On This Day
On This Day

MOTHER’S DAY IN AMERICA

Americans will spend an average of $180 this Mother’s Day.

Anna Jarvis, founder of Mother’s Day, would hate that fact.

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  • In 1908, Jarvis organized the 1st Mother’s Day in West Virginia to honor her late mom who organized “Mothers’ Work Days” to improve women’s working conditions.
  • By 1910, West Virginia made it a holiday, other states followed.
  • In 1914, Congress declared the 2nd Sunday in May (anniversary of Jarvis’ mom’s death) as Mother’s Day.
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By the 1920s, mothers nationwide were showered with candy, flowers, cards, & other gifts to celebrate Mother’s Day.

Jarvis, frustrated with the commercialization of the holiday, that she intended as a day to honor the role mothers play in the family, church, and community, spent the rest of her life fighting against its commercial success.

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Jarvis handed out at carnations at the first Mother's Day celebration in 1908. Today, carnations are the official flower of Mother's Day. Americans are expected to spend a whopping $2.6B on flowers alone. For more on Mother's Day:

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Victory In Europe Day

73 Years Ago

“Humility must be the measure of a man whose success was brought with the blood of his subordinates, and paid for with the lives of his friends.”

General Eisenhower's words to British Parliament following Victory in Europe.
Flip: "Mission Fulfilled"
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V-E Day Ended WWII in Europe But Not In Asia

  • May 8, 1945 Germany surrendered; Adolf Hitler committed suicide a week earlier.
  • “V-J Day” celebrated in September when Japan formerly surrendered; unofficial surrender happened in August 1945.
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Estimates place total deaths in WWII as over 50M...But some suggest it's even higher.

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April 24, 1982

 

 

 

 

The Day the Workout World Changed Forever

 

 

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“Jane Fonda’s Workout”

Best-Selling VHS – EVER. 

$50K budget: Shot with 1 camera & DIY hair and makeup.

By 1989, Fonda’s workout tapes & books were worth an estimated $35M.

At first, she had “real misgivings”

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At 44-years-old, she was a 2-time Oscar-winning actress. She had a successful L.A. workout studio & book (#1 NYT’s Best Seller for 2 yrs!). But a workout video? It had never been done. Besides, no one she knew owned a VHS player.

She finally agreed, with all proceeds going to Campaign for Economic Democracy, a progressive group run by then-husband Tom Hayden.

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It Changed Everything.

Exercise: Sparked aerobics craze, especially among baby boomers approaching middle age. By mid-1980s, 20M people doing aerobics.

Fashion: Leg warmers. Spandex. Leotards.

Tech: Before “Workout” debuted, less than 10% of households had a VCR. By 1985, 30% had one.

 

 

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Feel the Burn: By the #s

$59.95: Cost of VHS copy of Jane Fonda’s “Workout” in 1982.

$8.20: Cost of DVD copy on Amazon today.

29: VHS & DVD workouts made by Jane Fonda.

17M: Fonda workout videos sold.

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Copycat Moves

Others tried to capitalize on the workout movement, including Richard Simmons, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and creator of Jazzercise, Judi Missett.

Nothing topped Fonda’s innovation: In 1985, three of her tapes topped Billboard’s VHS sales chart. The original had been there for 145 weeks.

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Advice For Her
30-Year-Old Self?

“I would have wanted to learn to meditate earlier…. I didn’t know how to discover and believe in my real self and not try to be what other people wanted me to be…. I can’t pretend that it’s easy to still your mind; it’s not easy…. Don’t give up; it takes time!

Jane Fonda to Shape Magazine in 2014
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What about those leg warmers? For why she wore them & what the now 80-year-old thinks of "athleisure wear" like Lululemon, click here.

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Honoring a light extinguished too soon:

Martin Luther King Jr.

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The Day Before MLK Died:

“We’ve got some difficult days ahead. …. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life — longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will…. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land.”

MLK, April 3, 1968
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Assassination & Aftermath

  • MLK was in Memphis on April 4, 1968 helping sanitation workers on strike when he was killed.
  • Despite MLK’s dedication to nonviolent protest, riots broke out across the U.S. after his murder.
  • Lone gunman convicted for MLK’s murder, but his family never believed he worked alone.
Click: Who Did It?
On This Day

MLK’s Lasting Legacy

His leadership changed America…
leading to the end of segregation, the 1964 Civil Rights Act (ending discrimination based on race, gender, creed) & the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

MLK delivered his famous “I have a dream speech” in 1963.

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MLK is one of only two people with a federal holiday honoring their birth (the other one is George Washington). How it became a holiday (and how it almost didn't):

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First Woman Sworn Into Congress

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“I may be the first woman member of Congress, but I won’t be the last.”

Jeannette Rankin (R-MT), first woman elected in U.S. Congress' 128-year history
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About Jeanette Rankin:

  • Suffrage leader & pacifist.
  • The only Member of Congress to vote against the entrance to World War I and World War II. Voted out of her position each time.
  • Since 1978, her scholarship foundation has awarded more than $2.5 million in scholarships to 1,000 women.
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Rankin Was Right!

In 2018, women make up 19.6% of the U.S. Congress.

2018: 22 women serve in the Senate & 83 women serve in the House.

Since Rankin’s election, 327 women have served as U.S. Representatives, Delegates, or Senators.

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March 30, 1981

Attempted Assassination of President Reagan

On his 69th day in office, President Reagan was shot outside a D.C. hotel by John Hinckley Jr., a 25-year-old man who said he wanted “impress” actress Jodie Foster.

 

 

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6 Shots Fired; 4 Men Shot

  • Pres. Reagan: bullet hit close to his heart, but he made a full recovery months later.
  • A D.C. officer shot in the back.
  • A Secret Service Agent who threw himself in front Pres. Reagan shot in the stomach.
  • WH Press Secretary James Brady was severely injured. He was shot in the head, leaving him partially paralyzed & in a wheelchair.
On This Day

“The verdict of not guilty by reason of insanity was a bad verdict.”

Patti Davis, President Reagan’s daughter to NPR in 2015

In 2016, 34 years after a jury found him insane, a federal judge released Hinckley into the custody of his mother after doctors at the mental hospital where he lived for decades said he was no longer a threat.

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Jim Brady’s Lasting Legacy

After he recovered, Jim & his wife Sarah became advocates for stricter gun control laws in the U.S.

In 1993, President Bill Clinton signed the Brady Handgun Violence Protection Act into law. The Act requires federally licensed firearms dealer (about 60% of all gun sales) to conduct background checks of potential gun buyers.

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In 2014, when James Brady died his death was ruled a homicide because he died as a result of the injuries he sustained 33 years earlier when he was shot, but prosecutors decided against charging Hinckley, and he was released just two years later.

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National Vietnam Veterans Day

Today marks 45 since the last American troops left Vietnam.

Est. 7M Vietnam-era veterans live in America today, as Veterans Affairs Dept. shake-up happens 24 hours before ceremony at Vietnam War Memorial.

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“We are not about to send American boys nine or ten thousand miles away from home to do what Asian boys ought to be doing for themselves.”

President Lyndon Johnson, in a speech at Akron University, October 21, 1964, 2 weeks before presidential election & 6 months before he sent American troops into combat.
On This Day

Vietnam: By The Numbers

9 million Americans served active duty military during time of war

2.7 million troops served in Vietnam

58,000+ killed in action either through combat or accidents

300,000+ injured

*Despite draft, 70% of those who served volunteered*

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Veterans Affairs Shake-Up

  • VA Secretary David Shulkin was expected at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial ceremony, but less than 24 hours before, WH announced he’d been replaced.
  • Shulkin was the last remaining member of Pres. Obama’s administration to serve in Pres. Trump’s cabinet.
On This Day

White House physician, Navy Rear Adm. Ronny L. Jackson, is expected replacement as VA Secretary. He gave President Trump his most recent physical and has served as the White House physician for three presidents.

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#OTD in 1963
Alcatraz Closes

“Break the rules and you go to prison. Break the prison rules and you go to Alcatraz.”

Anonymous, Alcatraz Island, quote sourced by National Park Service that now oversees the famous prison.
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Behind the Prison Walls

  • Operated from 1934 to 1963.
  • On a 12-acre rocky island, 1.5 miles from San Francisco.
  • At its peak use in the 1950s, housed over 200 inmates.
  • Well-behaved inmates had access to monthly movies & a library with 15,000 books & 75 magazines.
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Turns out a prison on an island = EXPEN$IVE

  • All food & supplies shipped in.
  • No fresh water. (1M gallons of water barged in weekly.)
  • $3-5M needed just for repairs.
  • 3 times more expensive to operate. (In 1959, the daily cost per inmate at Alcatraz was $10.10 vs. $3 at a U.S. prison in Atlanta.)
  • U.S. Gov’t: more cost effective to close Alcatraz & build new.
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DOIN’ TIME

Infamous Felons That Called Alcatraz Home

  • Al Capone (Prohibition-era gangster played banjo in the inmate band)
  • Robert Stroud “The Birdman of Alcatraz
  • George “Machine-Gun” Kelly 
  • Alvin Karpis (first “Public Enemy #1”)
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No Escaping the Rock

  • No confirmed prisoner escapes.
  • 36 inmates put the supposedly “escape-proof” Alcatraz to the test.
  • Of those convicts, 23 were captured, 6 were shot to death & 2 drowned.
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Alcatraz’s Great Mystery

What happened to brothers John & Clarence Anglin and Frank Morris?

In 1962, the 3 bank robbers dug holes in their cells with sharpened spoons & used life vests to try and sail to the mainland.

No one knows if they made it.

Click: Did They Survive
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Prison to Tourist Hot Spot

After the prison closed in 1963, Alcatraz was essentially abandoned.

In 1969, a group on Native American activists occupied the island for 2 years, claiming the land.

In 1972, Alcatraz added to the Golden Gate Nat’l Recreation Area.

Now 1M tourists visit each year.

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Did you know "The Rock" almost became a shopping mall after it closed? It's true. Click here to read more.

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Hooah!

#OTD in 1802:
America’s First Military School Founded

The U.S. Military Academy at West Point is America’s oldest continually occupied military post.

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Why “West Point”?

  • Dates back to Revolutionary War.
  • “West Point” is what George Washington, considered “the most important post in America“: a plateau on the west bank of the Hudson River.
  • Despite fierce fighting – Never captured by the British.
Click This Link: History
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A Brief History:

1779: George Washington moved his headquarters to West Point

1802: The U.S. Military Academy was created

1877: First African American cadet graduated

1976: Enrollment opened to women

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West Point Admissions

In order to be considered, applicants must be:

  • Aged 17 – 22
  • Unmarried
  • Under no legal obligation to support a child
  • “Qualified academically, medically, and physically”
  • Nominated by an approved source (ex: member of Congress)
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Life After West Point

  • Upon graduation, cadets receive a Bachelor of Science degree, commissions in the U.S. Army, and must serve on active duty for at least five years.
  • West Point has forged countless leaders, including 2 U.S. Presidents (Grant & Eisenhower), governors, lawmakers, ambassadors, & 18 astronauts.
On This Day

In 1826, when the West Point superintendent instituted a no-booze policy, about 70 cadets decided to bring their own eggnog to the annual X-mas party. After a few too many, an alcohol-fueled riot ensued. As a result of the "Eggnog Riot", 19 cadets were expelled.

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#OTD in 1965:
“Bloody Sunday”

On March 7, peaceful civil rights marchers were violently attacked by police as they began a 54-mile march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama aimed at ending discriminatory laws & practices used against African Americans to prevent them from voting.

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Why Did This Happen?

  • After slavery was abolished a century earlier, Congress passed the 15th Amendment, which guaranteed that the right to vote could not be denied on the basis of race, color or prior servitude.
  • Yet, many states passed laws and employed practices to get around the 15th Amendment, like poll taxes, literacy exams, fraud, & intimidation.
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“Bloody Sunday”

  • Nearly 600 nonviolent activists marched for six blocks before they were attacked by police at the Edmund Pettus Bridge.
  • That night, the nation watched the horrific scene unfold on t.v.
  • Two days later, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., led a “symbolic” march to the bridge.
  • Three weeks later, 3,000+ set out for Montgomery; 25,000 arrived.
On This Day

Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) shared his “Bloody Sunday” memories with TIME Magazine in 2017:

“They came toward us with nightsticks, beating us, pushing us, trampling us with horses, and releasing the tear gas. I was hit in the head by a state trooper with a nightstick. . . . “

On This Day

Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) shared his “Bloody Sunday” memories with TIME Magazine in 2017:

“I suffered a concussion on the bridge, and I thought I was going to die that day. I saw death. Fifty years later, I still don’t remember how I made it through the streets of Selma back to Brown Chapel that evening.”

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A week later, Pres. Lyndon Johnson told Congress:

“There is no Negro problem. There is no Southern problem. There is no Northern problem. There is only an American problem. . . . What happened in Selma is part of a far larger movement which reaches into every section and State of America. . . .  And we shall overcome.”

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On This Day

Five months later, Congress passed the Voting Rights Act

In August 1965, Pres. Johnson signed the Act, which prohibited discrimination in voting & gave the federal gov’t a way to enforce the 15th Amendment against the states.

By 1969, the percent of voting-age African Americans registered to vote nearly tripled.

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To commemorate the 50th Anniversary of Bloody Sunday in 2015, Pres. Barack Obama & former Pres. George W. Bush, joined former marchers, including Rep. Lewis, and other leaders to walk across Selma's Edmund Pettus Bridge.

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#OTD in 1933:

Frances Perkins is sworn in as President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Secretary of Labor

Perkins became the FIRST woman to serve in a presidential cabinet & the LONGEST serving Secretary of Labor in U.S. history

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Perkins played a key role in many parts of FDR’s New Deal legislation, including:

  • establishing the Social Security program (1935 Social Security Act)
  • creating union & collective bargaining laws (1935 National Labor Relations Act)
  • creating minimum wage laws (1938 Fair Labor Standards Act)
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“The people are what matter to government, and a government should aim
to give all the people under its jurisdiction the best possible life.”

On This Day

To date, 11 U.S. presidents have appointed women to Cabinet or Cabinet-Level position

Today, FIVE women serve President Trump’s administration in Cabinet or Cabinet-Level positions

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Pres. Trump: fewer women in cabinet than Pres. Obama, but more than Pres. Bush. However, stats don't include advisor Ivanka Trump, Press Sec Sarah Sanders or Counselor Kelly Anne Conway - 1st woman in American history to lead a successful pres. campaign.

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25 years ago
1993 World Trade Center Bombing

First attack by al-Qaeda in USA.

Just past noon, 2 of 7 terrorists drove a truck into the WTC’s basement garage & detonated the bomb before fleeing the scene.

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February 26, 1993
Friday 12:17 pm

“…Middle Eastern terrorism had arrived on American soil—with a bang”

FBI, "First Strike: Global Terror in America"
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1993 WTC Bombing

  • Six people died; 1,000+ injured.
  • Blast created by truck bomb created a 100-foot crater.
  • Plot mastermind, Ramzi Yousef, is currently serving life sentence in American prison.
  • Yousef’s uncle, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, called the mastermind of 9/11, is currently detained at Guantanamo Bay.
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al-Qaeda Inspired Attacks On US Soil

  • 2001: 9/11, nearly 3,000 murdered
  • 2009: Nidal Hassan murders 13 and injures dozens at Fort Hood
  • 2009: Attempted “underwear bombing” on US-bound jetliner
  • 2010: Attempted car bombing in NYC’s Times Square
  • 2013: Boston Marathon bombing
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ICYMI:
Making Headlines Today

Boston Herald reports college roommate found guilty of lying to FBI about al-Qaeda inspired terrorist in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing will be released from halfway house.

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One terrorist from 1993 WTC bombing remains at large. Click to see FBI Most Wanted poster

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