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Daily Video for June 30 – Charles Guiteau Executed

TODAY IN HISTORY…

The Execution of Charles Guiteau, Presidential Assassin

On June 30, 1882, the assassin of President James Garfield, Charles Guiteau was executed for his crime in Washington DC.

A disgruntled office seeker, Guiteau had been stalking the President for months seeking an appointment as the US Consul to Paris.  Rebuked for the final time, he ambushed and shot Garfield in the Baltimore and Potomac Railroad Station in Washington DC on July 2, 1881.  Garfield died 11 weeks later after extensive treatment by a large team of doctors.  These even included Alexander Graham Bell who tried using and early version of his telephone technology to find the bullets that struck the President.  It is believed that had the doctors followed simple antiseptic practices, new to the time, that Garfield may have survived his wounds.

Check out this video on the assassination:

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Daily Video for June 24 – Mary Pickford Makes Millions

TODAY IN HISTORY…

The First Female Million DOllar Film Star

On June 24, 1916, Mary Pickford, arguably the first female film mega-star, signs a million dollar contract with Adolph Zukor’s Famous Players (later Paramount Pictures), giving her full control over what films she can star in and earning her a salary of $10,000 a week (over $235,000 today).

Already one of the biggest stars of silent film, her fame will only grow as a result.  She will go on to become one of the first female film directors and producers, and in 1920 will invest in 1/4 of her own film studio, United Artists, along with stars Douglas Fairbanks, Charlie Chaplin, and director D.W. Griffith.

Check out these videos about Mary, her early films, and United Artists:

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Daily Video for June 22 – Erich Maria Remarque Born

TODAY IN HISTORY…

Happy Birthday, Erich Maria REmarque

Born on June 22, 1898, Erich Maria Remarque served in the German army during World War I.  His novel, All Quiet on the Western Front, written about his experiences in the war became an international best-seller in 1928, and created a new literary genre that focused on a soldier’s physical and emotional stresses in battle and the struggles they had returning to civilian life after the conflict.

 

Check out this video summarizing All Quiet on the Western Front:

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Daily Video for June 16 – First Woman in Space

TODAY IN HISTORY…

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:

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Daily Video for June 15 – Arlington National Cemetery Established

TODAY IN HISTORY…

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

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Daily Video for June 11 – Jeanette Rankin Born

TODAY IN HISTORY…

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JEANETTE RANKIN

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:

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Daily Video for June 9 – Happy Birthday Donald Duck!

TODAY IN HISTORY…

DONALD DUCK MAKES HIS DEBUT

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:

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Daily Video for June 5 – Lizzie Borden on Trial

TODAY IN HISTORY…

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:

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

TODAY IN HISTORY…

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”: