On This Day, Video

Daily Video for June 16 – First Woman in Space


Valentina TeresHova is the First Woman in SPace

On June 16, 1963, Soviet space capsule Vostok 6 blasted off.  On board was cosmonaut Valentina Tereshova who over almost 3 days completed 48 orbits in her craft, the “Seagull”.  Tereshova experienced a great deal of difficulty in flight, suffering from assorted aches and pains, vomiting, and equipment malfunctions, leading many to believe later that her flight was possibly sabotaged (one wonders if it’s because she was a woman).

Despite all this, it was revealed in 2004 that there was an error in the flight control program that caused her craft to begin to ascend, rather than descend from orbit, an error she noticed immediately that would have caused her to shoot off into space if not corrected.  She was able to correct her course and return safely to Earth, but in the tradition of the Soviet space program, was ordered not to talk about the incident at the time.

Check out this video to learn more:

On This Day, Video

Daily Video for June 15 – Arlington National Cemetery Established


Arlington National Cemetery Formally Established

On June 15, 1864, US Secretary of War, Edwin M. Stanton officially sets aside 200 acres of land on the captures Custis-Lee Estate to establish a military cemetery for fallen Union soldiers.  The land and the home was the former residence of Confederate General Robert E. Lee whose wife, Mary Anna Custis Lee (great-granddaughter of Martha Washington) inherited the house from her father who had it built in 1802.

Prior to its establishment as a cemetery, the grounds at Arlington, having been seized by Union forces early in the conflict (May 1861), had been used for the defense of Washington and as a Freedman’s village with homes for what eventually numbered over 3,000 slaves freed during the war.

Today the house and grounds are part of a larger 624 acre cemetery complex, with further expansions possible and is maintained by the US Department of the Army.

Arlington National Cemetery

History of Arlington National Cemetery


Tours of Famous Graves at Arlington National Cemetery


The Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers

On This Day, Video

Daily Video for June 12 – Baseball Hall of Fame Opens



On June 12, 1939, the first class of baseball players is inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY.  Elected in 1936, prior to the Hall’s opening ceremonies the first players inducted included legends Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner, Christy Mathewson, Ty Cobb, and Walter Johnson.

Largely established in the hopes of attracting tourists to the Depression ravaged town of Cooperstown, New York, the Baseball Hall of Fame was established there under the erroneous claim that Civil War hero General Abner Doubleday invented the game there at a field adjacent to the current Hall of Fame building.

As of 2020, 333 people have been elected to the Hall, mostly former major league players, but also including Negro League players, executives, umpires, baseball pioneers, and managers.  A separate wing also includes baseball writers and broadcasters.

Induction ceremonies are now held in July during “Hall of Fame Weekend”, which also includes a 7-inning game featuring players from each of the 30 current teams and Hall of Fame players.  This year’s ceremony has been canceled, however, due to COVID-19 and the inductees will have their ceremony with the class of 2021 next year.

Learn more about the history of the Hall of Fame:


The first induction ceremony:


On This Day, Video

Daily Video for June 11 – Jeanette Rankin Born



On June 11, 1880, Jeanette Rankin was born in what was then the Montana Territory.  At a young age, as the oldest of six children working side by side with her parents on the family ranch, she often noted that while women shared an equal amount of work, both in time and the intensity of the labor, with men, in politics they had no voice and she sought to change that.

She was elected twice to serve Montana as a US Representative as a Republican, first in 1916 (four years before women gained the right to vote nationwide) and again in 1940.  Her 1916 election marked the first time a woman was elected to a federal office, and while serving she proposed the articles that would eventually become the 19th Amendment, giving women the univeral right to vote in the US.

Also notable is that both of her terms happened to fall at the beginnings of both World War I and World War II.  She was one of 50 members of Congress to vote against the declaration of war in 1917, and the lone no vote against declaring war in World War II.

Learn more about Representative Rankin here:

On This Day, Video

Daily Video for June 10 – Bridget Bishop Hanged



On June 10, 1692, Bridget Bishop of Salem was hanged for “certaine Detestable Arts called Witchcraft and Sorceries”.  She will be the first of 20 people (14 women, 5 men, and a young girl) executed during the Salem Witch Hysteria that lasted from 1692-1693.

While the true nature of the symptoms and causes of those claiming to be bewitched has been studied and up for debate for many years, this remains one of the hallmark examples of mass hysteria in Colonial America and the world and as such has become the subject of many media interpretations and intense speculation for over 300 years.

Learn more about the Salem Witch Trials:


On This Day, Video

Daily Video for June 9 – Happy Birthday Donald Duck!



On June 9, 1934, Walt Disney released a Silly Symphonies short entitles “The Wise Little Hen”.  In this short a very familiar white bird in a blue sailor’s outfit makes an appearance.  He will prove so popular that soon he’s having adventures with a certain big-eared mouse and a star is born!

Happy 86th birthday, Donald Duck!

Check out his debut performance here:

On This Day, Video

Daily Video for June 8 – Bill of Rights Beginnings



On June 8, 1789, James Madison, then a Representative of Virginia’s 5th District, proposed 17 articles, or proposed amendments to the US Constitution.  These would be debated and passed by the House of Representatives, then shortened and combined into 12 and passed by the senate, then again by the House of Representatives in September of that year.

When sent to the states for ratification, articles three through 12 were passed, becoming the Bill of Rights — the first 10 amendments to the US Constitution.  Article two, which involved preventing Congress from increasing its compensation in its current term was passed in 1992, but the first article, specifying how Representatives are apportioned has not  yet been ratified, though it remains active and pending since there is no time limit set for the ratification of Constitutional Amendments.

Check out this video:

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Daily Video for June 5 – Lizzie Borden on Trial


The Trial of Lizzie Borden Begins

On June 5, 1893, the trial of Lizzie Borden, accused of killing her father and stepmother with an axe in their Fall River, Massachusetts home, begins.  The fifteen day trial, heavily covered in the nation’s newspapers at the time, becomes one of the earliest examples of a media frenzy over court proceedings in the United States.

While she will be acquitted by the jury on June 20 (after an hour and a half deliberation), Lizzie remains to this day the prime suspect in the still technically unsolved murder.

Check out this video:

On This Day, Video

Daily Video for June 4 – Tienanmen Square Protests Suppressed


The Tienanmen Square Incident

On June 4, 1989, student protests on Tienanmen Square in Beijing China which began in April were broken up by the Chinese military in what is sometimes called the Tienanmen Square Incident, the June Fourth Incident, or the Tienanmen Square Massacre.

Reaching at one point over 1 million protesters strong, the Chinese students were calling for democracy, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, due process, and greater accountability for the communist Chinese regime.  These protests ultimately led to the declaration of marital law, and on June 4, 1989, the Chinese military rolled into the square to break up the protesters, resulting in thousands dead and wounded, the leaders executed or exiled,  and a greater clamp down by the government on the freedoms given to the people, ending or reversing many reforms that were being made throughout the 1980s.

Check out these videos of the incident:

“Tank Man”:

On This Day, Video

Daily Video for June 3 – Allen Ginsberg, Beat Poet, born


The Birth Of Allen Ginsberg and Beat Poetry

One of the original Beat poets, Allen Ginsberg was born on this date in 1926.

Beat poetry was a literary movement born in the 1940s and 1950s and a disillusion with the world after the horrors of the Second World War.  Poets sought to write in what they considered to be an authentic and spontaneous, and very nontraditional, style — “first thought, best though” was the mantra and poems took on a stream of consciousness style most times, and were often read aloud to give the full effect of the message.

Check out these videos that give a short history of Beat poetry and feature Allen Ginsberg reading one of his most famous works, “Howl”: