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This Day in History

This Day in History

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This Day in History — King Leopold Decides to Claim The Congo as His ‘Personal Possession,’ and Everyone is OK With it For Some Reason

On this day in1885 some doofus from Belgium named King Leopold II decided to claim the Congo Free State -- a large area in Central Africa -- as "his," which is apparently something you could decide in the 1800s.

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This Day in History January 22
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This Day in History — China Discovered Feathered Dinosaurs

I'll never forget the feeling I had on January 22, 2003, when I learned that Chinese scientists had found dinosaur fossils with four feathered wings. That feeling was: awesome.

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This Day in History for December 31 — Times Square Celebrates, and More

Here’s a look at some interesting events that took place on this day in history:

1879: Thomas Edison demonstrates incandescent lighting to the public for the first time (more info)

1907: The first New Year's Eve celebration is held in Times Square -- then known as Longacre Square -- in New York City (more info)

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Bing Crosby
Hulton Archive, Getty Images
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This Day in History for December 25 — ‘White Christmas’ Premieres, and More

Here’s a look at some interesting events that took place on this day in history:

1066: William the Conqueror is crowned King of England (more info)

1776: George Washington and the Continental Army cross the Delaware River, hoping to surprise a Hessian force celebrating Christmas at their winter quarters in Trenton, New Jersey (more info)

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Elvis army
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This Day in History for December 20 — Elvis Drafted Into Army, and More

Here’s a look at some interesting events that took place on this day in history:

1803: The Louisiana Purchase is completed at a ceremony in New Orleans (more info)

1860: South Carolina becomes the first state to secede from the United States (more info)

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Impeachment hearings
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This Day in History for December 19 — House Impeaches Bill Clinton, and More

Here’s a look at some interesting events that took place on this day in history:

1776: Thomas Paine publishes one of a series of pamphlets in the Pennsylvania Journal titled 'The American Crisis' (more info)

1777: George Washington's Continental Army goes into winter quarters at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania (more info)

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This Day in History for December 17 — Wright Brothers’ First Flight, and More

Here’s a look at some interesting events that took place on this day in history:

1903: Near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, Orville and Wilbur Wright make history's first successful flight in a self-propelled, heavier-than-air aircraft (more info)

1944: The U.S. Army announces the end of its policy of holding Japanese-Americans in internment camps, allowing "evacuees" to return home (more info)

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Mona Lisa stamp
iStockphoto
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This Day in History for December 12 — Stolen Mona Lisa Recovered, and More

Here’s a look at some interesting events that took place on this day in history:

1901: Italian physicist and radio pioneer Guglielmo Marconi succeeds in sending the first radio transmission across the Atlantic Ocean (more info)

1913: Two years after it was stolen from the Louvre museum in Paris, Leonardo da Vinci's masterpiece 'The Mona Lisa' is recovered inside Italian waiter Vincenzo Peruggia's hotel room in Florence (more info)

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Bernie Madoff
Hiroko Masuike, Getty Images
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This Day in History for December 11 — Bernie Madoff Arrested, and More

Here’s a look at some interesting events that took place on this day in history:

1941: Following the American declaration of war on Japan after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Germany and Italy declare war on the United States (more info)

1946: The United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) is established (more info)

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Heisman Trophy
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This Day in History for December 10 — First Heisman Trophy Awarded, and More

Here’s a look at some interesting events that took place on this day in history:

1898: The Treaty of Paris is signed, officially ending the Spanish-American War (more info)

1901: The first Nobel Prizes are awarded in Stockholm, Sweden, in the fields of physics, chemistry, medicine, literature and peace (more info)

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Prohibition ends
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This Day in History for December 5 — End of Prohibition, and More

Here’s a look at some interesting events that took place on this day in history:

1848: In a message before Congress, President James K. Polk sparks the Gold Rush when he confirms that large amounts of the precious metal had been discovered in California (more info)

1933: The 21st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is ratified, bringing an end to the prohibition of alcohol in America (more info)

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United Nations building
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This Day in History for December 4 — U.S. Joins the U.N., and More

Here’s a look at some interesting events that took place on this day in history:

1875: Notorious New York City politician Boss Tweed escapes from prison and flees the country (more info)

1918: President Woodrow Wilson sails for the World War I peace talks in Versailles, becoming the first U.S. president to travel to Europe while in office (more info)

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