Today in 1504, Christopher Columbus used a lunar eclipse to frighten hostile Jamaican Indians when he was stranded on Jamaica Island and warned the natives he would cause the moon to disappear (he consulted an almanac) if his crew didn't get help with food and supplies. That night, there was a total lunar eclipse. The following day, the natives gave in.
Today in 1692, the first group of women – Sarah Good, Sarah Osborne and Tituba (a South American slave) –were accused of witchcraft in Salem.
Today in 1892, the United States and Britain agreed to submit to arbitration their dispute over seal-hunting rights in the Bering Sea. (A commission later ruled in favor of Britain.)
Today in 1940, at the 12th annual Academy Awards: "Gone with the Wind" won eight Oscars at the Academy Awards ceremony in Los Angeles, including Best Picture, Hattie McDaniel became the first Black woman to win an Oscar.
Today in 1956, serial killer Aileen Wuornos was born in Rochester, Michigan(she was executed by the state of Florida in 2002). On the same date in 1960? Serial killer Richard Ramirez was born in El Paso, Texas( he died in 2013 while awaiting execution in California).
Today in 1960, the first Playboy Club, featuring waitresses clad in bunny outfits,opened in Chicago.
Today in 1960, JFK made the "missile gap" a major presidential campaign issue. Pushing hard against the “Republican negligence,” which had allowed the Soviet Union to overtake the United States in producing missiles, he soon learned he’d made a mistake. Once in office, JFK learned that there was no missile gap at all—which gave him an opening to negotiate with Moscow from a position of strength.
Today in 1968, President Lyndon B. Johnson’s National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders (also known as the Kerner Commission Report)was released. It warned that racism was causing America to move “toward two societies, one black, one white – separate and unequal.”
Today in 1972, Hank Aaron became the first baseball player to sign for $200-thousand a year. His three-year deal with Atlanta Braves followed one of his best seasons – .327 average, 47 HRs and 118 RBIs.
Today in 1996,Daniel Green was convicted in Lumberton, North Carolina, of murdering James R. Jordan, the father of basketball star Michael Jordan, during a 1993 roadside holdup. (Green and an accomplice, Larry Martin Demery, were sentenced to life in prison.
Today in 2004, the big winners at the 76th Academy Awards included: "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King," Sean Penn & Charlize Theron.
Today in 2008,Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama accused rival Hillary Rodham Clinton of trying to “play on people’s fears to scare up votes”with a TV ad showing sleeping children and asking who would be more qualified to answer a national security emergency call at 3am.
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