Hawaii Becomes 50th State On This Date in 1959

Today in 1831,former slave Nat Turner lead an uprising against slavery in Virginia. During the next 48 hours, 50 slave owners were killed in an action that set off a new wave of oppressive legislation prohibiting the education, movement, and assembly of slaves and stiffened proslavery, anti-abolitionist convictions that persisted in that region until the American Civil War (1861–65).

Today in 1959, President Eisenhower signed an executive order proclaiming Hawaii the 50th state of the union.

Today in 1968, Marine James Anderson Jr. became the first African American Marine to win Medal of Honor. Serving in Vietnam as a rifleman with Company F, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marines, 3rd Mar Div in Quang Tri Province, it was on February 28th, 1967 during Operation Prairie II that Private Anderson was mortally wounded when he covered a grenade with his body to save his comrades.

Today in 1971, Laura Baugh, at the age of 16, won the United States Women's Amateur Golf tournament. She was the youngest winner in the history of the tournament.

Today in 1976, "Operation Paul Bunyan" began in retaliation for the "Korean axe murder incident" of three days prior. In all, 110 troops, 27 helicopters, 3 B-52 bombers are deployed to the Korean Demilitarized Zone to cut down a poplar blocking the view of UN observers.

Today in 1993, NASA lost contact with the Mars Observer spacecraft. The fate of the spacecraft is still unknown. The mission cost $980-million.

Today in 1995, ABC News settled a $10-billion libel suit by apologizing to Philip Morris for reporting the tobacco giant had manipulated the amount of nicotine in its cigarettes.

Today in 1996, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 was signed by President Clinton. The act made it easier to obtain and keep health insurance.

Today in 1998, Samuel Bowers, a 73-year-old former Ku Klux Klan leader, was convicted of ordering a firebombing that killed civil rights activist Vernon Dahmer in 1966. He died in prison in 2006.

Today in 2015, a terrorist attack on train between Amsterdam and Paris was thwarted by four American passengers overpowering a gunman. The situation became the Clint Eastwood-helmed film, “The 15:17 To Paris.”

Today in 2015, the oldest "message in a bottle" was found on beach in Amrum, Germany more than 108-years after it was put in sea. It had been released in the North Sea between 1904 and 1906.

Today in 2017, Johnson & Johnson was ordered to pay $417m to woman who developed ovarian cancer after using their talc-based products. The verdict was later overturned.

Today in 2017, London's Big Ben chimed for the last time before a four-year restoration process for its tower began.

Today in 2018, former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort was convicted on eight counts of fraud in a federal court in Alexandria, Virginia.

Today in 2018, Californian Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter was indicted for using campaign funds for personal expenses including holidays and flight for a pet rabbit. He had essentially thrown his wife, Margaret Hunter, under the bus saying she managed the money. Fast forward to June 2019, and Margaret plead guilty to corruption and named him as a co-conspirator in using campaign funds for personal expenses. But the fun didn’t end there – the same month, federal prosecutors alleged that from 2009 to 2016, Hunter himself spent campaign funds on extramarital affairs with five women including lobbyists and congressional staff.

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