Today in History | Winter 2018

Why not use events in history to learn more about the culture and people of the time? You could easily take any one of the days listed here and spin off a unit study from it.

December 20
In 1836, President Andrew Jackson presented Congress with a treaty he negotiated with Ioway, Sacs, Sioux, Fox, Otoe & Omaha tribes of the Missouri territory. Two years later, he would force thousands of Cherokee to march by gunpoint from Georgia to Oklahoma. The trail of tears killed over 4,000 by starvation, disease, and cold.

December 21
In 1968, Apollo 8 launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida with astronauts Frank Borman, James Lovell, Jr., and William Anders aboard. They were the first Americans to orbit the moon, and took stunning photos of Earth and the moon from the spacecraft.

December 22
Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony premiered in 1808 in Vienna. Under freezing conditions, it was more than two hours into a four-hour program before the piece even began!

December 23
1986 Jeana Yeager & Dick Rutan piloted the first non-stop, non-refueled flight around the world in the Rutan Voyager aircraft. The flight began and ended at Edwards Air Force Base, and lasted 9 days, 3 minutes and 44 seconds, setting a flight endurance record.

December 24
A devastating fire ravaged the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. in 1851, destroying about two-thirds of its 55,000 volumes. The destruction included most of Thomas Jefferson’s personal library, which the institution purchased in 1815.

December 25
The Christmas Truce. Just after midnight on this day in 1914, the majority of German troops on the front lines ceased firing and began singing Christmas carols. Many soldiers on both sides exchanged gifts of cigarettes and plum puddings, and sang songs together.

December 26
In 1820, Moses Austin met with Spanish authorities in San Antonio, Texas to ask permission for 300 American families to settle in Texas.

December 27
The play Peter Pan, by James Barrie, opened in Londed on this day in 1904.

December 28
Auguste & Louis Lumiere held the world’s first commercial movie creening in 1895, charging admission for the first time.

December 29
Archbishop Thomas Becket, is assinated by four knights of King Henry II in 1170 in the Canturbury Cathedral.

December 30
In 1922 the Union of Soviet Socialst Republics was established, it was the successor to the Russian Empire and the first country in the world based on Marxist socialism.

December 31
East India Company receives a formal charter from Queen Elizabeth I in 1600, which she hoped would help break the Dutch monopoly of the spice trade.

January 1
In 45 B.C., New Year’s Day was celebrated for the first time on January 1, after the Julian calendar took effect.

January 2
The Russian fleet surrendered at Port Arthur in China in 1905 during the Russo-Japanese War.

January 3
On this day, two years after British archaeologist Howard Carter discovered the tomb of Pharoah Tutankhamen, they found the stone sarcophagus that contained a solid gold coffin—holding the mummy of Tutankamen.

January 4
In 1999, Europe was united with a common currency for the first time since Charlemagne’s reign—the euro.

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