In a controversial move that inspired charges of eastern domination of the West, Congress established Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. Today, Grand Teton National Park encompasses 309,993 acres and lies at the heart of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, which is considered one of the few remaining, nearly intact, temperate ecosystems on Earth. Though initially hesitant to be part of the national park, Jackson Hole was eventually incorporated. Successful working ranches still exist, but the local economy is increasingly dependent on services provided to tourists and the wealthy owners of vacation homes.
The last U.S. Marines sent to Lebanon as part of a multinational peacekeeping force left Beirut, the war-torn Lebanese capital where some 250 of the original 800 Marines lost their lives during the problem-plagued 18-month mission. During the mission on October 23, a Lebanese terrorist drove a truck packed with explosives into the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut, killing 241 U.S. military personnel. After the barracks bombing, many questioned whether President Ronald Reagan had a solid policy aim in Lebanon. In a national address on the night of October 23, President Reagan vowed to keep the Marines in Lebanon, but just four months later he announced the end of the American role in the peacekeeping force.
At 12:18pm, a bomb exploded in the basement parking garage below the World Trade Center. The massive explosion killed six people and wounded more than 1,000. The bombing brought home the shocking new reality of radical Islamic terrorism as a global phenomenon that directly impacted the US and its citizens. The planned scale of the attack dwarfed previous terrorist plots, as the plot’s leader, Ramzi Yousef, later told the FBI he had hoped to topple one tower into the other, killing some 250,000 civilians. Tragically, the 1993 bombing foreshadowed the much larger attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, in which a different group of Muslim extremists would achieve at least part of Yousef’s horrific goal.
A group of masked and costumed students danced through the streets of New Orleans, Louisiana, marking the beginning of the city’s famous Mardi Gras celebrations. The celebration of Carnival—or the weeks between Twelfth Night on January 6 and Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the Christian period of Lent—spread from Rome across Europe and later to the Americas. Nowhere in the United States is Carnival celebrated as grandly as in New Orleans, famous for its over-the-top parades and parties for Mardi Gras (or Fat Tuesday), the last day of the Carnival season.
In Washington, D.C., the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, providing for female suffrage, was unanimously declared constitutional by the eight members of the U.S. Supreme Court. The 19th Amendment, which stated that “the right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State on account of sex,” was the product of over seven decades of meetings, petitions, and protests by women suffragists and their supporters.
Baseball pioneer Effa Manley became the first woman elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Manley, who died in 1981, was a woman ahead of her time. In an era when few women were involved in sports management, Manley was the do-everything business manager for the Newark (New Jersey) Eagles of the Negro National League. In the 1930s and '40s, when she and her husband owned the Negro League team, she challenged fellow owners, who were all male. Later, she confronted Major League Baseball, pushing it to recognize Negro League players, who had been ignored by the Hall of Fame.
With the region’s population booming because of the Pike’s Peak gold rush, Congress created the new Territory of Colorado. When the United States acquired it after the Mexican War ended in 1848, the land that would one day become Colorado was nearly unpopulated by Anglo settlers. Ute, Arapaho, Cheyenne, and other Native Americans had occupied the land for centuries, but the Europeans who had made sporadic appearances there since the 17th century never stayed for long. It was not until 1851 that the first permanent non-Indian settlement was established, in the San Luis Valley.
The J. Paul Getty Museum became the most richly endowed museum on earth when it received a $1.2 billion bequest left to it by the late J. Paul Getty. The American oil billionaire died in 1976, but legal wrangling over his fortune by his children and ex-wives kept his will in probate until 1982. The $1 billion complex opened in December 1997. Fourteen years in the making, the Getty Center includes a large museum, a research institute and library, an art conservation institute, a digital information institute, an arts education institute, a museum management school, and a grant program center. The buildings were designed in a modernist style by American architect Richard Meier.
The celebrated sitcom M*A*S*H bowed out after 11 seasons, airing a special two-and-a-half hour episode watched by 77 percent of the television viewing audience. It was the largest percentage ever to watch a single TV show up to that time. Set near Seoul, Korea, behind the American front lines during the Korean War, M*A*S*H was based on the 1968 novel by Richard Hooker and the 1970 film produced by 20th Century Fox and directed by Robert Altman. Its title came from the initials for the Mobile Army Surgical Hospital, an isolated compound that received wounded soldiers and was staffed by the show’s cast of doctors and nurses.
In a crime that captured the attention of the entire nation, Charles Lindbergh, Jr., the 20-month-old son of aviation hero Charles Lindbergh, was kidnapped from the family’s new mansion in Hopewell, New Jersey. After a ransom of $70k was paid and an exhaustive search, the baby’s body was found less than a mile from home. In 1934, a suspect was eventually charged and convicted of the crime. In the aftermath of the crime—the most notorious of the 1930s—kidnapping was made a federal offense.
President John F. Kennedy issued Executive Order #10924, establishing the Peace Corps as a new agency within the Department of State. The same day, he sent a message to Congress asking for permanent funding for the agency, which would send trained American men and women to foreign nations to assist in development efforts. The Peace Corps captured the imagination of the U.S. public, and during the week after its creation thousands of letters poured into Washington from young Americans hoping to volunteer.March 2
New York Yankees center fielder Mickey Mantle announced his retirement from baseball. Mantle was an idol to millions, known for his remarkable power and speed and his everyman personality. While “The Mick” patrolled center field and batted clean-up between 1951 and 1968, the Yankees won 12 American League pennants and seven World Series. Mantle’s penchant for drink led to debilitating alcoholism as he grew older, and he died of liver cancer on August 13, 1995, at age 63. At the time of his death he held many of the records for World Series play, including most home runs (18), most RBIs (40) and most runs (42). Mantle was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1974 in his first year of eligibility.
Theodor Geisel, better known to the world as Dr. Seuss, the author and illustrator of such children’s books as “The Cat in the Hat” and “Green Eggs and Ham,” was born in Springfield, Massachusetts. Geisel, who used his middle name (which was also his mother’s maiden name) as his pen name, wrote 48 books—including some for adults—that have sold well over 200 million copies and been translated into multiple languages. Dr. Seuss books are known for their whimsical rhymes and quirky characters, which have names like the Lorax and the Sneetches and live in places like Whoville.
Philadelphia Warriors center Wilt Chamberlain scored 100 points against the New York Knicks during a home game in Hershey, Pennsylvania. It was the first time that a professional basketball player had scored 100 points in a single contest; the previous record, 78, had been set by Chamberlain earlier in the season. During the game, Chamberlain sank 36 field goals and 28 foul shots, both league records.
Pioneer 10, the world’s first outer-planetary probe, was launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on a mission to Jupiter, the solar system’s largest planet. In December 1973, after successfully negotiating the asteroid belt and a distance of 620 million miles, Pioneer 10 reached Jupiter and sent back to Earth the first close-up images of the spectacular gas giant. In June 1983, the NASA spacecraft left the solar system and the next day radioed back the first scientific data on interstellar space. NASA officially ended the Pioneer 10 project on March 31, 1997, with the spacecraft having traveled a distance of some six billion miles.
Congress reins in President John Tyler’s zealous use of the presidential veto, overriding it with the necessary two-thirds vote. This marked Congress’ first use of the Constitutional provision allowing Congressional veto overrides and represented Congress’ parting gift to Tyler as he left office. Tyler used the presidential veto 10 times on a variety of legislation during his administration; the frequency of his use of the veto was second only to that of Andrew Jackson, who employed it 12 times during his tenure.
Anne Sullivan began teaching six-year-old Helen Keller, who lost her sight and hearing after a severe illness at the age of 19 months. Under Sullivan’s tutelage, including her pioneering “touch teaching” techniques, Keller flourished, eventually graduating from college and becoming an international lecturer and activist. Sullivan, later dubbed “the miracle worker,” helped Helen Keller became a public speaker and author; her first book, “The Story of My Life” was published in 1902. She was also a fundraiser for the American Foundation for the Blind and an advocate for racial and sexual equality, as well as socialism. From 1920 to 1924, Sullivan and Keller even formed a vaudeville act to educate the public and earn money. Helen Keller died on June 1, 1968, at her home in Easton, Connecticut, at age 87, leaving her mark on the world by helping to alter perceptions about the disabled.
President Herbert Hoover signed a congressional act making “The Star-Spangled Banner” the official national anthem of the United States. On September 14, 1814, Francis Scott Key composed the lyrics to “The Star-Spangled Banner” after witnessing the massive overnight British bombardment of Fort McHenry in Maryland during the War of 1812. Key, an American lawyer, watched the siege while under detainment on a British ship and penned the famous words after observing with awe that Fort McHenry’s flag survived the 1,800-bomb assault.
Government under the U.S. Constitution began when the first session of the U.S. Congress is held in New York City. However, it isn't until September 25, after several months of debate, that the first Congress of the United States adopts 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution—the Bill of Rights—and sends them to the states for ratification. This action led to the eventual ratification of the Constitution by the last of the 13 original colonies: North Carolina and Rhode Island.
Ernest Hemingway completed his short novel The Old Man and the Sea. The book won the Pulitzer Prize in 1953 and became one of his bestselling works. The novella, which was first published in Life magazine, was an allegory referring to the writer’s own struggles to preserve his art in the face of fame and attention. Hemingway had become a cult figure whose four marriages and adventurous exploits in big-game hunting and fishing were widely covered in the press. But despite his fame, he had not produced a major literary work in a decade before he wrote The Old Man and the Sea. The book would be his last significant work of fiction before his suicide in 1961.
After 20 years of marriage, actress Lucille Ball divorced her husband and collaborator, Desi Arnaz. The breakup of the couple, stars of the hit sitcom I Love Lucy and owners of the innovative Desilu Studios, was one of the highest-profile divorces in American history at the time. Though the two were, by all accounts, deeply in love for most of their lives, the relationship was always tumultuous, due to both of them being in showbusiness and to Arnaz's womanizing and problems with alcohol. Though the divorce was reportedly contentious, the two remained close for the rest of their lives, which they each spent in showbusiness.