Category Archives: This day in History

The Subsequent Nuremberg Trials: Doctors' Trial Begins (1946)

The Doctors’ Trial was the first of 12 post-World War II trials collectively called the “Subsequent Nuremberg Trials,” which the US held in its occupation zone in Nuremberg, Germany. Of the 23 defendants, 20 were medical doctors, and they faced charges for war crimes that included experimenting on human subjects without their consent. The Nuremberg Code was thus established to protect the rights of humans participating in medical research. How many of the defendants received death sentences? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Shooter Opens Fire at Damageplan Concert, Killing Four (2004)

Not long after American heavy metal band Pantera disbanded and two of its founding members, brothers “Dimebag” Darrell and Vinnie Paul Abbott, formed the band Damageplan, the group released its debut album. Sadly, it would also be its last. During a concert in Columbus, Ohio, later that year, former US Marine Nathan Gale went on a shooting rampage, killing Darrell along with a fan, a roadie, and a security guard before being fatally shot by a police officer. Why did Gale do it? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Mary Toft Admits That She Did Not Really Give Birth to Rabbits (1726)

Toft, an English servant, had a bizarre 15 minutes of fame in 1726 when she convinced doctors that she had given birth to a litter of rabbits. At age 25, Toft suffered a miscarriage. About a month later, she appeared to go into labor and proceeded over the next few weeks to “birth” several animal parts along with nine baby bunnies. The episode was attributed to a fascination with rabbits that Toft had developed during her pregnancy—until it was revealed to be a hoax. How had she pulled it off? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

The Banana Massacre (1928)

In December 1928, after a month-long strike to secure better working conditions, United Fruit Company workers from the Colombian town of Ciénaga gathered with their families in the town square to hear a scheduled gubernatorial address. Instead of words they were met with bullets fired by government troops. An unknown number died that day. The government took such decisive—and deadly—action to end the strike partly out of fear that US interests in the United Fruit Company would lead to what? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Lebanon Hostage Crisis: Last US Captive Released after 7 Years (1991)

After reporting from Vietnam as a war correspondent, American journalist Terry A. Anderson became chief correspondent for the Associated Press in Lebanon. In March 1985, he was abducted from a Beirut street by Shiite Hezbollah militants retaliating against the US for supplying Israel with weapons. Held with other American hostages taken at around the same time, Anderson remained in captivity for nearly seven years and was the last to be released. What has he done since regaining his freedom? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

The Who Riverfront Coliseum Stampede (1979)

After starting out as The High Numbers, British rock band The Who gained international fame in the 1960s and 70s with songs like “My Generation,” “Pinball Wizard,” and “Won’t Get Fooled Again.” The band’s incredibly loud concerts and penchant for destroying their instruments onstage boosted their appeal to rock fans, but offstage destruction overshadowed the music on December 3, 1979, when a stampede prior to The Who’s show at the Riverfront Coliseum in Cincinnati, Ohio, killed how many fans? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Barney Clark Receives World's First Permanent Artificial Heart (1982)

In the late 1940s, doctors at the Yale School of Medicine used parts from an Erector Set to build the first artificial heart pump. The device bypassed the heart of a dog for more than an hour. However, an artificial heart would not be implanted in a human until decades later. Barney Clark, a Seattle dentist with congestive heart failure, was the first recipient. Though the surgery was successful, Clark never recovered enough to leave the hospital and died of complications after how long? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

The Taman Shud Case: Mystery Man Found Dead on Somerton Beach (1948)

On the night of November 30, 1948, passersby on Australia’s Somerton Beach saw a man they believed to be drunk or sleeping. The next day, the mystery man was determined to be dead, which opened the still unsolved Taman Shud Case. The dead man has never been identified. Though investigators promptly searched the body and found normal things like chewing gum in the mystery man’s pocket, something strange was later found, taking the case in a new—but equally elusive—direction. What was it? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Meteorite Strikes Ann Elizabeth Hodges (1954)

Thousands of people are struck by lightning every year, but in 1954, Ann Hodges of Sylacauga, Alabama, became the first person in modern history to be hit by a meteorite. Hodges was napping on her couch when she was rudely awakened by a grapefruit-sized meteorite crashing through her roof, bouncing off her radio, and striking her on the hip. The incident left her badly bruised. Who prevailed in the dispute between Hodges and her landlord over ownership of the meteorite? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

The November Uprising Begins (1830)

An attempt to overthrow Russian rule in Poland, Lithuania, Belarus, and Ukraine, the November Uprising was the result of long-simmering resentments that came to a head when news broke of a Russian plan to use the Polish Army to suppress revolutions in France and Belgium. It began when a group of Warsaw-based Polish Imperial Russian Army cadets took up arms against the Russians and drove the Russian troops from the city. The rebellion soon grew and spread. How long did the fighting continue? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary