Today in History: Tear Down This Wall

Friday, June 12, 2009

President Ronald Reagan speaking before the Brandenburg Gate.

President Ronald Reagan speaking before the Brandenburg Gate.


On June 12, 1987, President Ronald Reagan delivered an address at the Brandenburg Gate. In his speech, he challenged Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev ...

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Alice Ramsey's Historic Transcontinental Road Trip

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Pulling Alice Ramsey's Maxwell auto out of a ditch (Peter Ramsey)

Pulling Alice Ramsey\'s Maxwell auto out of a ditch (Peter Ramsey)

On June 9, 1909, 22 year-old Alice Ramsey became the first woman to drive across the United States unaccompanied by a man. Ramsey departed from Broadway Avenue in New York City and completed her journey in San Francisco. The 3,800-mile trip took 59 days.

A representative of the Maxwell-Briscoe automobile company proposed the transcontinental trip after Ramsey entered a 200-mile endurance drive to Montauk, New York. In a public relations stunt, the company paid all of Ramsey's expenses for the cross-country journey, but for Ramsey, the trip was about more than advertising.

Although three female passengers accompanied Ramsey on her transcontinental journey, she was the only one who knew how to drive. The other passengers were her sisters-in-law, Nettie Powell and Margaret Atwood, as well as a friend, 16-year old Hermine Jahns.

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Today in History: D-Day

Saturday, June 06, 2009


dday
General Dwight D. Eisenhower delivers an address on D-Day invasion in Normandy, France.

“Soldiers, sailors and airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force. You are about to embark upon the great crusade, toward which we have ...

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Today in History: The Marshall Plan

Friday, June 05, 2009

Marshall Plan poster

On June 5, 1947, Secretary of State George C. Marshall gave a speech at Harvard University in which he outlined the Marshall Plan.

'It is logical that the United Nations should do whatever it is able ...

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Today in History: The Five Little Quints

Thursday, May 28, 2009


On May 28, 1934, five identical girls were born to Oliva and Elzire Dionne in Ontario, Canada. The Dionne girls were the first quintuplets to survive infancy. The government determined their parents were unfit to be their guardians and made them wards of the state. They became a ...

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Today in History: Malcolm X

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

On May 19, 1925, Malcolm Little was born in Omaha, Nebraska, the fourth child of Earl and Louise Little. Malcolm Little would later join the Nation of Islam and change his surname to "X". The African American leader was a Muslim minister, fiery orator and activist who advocated "black ...

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Today in History: Victory in Europe

Friday, May 08, 2009


On May 8, 1945, Nazi Germany unconditionally surrendered to the World War II allies. President Harry S. Truman delivered a V-E Day message:

"I only wish that Franklin Delano Roosevelt had lived to see this day. General Eisenhower informs me that the forces of Germany have ...

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Today in History: Babe Ruth

Monday, April 27, 2009

baberuth

On April 27, 1947, the ailing baseball legend appeared before 60,000 in Yankee Stadium to speak on 'Babe Ruth Day.' Ruth was suffering from throat cancer at the time. He died a little more than a year ...

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Today in History: JFK on the Bay of Pigs

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

On April 21, 1961, President John F. Kennedy accepts 'sole responsibility' for the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba.

JFK

“There's an old saying that victory has 100 fathers and defeat is an orphan...I've said as much as I feel can ...

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