This Day in History Class

This Day in History Class

From the desk of “Stuff You Missed in History Class,” “This Day in History Class” quickly recounts a tidbit from today’s events in history.

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August 11, 2022 9 min

On this day in 1866, James Plimpton opened the first public roller skating rink in the United States.

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On this day in 1846, thanks to an unusual bequest from British scientist James Smithson, the Smithsonian Institution was established in the United States.

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On this day in 1944, Smokey Bear was chosen as the mascot of a new forest fire prevention campaign in the United States.

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On this day in 1963, a masked gang committed the most notorious train robbery in British history, when they stole £2.6 million from a Traveling Post Office. 

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On this day in 1953, with the Korean War winding down, both sides of the conflict began to exchange their remaining prisoners.

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On this day in 1821, The Saturday Evening Post published its inaugural issue.

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On this day in 1977, electronics retailer RadioShack unveiled the TRS-80, one of the first personal computers marketed to the average consumer.

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On this day in 1790, federal marshals set out on horseback to begin the first official count of the American people.

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On this day in 1981, MTV went on the air for the first time at 12:01 AM. 

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On this day in 1588, the Spanish Armada was defeated by an English naval force off the coast of Gravelines, France.

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On this day in 1933, a Western Union operator named Lucille Lipps delivered the company’s first singing telegram.

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On this day in 1940, cartoon icon Bugs Bunny appeared for the first time in the Warner Bros. animated short “A Wild Hare.”

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On this day in 1184, dozens of noblemen plunged to their deaths after a floor collapsed above a monastery cesspit in modern-day Germany.

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On this day in 1990, actress and comedian Roseanne Barr sang an ear-splitting rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” before the start of a Major League Baseball game. 

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On this day in 1959, Ed Wood’s campy cult classic Plan 9 from Outer Space premiered in theaters.

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On this day in 1983, at Russia’s Vostok research station in Antarctica, scientists reported the coldest temperature ever recorded on Earth. 

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On this day in 1801, the town of Cheshire, Massachusetts, made a 1,235-pound cheese wheel as a gift for President Thomas Jefferson.

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On this day in 1979, during a tropical storm, two enormous supertankers collided off the coast of Tobago.

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On this day in 1936, Oscar Mayer’s original Wienermobile made its debut in the company’s hometown of Chicago. 

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On this day in 1976, three men kidnapped a school bus driver and 26 children in Chowchilla, California.

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