Extras » Day in History http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/extras Get the inside scoop on ABC News Behind the Scenes and 'This Day in History' video features. Fri, 11 Jul 2014 12:09:27 +0000 en hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.2.1 May 14: Skylab Space Station Launch 1973 http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/extras/2012/05/14/may-14-skylab-space-station-launch-1973/ http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/extras/2012/05/14/may-14-skylab-space-station-launch-1973/#comments Mon, 14 May 2012 20:20:46 +0000 Stephanie Rutkowski http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/extras/?p=33231 1973 Skylab Space Station Launches

America’s first space station, Skylab, was built to be a base for manned flights.  Astronauts utilized Skylab for extended stays and experiments. In 1979, the station lost orbit and burned up in the atmosphere; parts of the space station fell in the Indian Ocean and in Australia.


1985 Philly Residents Homeless After MOVE Siege

Fire from a police raid on the MOVE compound destroyed 60 homes in Philadelphia.  MOVE formed in the 1970s as a community action group.


1986 Gorbachev Speaks About Chernobyl

Soviet leader made his first comments on Chernobyl 18 days after the nuclear accident.  Gorbachev said the accident has “disturbed world opinion” and deeply affected the Soviet people.


Famous Birthdays

1936 Bobby Darin

1944 George Lucas

1961 Tim Roth

1969 Cate Blanchett

1971 Sofia Coppola

1983 Amber Tamblyn

1984 Mark Zuckerberg

1993 Miranda Cosgrove

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April 16: Apollo 16 Launch 1972; Virginia Tech Massacre 2007 http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/extras/2012/04/16/april-16-apoll-16-launch-1972-virginia-tech-massacre-2007/ http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/extras/2012/04/16/april-16-apoll-16-launch-1972-virginia-tech-massacre-2007/#comments Mon, 16 Apr 2012 19:11:10 +0000 Stephanie Rutkowski http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/extras/?p=29452 1947 Texas City Explosion A small industrial port city in Texas City, Texas, was devastated and 600 people were killed when the freight ship Grandcamp caught fire.  Ammonium nitrate in the ship created a blast large enough to destroy nearby houses and start new fires at the chemical plant.  The fire was too hot to extinguish at first, and burning lasted for days.  Nitrates aboard a second freighter, the High Flyer, ignited on April 17, causing more explosions.

1972 Apollo 16 Launch

NASA’s Apollo 16 launched from Cape Canaveral on April 16, 1972, bound for the moon.   During the lunar mission, astronauts John W. Young and Charles M. Duke collected moon rock samples using the Lunar Rover.

2007 Virginia Tech Massacre 23-year-old Seung-Hui Cho went on a shooting rampage at Virginia Tech University, killing 32 people on campus.  The school was later criticized for its response and warning system after Cho had shot the first two victims on the morning of April 16, 2007.  More than two hours passed between Cho’s first shots fired and his classroom rampage. Virginia Tech scheduled many events for the 2012 Day of Remembrance, five years after the attack.

Famous Birthdays

1889 Charlie Chaplin

1927 Pope Benedict XVI

1947 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

1952 Bill Belichick

1965 Jon Cryer

1965 Martin Lawrence

1971 Peter Billingsley

1971 Selena

1973 Akon

1976 Lukas Haas

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April 13: Oxygen Tank Explodes on Apollo 13 http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/extras/2012/04/13/april-13-oxygen-tank-explodes-on-apollo-13/ http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/extras/2012/04/13/april-13-oxygen-tank-explodes-on-apollo-13/#comments Fri, 13 Apr 2012 19:02:16 +0000 Stephanie Rutkowski http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/extras/?p=29172 1970 Apollo 13 in Trouble

An oxygen tank exploded on Apollo 13, causing the shuttle to lose electricity.  The lunar mission was aborted as NASA scrambled to bring the astronauts home safely.  Astronauts James A. Lovell, John L. Swigert and Fred W. Haise successfully splashed down in the Pacific Ocean April 17, 1970.


1981 Youth Riot in London

High unemployment among Brixton’s youth was a factor in a violent clash with police.  Hundreds of people were injured during the riots, and fire damaged 30 buildings.


1986 Pope John Paul II Visits Synagogue of Rome

Pope John Paul II was the first modern pope to pray in a synagogue.  The Vatican stressed that the pope’s visit was motivated by religion, not politics.


Famous Birthdays

1946 Al Green

1950 Ron Perlman

1963 Garry Kasparov

1964 Caroline Rhea

1970 Rick Schroder

1976 Jonathan Brandis

1976 Glenn Howerton

1978 Kyle Howard

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April 5: Berlin Disco Bombing 1986; Peter Jennings’ Cancer Announcement 2005 http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/extras/2012/04/05/april-5-berlin-disco-bombing-1986-peter-jennings-cancer-announcement-2005/ http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/extras/2012/04/05/april-5-berlin-disco-bombing-1986-peter-jennings-cancer-announcement-2005/#comments Thu, 05 Apr 2012 20:31:15 +0000 Stephanie Rutkowski http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/extras/?p=27552 1986 Berlin Disco Bombed

An American soldier and a Turkish woman were killed when a bomb exploded at a packed West Berlin nightclub.


2005 Peter Jennings’ Lung Cancer Announcement

ABC News anchor told “World News Tonight” viewers he has cancer.


2010 West Virginia Mine Accident

Emergency crews rushed to an explosion at the Upper Big Branch mine in West Virginia.


Famous Birthdays

1916 Gregory Peck

1926 Roger Corman

1937 Colin Powell

1962 Lana Clarkson

1968 Paula Cole

1972 Krista Allen

1973 Pharrell Williams



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April 4: Martin Luther King, Jr. Assassinated 1968 http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/extras/2012/04/04/april-4-martin-luther-king-jr-assassinated-1968/ http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/extras/2012/04/04/april-4-martin-luther-king-jr-assassinated-1968/#comments Wed, 04 Apr 2012 18:24:36 +0000 Stephanie Rutkowski http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/extras/?p=27292 1968 Martin Luther King, Jr. Assassinated

The 39-year-old civil rights activist was shot by James Earl Ray outside of his room at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tenn.  Martin Luther King Jr. had been in Memphis for a sanitation workers’ strike.

King led and supported non-violent campaigns for racial justice and the equality of all people, regardless of race or class.  On Aug. 28, 1963, he delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech from the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. as part of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.  He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964.

1984 Chemical Weapons Ban

President Reagan announced an international plan to ban chemical weapons.   The proposed initiative prohibited the production, possession and use of chemical weapons by all nations.

Famous Birthdays

1928 Maya Angelou

1932 Clive Davis

1964 David Cross

1965 Robert Downey Jr.

1972 Jill Scott

1973 David Blaine

1974 Dave Mirra

1976 James Roday

1979 Heath Ledger

1979 Natasha Lyonne

1981 Ned Vizzini

1987 Sarah Gadon

1991 Jamie Lynn Spears


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April 3: Unabomber Arrested in Montana 1996 http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/extras/2012/04/03/april-3-unabomber-arrested-in-montana-1996/ http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/extras/2012/04/03/april-3-unabomber-arrested-in-montana-1996/#comments Tue, 03 Apr 2012 17:06:21 +0000 Stephanie Rutkowski http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/extras/?p=26712 1996 Unabomber Suspect Arrested

On April 3, 1996, Unabomber suspect Ted Kaczynski was arrested at his remote cabin in Montana.  The FBI was able to trace both Kaczynski’s motives and his meticulous bomb construction to zero in on him and his bomb-making campaign against universities and airlines that spanned more than 17 years.   In 1995, he mailed newspaper publishers a detailed manifesto criticizing modern technology.

The highly-educated Kaczynski had been living without electricity at his small cabin in the woods.  Neighbors were surprised by the arrest, describing him as a quiet, intelligent man.


2000 Microsoft Loses Anti-Trust Case

Microsoft was charged with illegally creating a monopoly over computer operating systems.


2003 Saddam Airport Overtaken

War With Iraq: U.S. troops took control of the Saddam International Airport in Baghdad.


Famous Birthdays

1924 Doris Day

1924 Marlon Brando

1934 Jane Goodall

1942 Wayne Newton

1958 Alec Baldwin

1959 David Hyde Pierce

1961 Eddie Murphy

1971 Picabo Street

1972 Jennie Garth

1973 Jamie Bamber

1978 Matthew Goode

1982 Cobie Smulders

1985 Leona Lewis

1986 Amanda Bynes


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March 30: President Reagan Assassination Attempt 1981 http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/extras/2012/03/30/march-30-president-reagan-assassination-attempt-1981/ http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/extras/2012/03/30/march-30-president-reagan-assassination-attempt-1981/#comments Fri, 30 Mar 2012 16:38:13 +0000 Stephanie Rutkowski http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/extras/?p=26282 1972 Easter Offensive in Vietnam

Heavy fighting broke out when North Vietnamese forces crossed into South Vietnam.


1979 Three Mile Island Nuclear Accident

Pennsylvania residents feared radiation after a nuclear reactor accident which began on March 28, 1979.  The reactor core overheated, causing a partial meltdown.  There was no evacuation ordered, but pregnant woman and young children were advised to stay away from the area.  Three Mile Island remains the worst accident at a U.S. nuclear power plant.


1981  President Reagan Shot

John Hinckley, Jr., shot President Reagan in the chest outside a Washington, D.C., hotel. A bullet pierced Reagan’s left lung, and the president underwent surgery at the George Washington University Hospital.  He returned to office on April 11, 1981.  Hinckley was later ruled not guilty by reason of insanity and was placed in a mental institution.

Timothy McCarthy, Thomas Delahaney and James Brady were also hit.  All three recovered, but Brady suffered permanent brain damage.  Brady pushed for stricter gun control laws in America and his advocacy influenced the Brady Bill.  The bill was signed into law in 1993 and required background checks and a waiting period for anyone hoping to buy a gun.


Famous Birthdays

1957 Paul Reiser

1962 MC Hammer

1964 Tracy Chapman

1964 Ian Ziering

1965 Piers Morgan

1968 Celine Dion

1971 Mark Consuelos

1979 Norah Jones


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March 27: NCAA Basketball Tournament Begins 1939 http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/extras/2012/03/27/march-27-ncaa-basketball-tournament-begins-1939/ http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/extras/2012/03/27/march-27-ncaa-basketball-tournament-begins-1939/#comments Tue, 27 Mar 2012 21:07:15 +0000 Stephanie Rutkowski http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/extras/?p=25522 First NCAA Basketball Tournament

gty ncaa basketball thg 120327 wblog March 27: NCAA Basketball Tournament Begins 1939

A member of the Kansas Jayhawks drives against the North Carolina Tar Heels during the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball Midwest Regional Final at Edward Jones Dome on March 25, 2012 in St Louis. (Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

March Madness dates back to 1939, when the first NCAA men’s basketball tournament was held. The University of Oregon beat Ohio State in the first championship game on March 27, 1939, with a low score of 46-33.  Eighteen teams participated in the first year of the tournament — currently 68 teams play.  UCLA holds the record for the most tournament championships, with 11 titles.  The first women’s NCAA basketball tournament took place in 1982.


Also on This Day in History:


1987 AZT Drug for AIDS Patients

Dr. Jerome Horowitz created the AZT drug while searching for a cancer treatment.  The FDA approved the drug on March 20, 1987 — a week before this report from “World News.”  Zidovudine (AZT) slows down the spread of HIV.


1997 Inside Heaven’s Gate

After cult’s mass suicide, details emerge about castration and UFO obsessions.  Police in San Diego had discovered 39 bodies at the Heaven’s Gate commune on March 26, 1997.


Famous Birthdays

1942 Michael York

1963 Quentin Tarantino

1969 Kevin Corrigan

1970 Mariah Carey

1970 Elizabeth Mitchell

1971 Nathan Fillion

1975 Fergie

1982 Iman Crosson

1988 Brenda Song

1988 Jessie J


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March 23: Reagan’s ‘Star Wars’ Missile Defense 1983 http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/extras/2012/03/23/march-23-reagans-star-wars-missile-defense-1983/ http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/extras/2012/03/23/march-23-reagans-star-wars-missile-defense-1983/#comments Fri, 23 Mar 2012 18:15:40 +0000 Stephanie Rutkowski http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/extras/?p=24632 1983 ‘Star Wars’ Missile Defense

President Reagan announced a plan to intercept nuclear missiles in space.  In his address to the nation, Reagan talked about Soviet military build-up and the threat of communism. The anti-missile proposal was known as the “Star Wars” Initiative.


2001 End of Mir Space Station

In a controlled crash, the Russian space station burned up in the atmosphere.


Famous Birthdays

1953 Chaka Khan

1954 Kenneth Cole

1966 Marin Hinkle

1976 Michelle Monaghan

1976 Keri Russell

1978 Nicholle Tom

1978 David Tom

1978 Perez Hilton

1986 Steven Strait

1990 Princess Eugenie of York


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March 21: JFK on Sanctions Against Cuba 1963 http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/extras/2012/03/21/march-21-jfk-on-sanctions-against-cuba-1963/ http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/extras/2012/03/21/march-21-jfk-on-sanctions-against-cuba-1963/#comments Wed, 21 Mar 2012 22:26:39 +0000 Stephanie Rutkowski http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/extras/?p=23662 1963 U.S. Sanctions on Cuba

JFK addressed sanctions on Cuba and alliances with Central American nations.


1980 Olympic Boycott Dispute

President Carter told athletes they could not attend the Moscow Summer Olympics.


1999 Hot Air Balloon Record

Brian Jones and Bertrand Piccard flew around the world in a hot air balloon.


Famous Birthdays

1958 Gary Oldman

1962 Matthew Broderick

1962 Rosie O’Donnell

1962 Mark Waid

1974 Laura Allen

1975 Justin Pierce

1976 Rachael MacFarlane

1977 Charles Blackstone

1978 Kevin Federline

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