Helloooooo History People!
For all you newbies out there, one of the main goals in my writing about history and focusing on particular events that happened each day is to help people become more informed about actual events that occurred over the course of our nation’s history. In our society, too often we are faced with instances in which people simply do not know – or even care – that monumental events occurred and a seemingly average day in contemporary time is actually a significantly important day in the eyes of history.
If you join us right now, together we can turn the tide…
1859: John Brown Raids Harper’s Ferry
John Brown tried to incite a slave revolt at a local armory and failed due to lack of participation on his side and an overwhelming opposition that ultimately destroyed his small group of abolitionists. Colonel Robert E. Lee and Lieutenant J.E.B. Stuart were among those who ended Brown’s raid. Brown was captured, though most of his men were killed, and the judicial system found him guilty of treason and murder, sentencing him to death. In the eyes of abolitionists, Brown became a martyr figure, and songs were even written to commemorate his death. This raid, although seeming at the time to be a failure, actually became yet another divide between the North and South, pushing the imminent war against slavery closer to its gruesome beginning.
1931: Al Capone Recives 11 Year Prison Sentence
A brutal and sly mastermind, Alphonse Gabriel Capone was one of the most successful, notorious gangsters in America in the 1920s and 1930s. His exploitation of alcohol distribution and prostitution during the prohibition financially benefitted him and his organization greatly, while the violent tactics he preferred to use against his competitors contributed to his fame. However, law enforcement was never able to find any evidence of his dirty dealings because of Capone’s influence and bribery. The one thing that provided a solid source of evidence to Capone’s guilt was his tax evasion. Capone orchestrated hundreds of illegal events, particularly murders, and yet the only reason the police were able to arrest him was because he didn’t pay his taxes. Capone received 11 years in prison, first at the U. S. Penitentiary in Atlanta, GA, and then was moved to Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay.
1767: The Mason-Dixon Line is Drawn
Since their establishment, the British colonies of Pennsylvania and Maryland both sported claims to the area of land between the 39th and 40th parallels, and colonists often disputed ownership of that land frequently and violently. Therefore, in 1760, the British government hired Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon to survey the area and to determine a legitimate border between the two colonies. Finally, in 1767, the Mason-Dixon line was drawn at the northern latitude of 39 degrees and 43 minutes, signified by a physical border which, at the time, was a line of rocks.
1985: Blockbuster opens!
One of the most well-known and original sources of video and DVD movie rentals first opened on this day, created by a man named David Cook and located in Dallas, Texas. For a little over a quarter of a century, Blockbuster dominated the market of movie rentals, particularly because this was a generally new concept at the time of the business’ first conception. However, as changes took place in technology and accessibility, businesses like Netflix and other on-demand services have promoted a factor of convenience which attracts the public more than the traditional movie stores such as Blockbuster. On December 31, 2011, the Blockbuster franchises officially closed and the company went out of business.
Now I bet you’re wondering… What comes next? Soon you’ll see..
TODAY IN HISTORY!
1803: Louisiana Purchase is Made Official
During Napoleon Bonaparte’s reign over France and the power he held in Europe at the time, the U.S. felt relatively threatened by the proximity of the large French-owned area of land known as Louisiana. President Thomas Jefferson appointed James Monroe to convince France to sell the land to the United States. Due to Napoleon’s recent entanglements with Great Britain and the possibility that G.B. could potentially overtake France’s hold on their New World land, Napoleon agreed to sell Louisiana to the United States for $15 million. Jefferson sent the treaty to the Senate for ratification on this day.
Quote of the Day:
“Go after what you really love and find a way to make that work for you, and then you’ll be a happy person.”
-Tom Petty (Birthday: October 20, 1950)