On This Day Alert

On this day in 1925, in Dayton, Tennessee, the so-called Scopes Monkey Trial begins with John Thomas Scopes, a young high school science teacher, accused of teaching evolution in violation of a Tennessee state law. The law, which had been passed in March, made it a misdemeanor punishable by fine to "teach any theory that denies the story of the Divine Creation of man as taught in the Bible, and to teach instead that man has descended from a lower order of animals." Learn More

On this day in 1962, "This here ain't no protest song or anything like that, 'cause I don't write no protest songs." That was how Bob Dylan introduced one of the most eloquent protest songs ever written when he first performed it publicly. It was the spring of his first full year in New York City, and he was onstage at Gerde's Folk City in Greenwich Village, talking about a song he claims to have written in just 10 minutes: "Blowin' In The Wind." A few weeks later Dylan walked into a studio and recorded the song that would make him a star. Learn More

On this day in 1951, Paris, the capital city of France, celebrates turning 2,000 years old. In fact, a few more candles would've technically been required on the birthday cake, as the City of Lights was most likely founded around 250 B.C. The history of Paris can be traced back to a Gallic tribe known as the Parisii, who sometime around 250 B.C. settled an island (known today as Ile de la Cite) in the Seine River, which runs through present-day Paris. Learn More

On this day in 2019, after a dominating tournament showing, the U.S. women's national team brings home a record fourth FIFA World Cup title-its second in a row. The team set a women's World Cup record with 26 goals and 12 straight wins, tying Germany as the only teams to score repeat championships. With four World Cup wins-in 1991, 1999, 2015 and 2019-the U.S. is the only team to have won more than two titles. Learn More

On this day in 1994, the movie Forrest Gump opens in U.S. theaters. A huge box-office success, the film starred Tom Hanks in the title role of Forrest, a good-hearted man with a low I.Q. who winds up at the center of key cultural and historical events of the second half of the 20th century. Forrest Gump was based on a 1986 novel of the same name by Winston Groom, who (like his main character) grew up in Alabama and served in the Army during Vietnam. Learn More

On this day in 1977, Bill Conti was a relative unknown in Hollywood when he began work on Rocky, but so was Sylvester Stallone. It was Rocky that would truly launch both men's careers, though. The film was Stallone's from start to finish, but it's difficult to overstate the importance of his collaboration with Conti. Though Conti took his inspiration from Stallone's footage, Stallone had the film's critical training and fight sequences edited to fit Conti's music, and the interaction between picture and music in Rocky made an enormous contribution to the movie's success. Learn More

On this day in 1979, the Sony Walkman went on sale. It didn't represent a breakthrough in technology so much as it did a breakthrough in imagination. Every element of the Walkman was already in production or testing as part of some other device when Sony's legendary chairman, Masaru Ibuka, made a special request in early 1979. He wanted a portable device on which to listen to music on international flights. Learn More

On this day in 1974, considered one of the world's greatest ballet dancers of all time, Soviet virtuoso Mikhail Baryshnikov choreographs his own Cold War-era defection from the U.S.S.R. after four years of planning. Known as "Misha" to his admirers, Baryshnikov, then 26, finished a performance with the Leningrad-based Kirov Ballet in Toronto while on a Canadian tour, and then evaded his KGB handlers, disappearing into the crowd outside, hopping into a waiting car and hiding out until he was officially granted political asylum in Canada. Learn More

On this day in 1958, Brazil defeats host nation Sweden 5-2 to win its first World Cup. Brazil came into the tournament as a favorite, and did not disappoint, thrilling the world with their spectacular play, which was often referred to as the "beautiful game." The star of the tournament was an undersized midfielder named Edson Arondes do Nascimento, known the world over as Pele. Learn More

On this day in 1948, U.S. and British pilots begin delivering food and supplies by airplane to Berlin after the city is isolated by a Soviet Union blockade. Weeks earlier Josef Stalin's government attempted to consolidate control of the city by cutting off all land and sea routes to West Berlin in order to pressure the Allies to evacuate. Learn More

On this day in 1950, an American team composed largely of amateurs defeated its more polished English opponents at the World Cup, held in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Dubbed the "Miracle on Green," the game is considered one of the greatest soccer upsets of all time. The English team at the time, known as the "Kings of Football," boasted a record of 23 victories, four losses and three draws in the years since World War II ended. Learn More

On this day in 1948, one of the most dramatic standoffs in the history of the Cold War begins as the Soviet Union blocks all road and rail traffic to and from West Berlin. The blockade turned out to be a terrible diplomatic move by the Soviets, while the United States emerged from the confrontation with renewed purpose and confidence. Learn More

On this day in 2013, 34-year-old aerialist Nik Wallenda becomes the first person to walk a high wire across the Little Colorado River Gorge near Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona. Wallenda wasn't wearing a safety harness as he made the quarter-mile traverse on a 2-inch-thick steel cable some 1,500 feet above the gorge. Learn More

On this day in 2011, after 16 years on the run from law enforcement, James "Whitey" Bulger, a violent Boston mob boss wanted for 19 murders, is arrested in Santa Monica, California. The 81-year-old Bulger, one of the FBI's "Ten Most Wanted" fugitives, was arrested with his longtime companion, 60-year-old Catherine Greig, who fled Massachusetts with the gangster in late 1994, shortly before he was to be indicted on federal criminal charges. Learn More

On this day in 1865, Union soldiers arrive in Galveston, Texas with news that the Civil War is over and slavery in the United States is abolished. A mix of June and 19th, Juneteenth has become a day to commemorate the end of slavery in America. Despite the fact that President Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation was issued more than two years earlier on January 1, 1863, a lack of Union troops in the rebel state of Texas made the order difficult to enforce. Learn More

On this day in 1967, the Monterey Pop Festival, held over three days during the height of the Summer of Love,  came to a close with a lineup of performers that included Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, the Who, Grateful Dead, Buffalo Springfield and the Mamas and the Papas. Learn More

On this day in 1994, viewers across the nation are glued to their television screens as a fleet of black-and-white police cars pursues a white Ford Bronco along Interstate 405 in Los Angeles, California. Inside the Bronco is Orenthal James "O.J." Simpson, a former professional football player, actor and sports commentator whom police suspected of involvement in the recent murders of his former wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ronald Goldman. Learn More

On this day in 1965, on their second day of recording at Columbia Records' Studio A in Manhattan, he and a band featuring electric guitars and an organ laid down the master take of the song that would announce that change: "Like A Rolling Stone." It would prove to be "folksinger" Bob Dylan's magnum opus and, arguably, the greatest rock and roll record of all time. Learn More

On this day in 1215, following a revolt by the English nobility against his rule, King John puts his royal seal on Magna Carta, or "the Great Charter." The document, essentially a peace treaty between John and his barons, guaranteed that the king would respect feudal rights and privileges, uphold the freedom of the church, and maintain the nation's laws. Learn More

On this day in 1982, "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial" was released. Then 34-year-old director Steven Spielberg reportedly drew on his own experiences as an unusually imaginative, often-lonely child of divorce for his science-fiction classic. It would go on to earn $435 million. Learn More

On this day in 2007, almost 12 million people tune in for the series finale of HBO's critically acclaimed, multi-award-winning Mob-family drama The Sopranos. The mastermind behind The Sopranos was David Chase, a longtime writer, producer and director for TV series such as The Rockford Files, I'll Fly Away and Northern Exposure. Learn More

On this day in 1984, the now-classic comedy Ghostbusters is released in theaters across the United States. Produced and directed by Ivan Reitman, Ghostbusters starred Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis as disgraced parapsychology professors in New York City who turn to "paranormal investigation"-hunting down and capturing ghosts-to make money after Columbia University yanks their research grants. Learn More

On this day in 1956, Elvis perforned on "The Milton Berle Show." This was not Presley's first television appearance, nor even his first appearance on Milton Berle. But every one of those appearances featured Elvis either in close-up singing a slow ballad, or full body but with his movements somewhat restricted by the acoustic guitar he was playing. It was on his second Milton Berle Show appearance that he put the guitar aside and America witnessed, for the very first time, the 21-year-old Elvis Presley from head to toe, gyrating his soon-to-be-famous (or infamous) pelvis. Learn More

On this day in 1976, the Sex Pistols played "the gig that changed the world" to fewer than 50 people. However, those in attendance included Morrissey, who would form the Smiths, Ian Curtis, Bernard Sumner and Peter Hook who would form Joy Division and New Order as well as Howard Devoto and Pete Shelley of the Buzzcocks. Less than two months later the Sex Pistols returned to the venue and played to a crowd of hundreds. Learn More

On this day in 1965, one hundred and 20 miles above the earth, Major Edward H. White II opens the hatch of the Gemini 4 and steps out of the capsule, becoming the first American astronaut to walk in space. Attached to the craft by a 25-foot tether and controlling his movements with a hand-held oxygen jet-propulsion gun, White remained outside the capsule for just over 20 minutes. Learn More

On this day in 1989, the boys' prep school drama Dead Poets Society, starring Robin Williams, is released in selected U.S. theaters. Set in 1959 at a fictional all-male preparatory school called Welton Academy, the film starred Robin Williams as John Keating, a charismatic English teacher who encourages his students to "seize the day" ("carpe diem" in Latin) and embrace the passion for life expressed by great poets like Walt Whitman. Learn More

On this day in 1967, the Beatles released "Sgt. Pepper's Lonley Hearts Club Band". Sgt. Pepper is often cited as the first "concept album," and as the inspiration for other great pop stars of the 60s, from the Stones and the Beach Boys to Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye, to reach for new heights of creativity. For the Beatles themselves, 1967 marked not just a new creative peak, but also the beginning of a three-year period in which the group recorded and released an astonishing five original studio albums. Rolling Stone magazine would list it as the  Greatest Album of All Time. Learn More

On this day in 1953, Edmund Hillary of New Zealand and Tenzing Norgay, a Sherpa of Nepal, become the first explorers to reach the summit of Mount Everest, which at 29,035 feet above sea level is the highest point on earth. The two, part of a British expedition, made their final assault on the summit after spending a fitful night at 27,900 feet. News of their achievement broke around the world on June 2, the day of Queen Elizabeth II's coronation, and Britons hailed it as a good omen for their country's future. Learn More

On this day in 1983, Irene Cara's song "Flashdance (What a Feeling)", from the Flashdance movie soundtrack, goes to the top of the U.S. pop charts. "Flashdance (What a Feeling)" was not the first hit song from a movie soundtrack for Irene Cara, whose star was launched by the 1980 film Fame. Cara not only played the starring role of Coco in the movie Fame, but she also recorded not one but two Oscar-nominated songs for it: the title song "Fame" (a top-10 hit in the summer of 1980) and "Out Here On My Own" (a top-20 hit that same fall). Learn More

On this day in 1937, San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge, a stunning technological and artistic achievement, opens to the public after five years of construction. On opening day-"Pedestrian Day"-some 200,000 bridge walkers marveled at the 4,200-foot-long suspension bridge, which spans the Golden Gate Strait at the entrance to San Francisco Bay and connects San Francisco and Marin County. The next day, on May 28, the Golden Gate Bridge opened to vehicular traffic. Learn More

On this day in 1897, the first copies of the classic vampire novel Dracula, by Irish writer Bram Stoker, appear in London bookshops. A childhood invalid, Stoker grew up to become a football (soccer) star at Trinity College, Dublin. After graduation, he got a job in civil service at Dublin Castle, where he worked for the next 10 years while writing drama reviews for the Dublin Mail on the side. Learn More

On this day in 1859, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of master sleuth Sherlock Holmes, is born. Doyle was born in Scotland and studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh, where he met Dr. Joseph Bell, a teacher with extraordinary deductive reasoning power. Bell partly inspired Doyle's character Sherlock Holmes years later. After medical school, Doyle moved to London, where his slow medical practice left him ample free time to write. Learn More

On this day in 1932, five years to the day that American aviator Charles Lindbergh became the first pilot to accomplish a solo, nonstop flight across the Atlantic Ocean, female aviator Amelia Earhart becomes the first pilot to repeat the feat, landing her plane in Ireland after flying across the North Atlantic. Earhart traveled over 2,000 miles from Newfoundland in just under 15 hours. Learn More

On this day in 1935, T.E. Lawrence, known to the world as Lawrence of Arabia, dies as a retired Royal Air Force mechanic living under an assumed name. The legendary war hero, author, and archaeological scholar succumbed to injuries suffered in a motorcycle accident six days before. Learn More

On this day in 2012, Facebook, the world's largest social network, holds its initial public offering (IPO) and raises $16 billion. It was the largest technology IPO in American history to that date, and the third-largest IPO ever in the United States, after those of Visa and General Motors. At the time it went public, Facebook was valued at $104 billion and had some 900 million registered users worldwide. Learn More

On this day in 1948, in Tel Aviv, Jewish Agency Chairman David Ben-Gurion proclaims the State of Israel, establishing the first Jewish state in 2,000 years. Ben-Gurion became Israel's first premier. In the distance, the rumble of guns could be heard from fighting that broke out between Jews and Arabs immediately following the British army withdrawal earlier that day. Jews joyously celebrated the birth of their new nation, especially after word was received that the United States had recognized the Jewish state. Learn More

On this day in 1607, some 100 English colonists arrive along the west bank of the James River in Virginia to found Jamestown, the first permanent English settlement in North America. Dispatched from England by the London Company, the colonists had sailed across the Atlantic aboard the Susan Constant,Godspeed, and Discovery. Learn More

On this day in 1963, Dylan was still just another aspiring musician with a passionate niche following but no national profile whatsoever. His second album, The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan, had not yet been released, but he had secured what would surely be his big break with an invitation to perform on The Ed Sullivan Show. That appearance never happened. The young and unknown Bob Dylan walked off the set of the country's highest-rated variety show after network censors rejected the song he planned on performing. Learn More

On this day in 1934, a massive storm sends millions of tons of topsoil flying from across the parched Great Plains region of the United States as far east as New York, Boston and Atlanta. At the time the Great Plains were settled in the mid-1800s, the land was covered by prairie grass, which held moisture in the earth and kept most of the soil from blowing away even during dry spells. Learn More

On this day in 1963, with the release of Dr. No, North American moviegoers get their first look-down the barrel of a gun-at the super-spy James Bond (codename: 007), the immortal character created by Ian Fleming in his now-famous series of novels and portrayed onscreen by the relatively unknown Scottish actor Sean Connery. Learn More

On this day in 2004, at 9:00 p.m. Eastern and Pacific times that familiar theme song, "I'll Be There For You" by the Rembrandts, announces the beginning of the end, as an estimated 51.1 million people tune in for the final original episode of NBC's long-running comedy series Friends. Learn More

On this day in 1970, National Guardsmen fire their weapons at a group of anti-war demonstrators on the Kent State University campus, killing four students, wounding eight, and permanently paralyzing another. The tragedy was a watershed moment for a nation divided by the conflict in Vietnam, and further galvanized the anti-war movement. Learn More

On this day in 1941, months before its release, Orson Welles' landmark film Citizen Kane began generating such controversy that Radio City Music Hall eventually refused to show it. Instead, Citizen Kane, now revered as one of the greatest movies in history, made its debut at the smaller RKO Palace Theater. Learn More

On this day in 1948, the Land Rover, a British-made all-terrain vehicle that will earn a reputation for its use in exotic locales, debuts at an auto show in Amsterdam. The first Land Rover, known as the Series 1, was the brainchild of Maurice Wilks, the head designer for the British car company Rover, of which his brother Spencer Wilks was the managing director. Learn More

On this day in 1968, Hair, the now-famous "tribal love-rock musical" that introduced the era-defining song "Aquarius" and gave New York theatergoers a full-frontal glimpse of the burgeoning 60s-counterculture esthetic premiered on Broadway. Learn More

On this day in 1916, Ferruccio Lamborghini, the founder of the company that bears his name and is known for stylish, high-performance cars, is born in Italy. After World War II, Lamborghini founded a business making tractors from reconfigured surplus military machines, near Bologna, Italy. After experiencing mechanical difficulties with his Ferrari, Lamborghini decided to start his own rival sports car company, even hiring a former top Ferrari engineer. Learn More

On this day in 1800, President John Adams approves legislation to appropriate $5,000 to purchase "such books as may be necessary for the use of Congress," thus establishing the Library of Congress. The first books, ordered from London, arrived in 1801 and were stored in the U.S. Capitol, the library's first home. The first library catalog, dated April 1802, listed 964 volumes and nine maps. Twelve years later, the British army invaded the city of Washington and burned the Capitol, including the then 3,000-volume Library of Congress. Learn More

On this day in 1564, according to tradition, the great English dramatist and poet William Shakespeare is born in Stratford-upon-Avon. It is impossible to be certain the exact day on which he was born, but church records show that he was baptized on April 26th, and three days was a customary amount of time to wait before baptizing a newborn. Learn More

On this day in 753 B.C., Romulus and his twin brother, Remus, found Rome on the site where they were suckled by a she-wolf as orphaned infants. Actually, the Romulus and Remus myth originated sometime in the fourth century B.C., and the exact date of Rome's founding was set by the Roman scholar Marcus Terentius Varro in the first century B.C. Learn More

On this day in 2010, an explosion and fire aboard the Deepwater Horizon oil drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico, approximately 50 miles off the Louisiana coast, kills 11 people and triggers the largest offshore oil spill in American history. The rig had been in the final phases of drilling an exploratory well for BP, the British oil giant. By the time the well was capped three months later, an estimated 4.9 million barrels (or around 206 million gallons) of crude oil had poured into the Gulf. Learn More

On this day in 1964, The Ford Mustang is officially unveiled by Henry Ford II at the World's Fair in Flushing Meadows, New York. That same day, the new car also debuted in Ford showrooms across America and almost 22,000 Mustangs were immediately snapped up by buyers. Ford sold more than 400,000 Mustangs within its first year of production, far exceeding sales expectations. Learn More

On this day in 2018, the Pulitzer Prize Board awards the Pulitzer Prize for Music to rapper Kendrick Lamar for his 2017 album, DAMN. It was the first time the award had gone to a musical work outside the genres of classical music and jazz, a watershed moment for the Pulitzers and Lamar and a sign of the American cultural elite's recognition of hip-hop as a legitimate artistic medium. Learn More

On this day in 1947, Jackie Robinson, age 28, becomes the first African American player in Major League Baseball when he steps onto Ebbets Field in Brooklyn to compete for the Brooklyn Dodgers. Robinson broke the color barrier in a sport that had been segregated for more than 50 years. Learn More

On this day in 1970, disaster strikes 200,000 miles from Earth when oxygen tank No. 2 blows up on Apollo 13, the third manned lunar landing mission. Astronauts James A. Lovell, John L. Swigert, and Fred W. Haise had left Earth two days before for the Fra Mauro highlands of the moon but were forced to turn their attention to simply making it home alive. Learn More

On this day in 1970, Paul McCartney's "self-interview" was seized upon by the international media as an official announcement of a Beatles breakup. Nothing in Paul's answers constituted a definitive statement about the Beatles' future, but his remarks were nevertheless reported in the press under headlines like "McCartney Breaks Off With Beatles" and "The Beatles sing their swan song." And whatever his intent at the time, Paul's statements drove a further wedge between himself and his bandmates. Learn More

On this day in 1959,  the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) introduces America's first astronauts to the press: Scott Carpenter, L. Gordon Cooper Jr., John H. Glenn Jr., Virgil "Gus" Grissom, Walter Schirra Jr., Alan Shepard Jr., and Donald Slayton. The seven men, all military test pilots, were carefully selected from a group of 32 candidates to take part in Project Mercury, America's first manned space program. NASA planned to begin manned orbital flights in 1961. Learn More

On this day in 1974, Hank Aaron of the Atlanta Braves hits his 715th career home run, breaking Babe Ruth's legendary record of 714 homers. A crowd of 53,775 people, the largest in the history of Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium, was with Aaron that night to cheer when he hit a 4th inning pitch off the Los Angeles Dodgers' Al Downing. Learn More

On this day in 1970, the legendary actor John Wayne wins his first-and only-acting Academy Award, for his star turn in the director Henry Hathaway's Western True Grit. Wayne appeared in some 150 movies over the course of his long and storied career. Learn More

On this day in 1968, Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey debuts in theaters. Kubrick, whose 1964 Cold War satire Dr. Strangelove had been popular with audiences and critics alike, was intrigued by science fiction but felt the genre rarely produced interesting films. He became determined to make one, using the sci-fi story The Sentinel as source material and enlisting its author, Arthur C. Clarke, as his co-writer. Learn More

On this day in 1982, Argentina invades the Falklands Islands, a British colony since 1892 and British possession since 1833. Argentine amphibious forces rapidly overcame the small garrison of British marines at the town of Stanley on East Falkland and the next day seized the dependent territories of South Georgia and the South Sandwich group. The 1,800 Falkland Islanders, mostly English-speaking sheep farmers, awaited a British response. Learn More

On this day in 1700, English pranksters begin popularizing the annual tradition of April Fools' Day by playing practical jokes on each other. Although the day, also called All Fools' Day, has been celebrated for several centuries by different cultures, its exact origins remain a mystery. Learn More

On this day in 1999, the writing and directing sibling team of Lana and Lilly Wachowski release their second film, the mind-blowing science-fiction blockbuster The Matrix. Filmed for $70 million, The Matrix was a stylish, innovative and visually spectacular take on a familiar premise-that humans are unknowing inhabitants of a world controlled by machines. Learn More

On this day in 1867, U.S. Secretary of State William H. Seward signs a treaty with Russia for the purchase of Alaska for $7 million. Despite the bargain price of roughly two cents an acre, the Alaskan purchase was ridiculed in Congress and in the press as "Seward's Folly," "Seward's icebox," and President Andrew Johnson's "polar bear garden." Learn More

On this day in 1998, the FDA approves use of the drug Viagra, an oral medication that treats impotence. Sildenafil, the chemical name for Viagra, is an artificial compound that was originally synthesized and studied to treat hypertension and angina. Chemists at Pfizer found, however, that while the drug had little effect on angina, it could induce penile erections. Seeing the economic opportunity in such a biochemical effect, Pfizer decided to market the drug for impotence. Learn More

On this day in 1953, American medical researcher Dr. Jonas Salk announces on a national radio show that he has successfully tested a vaccine against poliomyelitis, the virus that causes the crippling disease of polio. He was celebrated as the great doctor-benefactor of his time. Learn More

On this day in 1995, several packages of deadly sarin gas are set off in the Tokyo subway system killing twelve people and injuring over 5,000. The gas attack was instituted by the Aum Shinrikyo cult. The cult had thousands of followers all over Japan who believed in their doomsday prophecies. Learn More

On this day in 1931, in an attempt to lift the state out of the hard times of the Great Depression, the Nevada state legislature votes to legalize gambling. Today, state gambling taxes account for the lion's share of Nevada's overall tax revenues. Learn More

On this day in 461, Saint Patrick, Christian missionary, bishop and apostle of Ireland, dies at Saul, Downpatrick, Ireland. Much of what is known about Patrick's legendary life comes from the Confessio, a book he wrote during his last years. Learn More

On this day in 1926, Robert H. Goddard launched the world's first liquid-fueled rocket in Auburn, Massachusetts. The rocket traveled for 2.5 seconds at a speed of about 60 mph and reached an altitude of 184 feet. The rocket itself was 10 feet tall. Learn More

On this day in 1965, future guitat legend Eric Clapton left the Yardbirds having joined when he was just 18. He would be replaced by fellow future guitar legends Jeff Beck who would later be named the 5th greatest guitarits of all time and Jimmy Page who would form Led Zeppelin. Learn More

On this day in 1894, Coke was first sold in bottles. Until that time it was only available as a fountain drink. The first person to bottle Coke was Joseph A. Biedenharn, owner of a candy store in Vicksburg, Mississippi. Correctly determining that bottles could boost sales, Biedenharn put the drink into Hutchinson bottles, a common and reusable glass bottle that bore no resemblance to the modern Coke bottle. Learn More

On this day in 1997, Paul McCartney, a former member of the most successful rock band in history, The Beatles, was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for his "services to music." The 54-year-old lad from Liverpool became Sir Paul in a centuries-old ceremony of pomp and solemnity at Buckingham Palace in central London. Learn More

On this day in 1876, the first discernible speech is transmitted over a telephone system when inventor Alexander Graham Bell summons his assistant in another room by saying, "Mr. Watson, come here; I want you." Bell had received a comprehensive telephone patent just three days before. Learn More

On this day in 1959, the first Barbie doll goes on display at the American Toy Fair in New York City. Eleven inches tall, with a waterfall of blond hair, Barbie was the first mass-produced toy doll in the United States with adult features. Learn More

On this day in 1899, Bayer was awarded a patent for a more stable form of the drug acetylsalicylic acid that was easier and more pleasant to take. It is now the most common drug in household medicine cabinets. Learn More

On this day in 1960, Guevara, a general in the revolution and the intellectual heavyweight of Castro's regime, looked on as Castro delivered his fiery funeral oration. The resulting photo, Guerrillero Heroico, is considered by some to be the most famous photograph in the world. Learn More

On this day in 1966, John Lennon's quote "Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink...We're more popular than Jesus now." was published in the London Evening Standard. Months later the quote would be published in the US as "We're more popular than Jesus." and  effectively end Beatlemania. Learn More

On this day in 1887, Anne Sullivan begins teaching six-year-old Helen Keller, who lost her sight and hearing after a severe illness at the age of 19 months. Under Sullivan's tutelage, including her pioneering "touch teaching" techniques, the previously uncontrollable Keller flourished, eventually graduating from college and becoming an international lecturer and activist. Learn More

On this day in 1904, Theodor Geisel, better known to the world as Dr. Seuss, the author and illustrator of such beloved children's books as "The Cat in the Hat" and "Green Eggs and Ham," is born in Springfield, Massachusetts. Learn More

On this day in 1953, Cambridge University scientists James D. Watson and Francis H.C. Crick announce that they have determined the double-helix structure of DNA, the molecule containing human genes. According to their findings, DNA replicated itself by separating into individual strands, each of which became the template for a new double helix. Learn More

On this day in 1929, after more than a decade of political maneuvering, Grand Teton National Park was created. As a concession to the ranchers and tourist operators in the area, the park only encompassed the mountains and a narrow strip at their base. Jackson Hole itself was excluded from the park and designated merely as a scenic preserve. Learn More

On this day in 1964, 22-year-old Cassius Clay shocks the odds-makers by dethroning world heavyweight boxing champ Sonny Liston in a seventh-round technical knockout. The dreaded Liston, who had twice demolished former champ Floyd Patterson in one round, was an 8-to-1 favorite. However, Clay predicted victory, boasting that he would "float like a butterfly, sting like a bee" and knock out Liston in the eighth round. Learn More

On this day in 1988, the U.S. Supreme Court votes 8-0 to overturn the $200,000 settlement awarded to the Reverend Jerry Falwell for his emotional distress at being parodied in Hustler, a pornographic magazine. The high court ruled that the parody fell within the First Amendment's protection of freedom of speech and the press. Learn More

On this day in 1948, the National Association for Stock Car Racing or NASCAR, as it will come to be widely known-is officially incorporated. NASCAR racing will go on to become one of America's most popular spectator sports, as well as a multi-billion-dollar industry. The driving force behind the establishment of NASCAR was William "Bill" France Sr. (1909-1992), a mechanic and auto-repair shop owner from Washington, D.C. who moved to Daytona, Florida. Learn More

On this day in 1962, from Cape Canaveral, Florida, John Hershel Glenn Jr. is successfully launched into space aboard the Friendship 7 spacecraft on the first orbital flight by an American astronaut. Glenn, a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps, was among the seven men chosen by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in 1959 to become America's first astronauts. Learn More