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Today in History
If you’re on Facebook be sure to Friend the South Fayette Township Library. Each day we post a ‘Today in History’ segment on fascinating or esoteric topics.
Nancy Pelosi becomes the first woman to be elected speaker of the US House of Representatives. She was first elected to Congress in 1987. She held the position until 2011. Read more about Pelosi’s historic accomplishment here.
Orville Wright piloted the first airplane in a flight that lasted 12 seconds and covered 120 feet. You can read an eyewitness account of Orville Wright’s first flight here.
Patriots disguised as Native Americans boarded a ship in Boston harbor. Once aboard, they threw chests of tea overboard to protest a British monopoly on tea. You can read an eyewitness account of the Boston Tea Party here.
Jeannette Rankin is the first woman to be elected to Congress. She was a Republican from Montana. She was the only member of Congress who opposed the declaration of war in World War I and World War II. Read more about her career here.
Future NFL player Pat Tillman is born in Fremont, California. Tillman played for the Arizona Cardinals but decided to join the US Army after the 9/11 attacks. He became a Ranger but was killed by friendly fire while serving in Afghanistan in 2004. Read more about Tillman’s life and career here.
Parker Brothers launches the Monopoly board game. The origins of Monopoly date back to 1904 with a concept called “The Landlord’s Game.” Monopoly has become an international hit with versions printed in 37 languages. Read more about the history of Monopoly here.
An angry mob storms the US embassy in Tehran, Iran. More than 60 Americans are taken hostage, which marks the beginning of a prolonged crisis. Go here to read more about the Iranian Hostage Crisis.
Klansmen open fire on members of the Communist Workers Party (CWP) at an anti-Klan rally in Greensboro, North Carolina. Five people were killed, including four members of the CWP. The event became known as the Greensboro Massacre. Read more about the massacre and its legacy here.
The Hercules HK-4 Flying Boat, better known as the “Spruce Goose,” flew for the first and only time at Long Beach, California. Howard Hughes was at the controls and it flew for only one minute. The plane is currently housed at the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum in McMinnville, Oregon. Go here to read more about the history of the “Spruce Goose”.
Author and journalist Stephen Crane is born in New Jersey. His Civil War novel The Red Badge of Courage is one of his most famous works, but he also created the novella Maggie: a Girl of the Streets, which was a realistic depiction of life in the slums of the late 1800s. He died of tuberculosis at age 28 in Germany in June 1900. Click here to read more about Stephen Crane’s life and career.