Every successful article, essay, and speech seems to begin with a hook: initial words that catch and reel in the audience’s attention. Taking note of a timely anniversary, notable historical event, pertinent holiday, or an eloquent quote spoken on a particular day is always an effective way to attract an audience to the main message. Why? Because the pages of history are filled with points to ponder. Events which lead to larger questions, and can provide great insights into society, human nature, and the human condition.
From an historical viewpoint, every single day of the year is special, marking the anniversaries of history’s grand and subtle turning points. This volume is a compendium of more than 1,725 important national and international incidents, anniversaries, holidays, and other observances.
"They Now" moments range from the celebratory to the solemn, from the momentous to the humorous. On June 8, for example, architect Frank Lloyd Wright was born; former U.S.president Dwight D. Eisenhower addressed the National Governors’ Conference, pressing for better state government as an antidote for bigger national government; U.S.forces were authorized to go into combat in South Vietnam; the suction vacuum cleaner was patented; and the mail didn’t get through. This was the day the U.S. Postal Service made its first and last-attempt at “missile mail.” On June 8, 1959, a guided missile was launched from the U.S.S. Barbero naval submarine. And faster than a speeding bullet, it veered off course taking its payload of 3,000 stamped letters straight to the ocean floor.
On December Seventeenth, the Wright Brothers made their first flight, and the U.S. Air Force discontinued Project Blue Book, concluding that there was no evidence of UFOs. Two great communicators, Arthur Fiedler, conductor of the Boston Pops, and New York Times columnist William Safire were bom. And the NBA’s most lopsided game finished when Clevelandbeat Miami148 to 80.
The accompanying background material is equally engaging. For example: “What is a momentous occasion? It is an event which is a landmark at that moment in time. For example, it was on this day in 1987, that the Dow Jones industrial average closed above 2,000 points for the first time. Since then the stock market has seen rises more than fourfold above that amount, making it seem tiny in retrospect.”
But history is much more than a simple series of isolated incidents. We’ve cross-referenced many of these events with corresponding relevant dates so that you may find related and supporting material found on other days. July 16th, for example, was the day the Nixon tapes were revealed. The entry also directs you to see the data listed under January 4, 1974: the day President Nixon refused the U.S. Senate Watergate Committee’s subpoenas. January 4th is cross-referenced to June Seventeenth, 1972-the day of the Watergate break-in. That entry, in turn, refers you to February 7, 1973: the day the U.S. Senate voted to form the Watergate Investigative Committee.
Broader, less time-specific subjects, often relate to particular months. On This Day in History also contains an overview for each month of the year which selectively sums up the period’s most momentous events, binding them into a cohesive chain.
Don’t forget. Looking up a particular day doesn’t rule out tomorrow or another day as an inspirational source. Today is only the eve of the next day; and a fortnight is only two weeks away. But don’t stop there. Check the local newspapers for the past five years. Surf the Internet for a particular subject. And you’ll never run out of timely information if you supplement your reading with events that originated in your own back yard. After all, these entries are finite-limited by "TheyNow" publication date.
But history never stops happening. New, noteworthy events occur daily, providing even more inspiration. If you keep your eyes open for late-breaking news, and page through this volume, you’ll never be lacking timely information again.