Today in History: The American Revolutionary War begins in 1775

Today in History: The American Revolutionary War begins in 1775

On this day in 1775, the Battles of Lexington and Concord marked the beginning of the armed conflict between the Kingdom of Great Britain and 13 colonies of British North America. The war resulted in U.S. independence.

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Today in History: Albert Einstein died in 1955

Today in History: Albert Einstein died in 1955

Celebrated physicist and Nobel Laureate Albert Einstein died on this day in 1955 at the age of 76.

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Today in History: Earthquake destroys San Francisco in 1906

Today in History: Earthquake destroys San Francisco in 1906

The 1906 San Francisco earthquake struck the coast of Northern California at 5:12 a.m. on Wednesday, April 18 with an estimated moment magnitude of 7.9. High-intensity shaking was felt from Eureka on the North Coast to the Salinas Valley, an agricultural region to the south of the San Francisco Bay Area. Devastating fires soon broke out in the city and lasted for several days. More than 3,000 people died. Over 80% of the city of San Francisco was destroyed. The events are remembered as one of the worst and deadliest earthquakes in the history of the United States.

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Today in History: Dong Kingman born in 1911

Dong Kingman, ca. 1970

Today in History: Dong Kingman born in 1911

On this day in 1911, Chinese-American artist Dong Kingman was born in Oakland, California. Kingman was a leading watercolor painter of the California Style School. He was known for his urban and landscape paintings and his graphic design work for the Hollywood film industry. Kingman produced several posters for American Airlines during the late 1960s / early 1970s. His works are included in over 50 public and private collections worldwide, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the Brooklyn Museum, San Francisco’s deYoung Museum and the Art Institute in Chicago. Kingman died of cancer on May 11, 2000, in his New York City home. Source wikipedia.com

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Today in History: The Eiffel Tower was completed in 1889

Eiffel Tower, Paris, David Klein, ca. 1960

Today in History: The Eiffel Tower was completed in 1889

Happy Birthday, La Tour Eiffel, global icon of Paris. On this day in 1889, the construction of the 324 m (1024 feet) Eiffel Tower was completed.

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Today in History: Apartheid in South Africa comes to an end in 1992

Amnesty, South Africa, 1970s

Today in History: Apartheid in South Africa comes to an end in 1992
On this day in 1992, a referendum officially abolishes racial segregation in South Africa. 68.7% of white South Africans voted in favor of ending apartheid, supporting President de Klerk’s reform policies that had started with the liberation of Mandela in 1990.

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Today is the first day of the Chinese New Year

Today is the first day of the Chinese New Year and 2021 is the Year of the Ox

The Chinese New Year is full of dragon dances, fireworks, feasts, gift-giving, and lantern festivals. Red is the traditional color of the holiday because it symbolizes luck and prosperity. Many families will paint their doors a bright scarlet to bring good fortune in the year to come. According to tradition, each year of the Chinese calendar is associated with one of the twelve zodiac signs: rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog, or pig.

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Today in History: Nelson Mandela released from prison in 1990

Today in History: Nelson Mandela released from prison in 1990

Nelson Mandela (18 July 1918 – 5 December 2013) was a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary and political leader who served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999. He was the country’s first black head of state and the first elected in a fully representative democratic election. Mandela was arrested in 1962 as the chief leader of the African National Congress (ANC), active opponents of the government’s segregation laws, and sentenced to life imprisonment for conspiring to overthrow the state. He spent more than 27 years in prison. In 1989 South African President Willem de Klerk abolished all apartheid laws. In 1993, de Klerk and Mandela were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for a peaceful end of apartheid.

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Today in History: Southern Pacific completes “Sunset Route” in 1883

Today in History: Southern Pacific completes “Sunset Route” in 1883

On this day in 1883, Southern Pacific Railroad completed its transcontinental “Sunset Route” from New Orleans to California, consolidating its dominance over rail traffic to the Pacific.

One of the most powerful railroad companies of the 19th century, the “Espee” (as the railroad was often called) originated in an ambitious plan conceived in 1870 by the “Big Four” western railroad barons: Collis P. Huntington, Charles Crocker, Leland Stanford, and Mark Hopkins. By 1877, Southern Pacific controlled 85 percent of California’s railroad mileage. Marshalling awesome energy and financial resources, Huntington began driving his Southern Pacific line eastward. In 1881, he linked the Southern Pacific to the Santa Fe Railroad at Deming, New Mexico, creating the second American transcontinental railway. Two years later, on February 5, 1883, Huntington gained full control of a number of smaller railroads, creating the Southern Pacific’s “Sunset Route” from New Orleans to California. With the “Sunset Route,” Huntington confirmed his domination over California rails. Ddespite the anger and outrage Huntington’s exploitation inspired, few would deny that the mighty Southern Pacific Railroad played an essential role in fostering the growth of a vibrant California economy for decades to come. Source: http://www.history.com.

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Today in History: World’s largest diamond found

Today in History: World’s largest diamond found

On this day in 1905, at the Premier Mine in Pretoria, South Africa, a 3,106-carat diamond is discovered during a routine inspection by the mine’s superintendent. Weighing 1.33 pounds, and christened the “Cullinan,” it was the largest diamond ever found. The Cullinan was later cut into nine large stones and about 100 smaller ones, valued at millions of dollars all told. The largest stone is called the “Star of Africa I,” or “Cullinan I,” and at 530 carats, it is the largest-cut fine-quality colorless diamond in the world and it is on display in the Tower of London with Britain’s other crown jewels. Source: history.com.

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