Posts Tagged ‘Richard III

06
Jul
08

On This Day, 7-6-08: Althea Gibson

Althea Gibson is first African American to win Wimbledon

On this day in 1957, Althea Gibson claims the women’s singles tennis title at Wimbledon and becomes the first African American to win a championship at London’s All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club.

Gibson was born on August 25, 1927, in Silver, South Carolina, and raised in the Harlem section of New York City. She began playing tennis as a teenager and went on to win the national black women’s championship twice. At a time when tennis was largely segregated, four-time U.S. Nationals winner Alice Marble advocated on Gibson’s behalf and the 5’11” player was invited to make her U.S. Open debut in 1950. In 1956, Gibson’s tennis career took off and she won the singles title at the French Open–the first African American to do so–as well as the doubles’ title there. In July 1957, Gibson won Wimbledon, defeating Darlene Hard, 6-3, 6-2. (In 1975, Arthur Ashe became the first African-American man to win the men’s singles title at Wimbledon, when he defeated Jimmy Connors.) In September 1957, she won the U.S. Open, and the Associated Press named her Female Athlete of the Year in 1957 and 1958. During the 1950s, Gibson won 56 singles and doubles titles, including 11 major titles.

After winning Wimbledon and the U.S. Open again in 1958, Gibson retired from amateur tennis. In 1960, she toured with the Harlem Globetrotters basketball team, playing exhibition tennis matches before their games. In 1964, Gibson joined the Ladies Professional Golf Association Tour, the first black woman to do so. The trailblazing athlete played pro golf until 1971, the same year in which she was voted into the National Lawn Tennis Association Hall of Fame.

After serving as New Jersey’s commissioner of athletics from 1975 to 1985, Althea Gibson died at age 76 from respiratory failure on September 28, 2003 at a hospital in East Orange, New Jersey.

“Althea Gibson is first African American to win Wimbledon.” 2008. The History Channel website. 6 Jul 2008, 02:08 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=59462.

1483 – King Richard III of England was crowned.

1777 – British forces captured Fort Ticonderoga during the American Revolution.

1854 – In Jackson, MI, the Republican Party held its first convention.

1885 – Louis Pasteur successfully tested his anti-rabies vaccine. The child used in the test later became the director of the Pasteur Institute.

1893 – In northwest Iowa 71 people were killed by a tornado.

1917 – During World War I, Arab forces led by T.E. Lawrence captured the port of Aqaba from the Turks.

1923 – The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was established.

1944 – A fire broke out in the main tent of the Ringling Brother, Barnum and Bailey Circus. 169 people died.

1983 – The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that retirement plans could not pay women smaller monthly payments solely because of their gender.

1989 – The U.S. Army destroyed its last Pershing 1-A missiles at an ammunition plant in Karnack, TX. The dismantling was under the terms of the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty.

1994 – On Storm King Mountain, in Colorado, 14 firefighters were killed while fighting a several-day-old fire.

1997 – The Mars Pathfinder released Sojourner, a robot rover on the surface of Mars. The spacecraft landed on the red planet on July 4th.

Frank family takes refuge

In Nazi-occupied Holland, 13-year-old Jewish diarist Anne Frank and her family are forced to take refuge in a secret sealed-off area of an Amsterdam warehouse. The day before, Anne’s older sister, Margot, had received a call-up notice to be deported to a Nazi “work camp.”

“Frank family takes refuge.” 2008. The History Channel website. 6 Jul 2008, 02:09 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=5153.

U.S. policymakers express optimism

In the light of a deepening ideological rift between the Soviet Union and China, U.S. officials express their belief that Russian leader Nikita Khrushchev will seek closer relations with the United States. Unfortunately, the optimism was somewhat misplaced. Although China and the Soviet Union announced a serious split in mid-July 1963, Khrushchev’s days in office were numbered.

“U.S. policymakers express optimism.” 2008. The History Channel website. 6 Jul 2008, 02:10 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=2720.

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26
Jun
08

On This Day, 6-26-08: Berlin Airlift

Berlin Airlift begins

On this day in 1948, U.S. and British pilots begin delivering food and supplies by airplane to Berlin after the city is isolated by a Soviet Union blockade.

When World War II ended in 1945, defeated Germany was divided into Soviet, American, British and French zones of occupation. The city of Berlin, though located within the Soviet zone of occupation, was also split into four sectors, with the Allies taking the western part of the city and the Soviets the eastern. In June 1948, Josef Stalin’s government attempted to consolidate control of the city by cutting off all land and sea routes to West Berlin in order to pressure the Allies to evacuate. As a result, beginning on June 24 the western section of Berlin and its 2 million people were deprived of food, heating fuel and other crucial supplies.

Though some in U.S. President Harry S. Truman’s administration called for a direct military response to this aggressive Soviet move, Truman worried such a response would trigger another world war. Instead, he authorized a massive airlift operation under the control of General Lucius D. Clay, the American-appointed military governor of Germany. The first planes took off from England and western Germany on June 26, loaded with food, clothing, water, medicine and fuel.

By July 15, an average of 2,500 tons of supplies was being flown into the city every day. The massive scale of the airlift made it a huge logistical challenge and at times a great risk. With planes landing at Tempelhof Airport every four minutes, round the clock, pilots were being asked to fly two or more round-trip flights every day, in World War II planes that were sometimes in need of repair.

The Soviets lifted the blockade in May 1949, having earned the scorn of the international community for subjecting innocent men, women and children to hardship and starvation. The airlift–called die Luftbrucke or “the air bridge” in German–continued until September 1949, for a total delivery of more than 1.5 million tons of supplies and a total cost of over $224 million. When it ended, the eastern section of Berlin was absorbed into Soviet East Germany, while West Berlin remained a separate territory with its own government and close ties to West Germany. The Berlin Wall, built in 1961, formed a dividing line between East and West Berlin. Its destruction in 1989 presaged the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union and marked the end of an era and the reemergence of Berlin as the capital of a new, unified German nation.

“Berlin Airlift begins.” 2008. The History Channel website. 25 Jun 2008, 12:31 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=52635.

1096 – Peter the Hermit’s crusaders forced their way across Sava, Hungary.

1483 – Richard III usurped himself to the English throne.

1794 – The French defeated an Austrian army at the Battle of Fleurus.

1819 – The bicycle was patented by W.K. Clarkson, Jr.

1844 – John Tyler took Julia Gardiner as his bride, thus becoming the first U.S. President to marry while in office.

1900 – The United States announced that it would send troops to fight against the Boxer rebellion in China.

1917 – General John “Black Jack” Pershing arrived in France with the American Expeditionary Force.

1924 – After eight years of occupation, American troops left the Dominican Republic.

1945 – The U.N. Charter was signed by 50 nations in San Francisco, CA.

1959 – U.S. President Eisenhower joined Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II in ceremonies officially opening the St. Lawrence Seaway.

1961 – A Kuwaiti vote opposed Iraq’s annexation plans.

1963 – U.S. President John Kennedy announced “Ich bin ein Berliner” (I am a Berliner) at the Berlin Wall.

1996 – The U.S. Supreme Court ordered the Virginia Military Institute to admit women or forgo state support.

1997 – The U.S. Supreme Court struck down the Communications Decency Act of 1996 that made it illegal to distribute indecent material on the Internet.

1997 – The U.S. Supreme Court upheld state laws that allow for a ban on doctor-assisted suicides.

1998 – The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that employers are always potentially liable for supervisor’s sexual misconduct toward an employee.

Westmoreland given authority to commit U.S. forces

Gen. William Westmoreland, senior U.S. military commander in Vietnam, is given formal authority to commit American troops to battle when he decides they are necessary “to strengthen the relative position of the GVN [Government of Vietnam] forces.” This authorization permitted Westmoreland to put his forces on the offensive. Heretofore, U.S. combat forces had been restricted to protecting U.S. airbases and other facilities.

The first major offensive by U.S. forces under this new directive was launched two days later by 3,000 troops of the 173rd Airborne Brigade, in conjunction with 800 Australian soldiers and a Vietnamese airborne unit. These forces assaulted a jungle area known as Viet Cong Zone D, 20 miles northeast of Saigon. The operation was called off after three days when it failed to make any major contact with the enemy. One American was killed, and nine Americans and four Australians were wounded.

“Westmoreland given authority to commit U.S. forces.” 2008. The History Channel website. 25 Jun 2008, 01:09 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=1931.




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