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"Did You Know..."
Notable Historic Events
for the Month of
1871...Journalist Henry Stanley
begins his search in Africa for the
British explorer, Dr. David Livingstone.
When he spots him he utters the oft quoted phrase "Dr. Livingstone, I presume."
Prison closes down. Alcatraz Prison is a Federal Penitentiary of the United
States. It is a maximum high-security
prison located on a rocky island 1.25 miles off the coast of San Francisco,
California. The prison is known as The Rock. Conditions in Alcatraz
are harsh, as immortalized in movies. During the 29 years Alcatraz is a federal
penitentiary there are only 14 escape attempts by 36 prisoners. None of them are
deemed successful. Of the 36 escapees, 23 are recaptured, six are shot and
killed, two drown and 5 go missing and it is assumed they drowned. Alcatraz is
shut down because it is too expensive to operate. Americans remain fascinated by
the lore, and it eventually becomes a
Carter decides to boycott the
Olympics because of the Soviet invasion into Afghanistan.
The Flying Wallendas
British impose the
Act on the American Colonies.
1963...The Beatles first album,
Please Please Me, is released in
1972...The Equal Rights Amendment
Congress and sent to the
states for ratification.
1978...Karl Wallenda, of the The
Flying Wallendas falls to his death walking a tightrope between
1775...Patrick Henry gives the speech in which he
declares "I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty
or give me death".
1983...During his State
of the Union address
President Reagan proposes developing strategic defense missiles to protect
1983...Barney Clark dies 112 days
after receiving the world's first permanent artificial
heart. Thousands of patients die each year waiting for a donor
Doctors want to extend lives so that
hearts can be found.
Doctors have been implanting
mechanical pumps into
hearts to prolong life, but many
hearts are so damaged that the pumps are not an
option. Of those who do receive the pumps, half of them go on to receive new
hearts. The opportunity is given to Barney Clark to
receive the world’s first permanent artificial
heart, the Jarvik 7. It has recently been
approved by the FDA. In the interest of advancing science Barney decides to take
it. The operation on Barney Clark is done by Dr. William DeVries at the
University of Utah. It is a risky procedure, and Barney himself does not expect
to live more than a few days. He has a rough time of it, but
surprises everyone by living for 112 days.
1989...The Supertanker Exxon Valdez is
Alaska to Long Beach,
California after filling up with crude oil. Entering the Prince William
Sound it strikes the Bligh
Reef. The resulting hole spills 10.8 million gallons of crude oil into the
Sound. The oil spill will become one of the most expensive oil spills in
history, at $7 billion dollars.
1958...Elvis is inducted into the
The Boston Tea Party
1777... The British Parliament passed the Boston Port Act,
trying to recoup their losses from the Boston
Triangular Shirtwaist factory
burns down, killing 145
workers and leading to
better laws and regulations to protect factory
1957...Europe tries to improve
economic conditions by uniting in a common market. The countries in Europe want
to be competitive with the trading power and resources of larger countries like
United States and the Soviet Union. They also hope their union will prevent
them from fighting among themselves. Six countries meet in Rome and sign a
treaty establishing the Europe Economic Community (EEC). The union becomes known
as the Common Market. The original members of the Common Union are France, West
Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg. England resists, but
changes its mind later and seeks entry when the endeavor is successful. Over
time the Common Market grows. By 2007 there will be twenty-seven countries
participating in the Common Market.
Dr. Jonas Salk
1953...Doctor Jonas Salk goes on
radio in the
United States to announce that he has successfully tested a new vaccine to
stop the spread of polio. This is big
news, as most Americans fear this crippling disease. The announcement is
made on March 26, 1953. The prior year 58,000 cases of polio are reported in the
United States, and 3,000 people die from the disease. The disease is called
Infantile Paralysis because it affects mostly
children. It does, however, affect adults. Americans know all too well.
President Franklin (FDR) is infected by the disease when he is 29-years-old,
and it leaves him partially paralyzed. You cannot overstate the gratitude of the
public to Jonas Salk for the research he did to develop the polio vaccine. As
soon as his findings are publicized his name becomes a household word.
2000...Vladimir Putin is elected President of Russia.
1958...Nikita Khrushchev becomes the Soviet Premier.
1977...Two 747 Jumbo jets collide at the Canary Airport killing 582 passengers
Three Mile Island
1776...Juan Bautista de Anza founds San Francisco City.
1979...An incident occurs as a nuclear reactor overheats at Three Mile
Pennsylvania. As a result of both mechanical and human error there was a
partial meltdown that released a small amount of radioactive gases. No one died
or was killed in the accident but public awareness was raised as to the
potential damage of nuclear power plants.
phone is installed in the Oval Office for
1943...WWII rationing in the US begins for
and cooking oils.
1973...The last combat troops leave Vietnam.
1867...U.S. Secretary of
State William Seward buys
Alaska from the Russians for $7 million
The transaction is labeled "Seward's Folly."
1980...124 workers on an
in the North Sea drown when a large wave collapses the platform.
1981...An assassination attempt is made on the life of
The Eiffel Tower
1889...The Eiffel Tower opens in Paris, France.
2005...Terri Schiavo dies after much controversy on the right-to-die issue.