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This Week in History


“Girl Crazy” Included Many Stars

On Oct. 14, 1930, "Girl Crazy," a new musical by George and Ira Gershwin, premiered at the Alvin Theater on Broadway. The show made stars of Ginger Rogers (who sang "Embraceable You") and Ethel Merman (who belted out "I Got Rhythm," among other numbers). But the real cavalcade of stars appeared not on stage, but […]

The McDonald’s Effect

Ray Kroc, the founder of McDonald’s, was born 108 years ago this week. The onetime milkshake machine salesman was born on Oct. 5, 1902. Today it is almost impossible to grasp how huge the company he founded has become. McDonald’s has some 15,000 restaurants in this country, with 85 percent of them owned by franchisees. […]

It’s A Duesy!

It’s been a long time since I’ve heard anyone say “It’s a doozy!” when they were describing something truly remarkable. And no wonder. The car that inspired the phrase has not been made for seven decades. It was on Sept. 30, 1937, that the very last Duesenberg rolled off the assembly line. At the time, […]

“I Have Not Yet Begun To Fight!”

There are many things wrong with public education in this country, as we all know. But one thing that’s almost never mentioned is how little young people today learn about many of the heroes we were taught to admire. If you want to see evidence of this play a word-association game with any teenager you […]

The Star-Spangled Banner

Just 18 years after President George Washington wrote his “Farewell Address,” the United States found itself at war once again. In September 1814, a British fleet under Sir Alexander Cochrane began bombarding Fort McHenry, outside Baltimore, Md. The fleet would later sail up the Potomac River, attack the new capital at Washington, D.C., and even […]

Elvis’ Television Debut

We all know what happened on Sept. 11, 2001, when terrorist attacks destroyed the Twin Towers in New York City, murdering almost 3,000 innocent civilians. Instead of revisiting that horrific event, let’s turn instead to a musical milestone that took place nearly 50 years earlier. On Sept. 9, 1956, Elvis Presley made his television debut […]

The Mystery Of KAL 007

It was on Sept. 1, 1983 that we learned a Soviet jet fighter had fired on a civilian airplane off the coast of Siberia, reportedly killing all 269 passengers and crew, including U.S. Representative Larry McDonald (D-Ga.). At the time, McDonald was known as one of the most active anti-Communists in the U.S. Congress. He […]

John Birch Was First Recorded Cold War Death

The first recorded death in the Cold War occurred on Aug. 25, 1945 — one week before VJ Day — when Chinese Communists murdered a Baptist missionary and United States Army Captain named John Birch. Although the U.S. State Department tried to cover up the details of his death, the story was related in the book, The Life of […]

The United Nations Moves In

It was 60 years ago this Saturday, on Aug. 21, 1950, that the advocates of one-world government and defenders of murderous tyrannies and corrupt dictators got the world headquarters they had sought for nearly a century. The United Nations moved into its new home along the East River in New York City on land donated […]

Carnegie Gave Away His Fortune To Benefit Others

On Aug. 11, 1919, a remarkable philanthropist and industrialist went to his reward. Andrew Carnegie, the king of steel and architect of the second Industrial Revolution, made the equivalent of many billions of dollars… and then gave it all away. Born in Scotland, Carnegie immigrated to America at the age of 13 and went to […]

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