Thursday, August 5, 2010

On This Day in History

The Scots are a proud people.
1305 – William Wallace, Commander of the Army of the Kingdom of Scotland amid the Wars of Scottish Independence, was captured by the English near Glasgow and transported to London, where he was put on trial and executed 18 days later.  Scotland would win its independence in 1328.

1583 – Sir Humphrey Gilbert establishes the first English colony in North America at what is now St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, located along the eastern tip of Canada.

1620 – The Mayflower departed from Southampton, England on its first attempt to reach North America.  Because its sister ship, the Speedwell, developed a purported leak (later disproved) and was docked as a result, the Mayflower would not reach Provincetown, Massachusetts until the following November.

1884 – The cornerstone for the Statue of Liberty is laid on Bedloe's Island (now Liberty Island) in New York Harbor.  Having been constructed in France, the statue was shipped in crates, assembled on the completed pedestal, and officially opened to the public by President Grover Cleveland on October 28, 1886.

1930 – Neil Armstrong, the first person to set foot on the Moon, was born in Wapakoneta, Ohio.

1944 – Polish insurgents liberated a German labor camp in Warsaw, freeing 348 Jewish prisoners.  Although the Germans would eventually quell the two-month Warsaw Uprising, the Nazi regime would be defeated by the Allies eight months later, ending World War II.

1952 – The show that would become American Bandstand debuted on the ABC television network and would remain on-air for 47 years.

1962 – Marilyn Monroe, the Lindsay Lohan of her day, died of a "probable suicide" from "acute barbiturate poisoning."  In other words, the Kennedys probably did it.

1981 – President Ronald Reagan fired 11,359 striking air-traffic controllers who ignored his order for them to return to work.

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