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This Week in History


History in Song

History was an important theme on the Billboard Top 40 charts 52 years ago. For the week of July 27, 1959, the #2 hit was “Battle of New Orleans” by Johnny Horton. It spent 18 weeks in the Top 40 and six weeks at No. 1.

Celebrate Ice Cream

Raise your ice cream scoop high this week, as you celebrate the invention of the ice cream cone. Sunday was National Ice Cream Day and July is National Ice Cream Month.

According to some accounts, on July 23, 1904, Charles Menches invented that uniquely American treat, the ice cream cone.

Two Monumental Events

Two of the most important events of the 20th Century took place on July 16. The most recent happened in 1969, when the Apollo 11 launched. Four days later, Americans were transfixed at the sight — on live television! — of man walking on the moon. The space program has changed our lives in many […]

A Coincidence?

Believers in the coincidence theory of history will have fun with this one. It was 64 years ago this week when witnesses claimed that something fell from the sky and crashed on a ranch outside of Roswell, N.M. Ever since July 8, 1947, rumors have persisted that the unidentified flying object, or UFO, contained visitors […]

One Madman’s Legacy

It was on June 28, 1914 that a single act of violence led to one of the greatest bloodbaths the world had ever seen. The perpetrator was someone you probably never heard of: Gavrilo Princip. He was a Serbian nationalist who, on that day, murdered the Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, and his wife, Sophie.

The Birth Of A Humanitarian Effort

The Battle of Solferino was fought in Northern Italy 152 years ago this week. The combatants were the Austrian army and the alliance of France and Sardinia, led by Napoleon III. After 15 hours of fighting, the Austrians retreated, leaving more than 40,000 men killed or injured. Even Napoleon III was said to have been sickened by the slaughter.

An Annual Patriotic Tradition

On June 14, 1777, Congress passed a resolution that read: “Resolved, that the flag of the thirteen United States shall be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the Union be thirteen stars, white on a blue field, representing a new constellation.”

Pay As You Go

One of the more nefarious schemes ever hatched by Congress turns 68 years old this week. It was on June 9, 1943, that the U.S. Congress ordered employers to begin withholding funds from workers’ pay to cover their income-tax obligation. The legislation — passed as “an emergency wartime measure” — was officially called the “Current […]

How Soon We Forget

On June 4, 1789, the U.S. Constitution became the official governing document of a young United States, when it was ratified by a two-thirds majority of the 13 existing states. Our Founding Fathers labored for more than a year to create a document that would make the people as free as possible — and the government (especially the Federal government) as limited as possible. Even so, a majority of states would not approve the document until 10 amendments were added. The Bill of Rights was even more definite in telling government what it could not do.

‘Woodstock Of The Web’

The “Woodstock of the Web” took place in Geneva, Switzerland, on May 25, 1994, when 380 scientists gathered in CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, for the first World Wide Web Conference. Although only 380 people attended the conference, this seminal event has become so important in the history of the Internet that several thousand more have claimed to have been there. Thus, the event earned the “Woodstock” moniker.

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