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What Happened on September 19?

  • The US conducted the world's first underground nuclear explosion in Nevada. (1957) The "Rainier" test was conducted in an underground location, north of Las Vegas, Nevada. The contained explosion of a 1.7 kiloton nuclear weapon resulted in no nuclear fall-out. The test was part of "Operation Plumbbob," a series of 29 nuclear explosion tests aimed at analyzing safety and logistics.

  • New Zealand became the first country in the world to allow women to vote. (1893) Governor Lord Glasgow signed the "Electoral Act of 1893," granting women voting rights. Women weren't allowed to vote in the US until 1920.

  • Witold Pilecki got himself imprisoned at Auschwitz in order to gather information to start a resistance. (1940) Pilecki, who founded the Secret Polish Army, wrote the first Auschwitz intelligence report that confirmed to the Allies that a holocaust was underway. He was able to escape from the camp in 1943. He was executed by the Polish secret police in 1948 after being accused of spying for the British government.

  • The man who kidnapped and murdered the Lindbergh baby was arrested. (1934) Bruno Hauptmann was accused of kidnapping and murdering pilot Charles Lindbergh's 20-month-old son, which caused international outrage. Hauptmann was executed for the crimes at the New Jersey State Prison by electric chair. Though some doubted that he was guilty, his innocence has never been proven.

  • The Unabomber's manifesto was published. (1995) The manifesto was published in The Washington Post and The New York Times with the hope that a reader might recognize the writing and be able to identify the bomber, who had terrorized the US for 17 years by sending bombs through the US mail. The plan worked — David Kaczynski was able to identify his brother Ted Kaczynski.

  • Hollywood actor and comedian Charlie Chaplin was barred from re-entering the US. (1952) The US wouldn't allow Chaplin to re-enter the US until Immigration Services had a chance to investigate him in a hearing. A reason was never provided, but likely had something to do with his membership in the US Communist Party. He chose to live in Switzerland, returning to the US only once to receive an Academy Award in 1972.

  • Nikita Khrushchev, leader of the Soviet Union, was not allowed to visit Disneyland during his US tour. (1959) Khrushchev had toured several places in Hollywood and Los Angeles, but tensions rose when Spyros Skouras, the president of Twentieth Century Fox, rattled him by questioning his famous comment that "Russia would 'bury' capitalism." Khrushchev became angry and made accusations that there was a campaign to heckle him on his visit. He was further enraged when his desire to visit Disneyland was denied because the US government didn't think he'd be safe in such a large crowd.

  • US President James Garfield died from wounds he received in an assassination attempt a couple of months prior. (1881) Charles J. Guiteau had shot President Garfield on July 2nd. President Garfield ultimately died from blood poisoning. Guiteau was hanged in 1882 for the crime. President Garfield's assassination was the second Presidential assassination in US history.

  • The very first US budget passed through the Continental Congress. (1778) The Committee on Finance, the same committee that presents the budget today, presented the first ever budget for the US to the Continental Congress.

  • The ":-)" and the ":-(" emoticons were first used. (1982) Professor Scott Fahlman from the Carnegie Mellon University first used on the university's computerized bulletin board to express humor or sarcasm — though the latter emoticon evolved to represent displeasure or sadness.

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Discuss this Article

ZipLine
Post 3

I can't believe that Charlie Chaplin had to live in Switzerland because he couldn't enter the US! That's sad! There must have been something more to that story. Does anyone here know?

donasmrs
Post 2

@burcidi-- Yep, Prof. Fahlman came up with the side-way happy and sad face emoticons. He was my brother's professor and my brother told me about how the emoticons came about.

Apparently, there was some confusion about the messages that were posted by students and faculty on the computer science bulletin board at Carnegie Mellon. People couldn't tell if a message was meant to be humorous and sarcastic or serious. So Prof. Fahlman thought of using these emoticons to clarify what people meant with their comment. That's how it all got started.

I think it's a brilliant idea. After all, when we type things, we can't always get across our intent and emotion. It's easy to misunderstand people over text discussions. Emoticons clarify our state of mind to the reader.

burcidi
Post 1

I can't believe that the smiley face and sad face emoticons came out before I was born. I also can't believe that a professor first thought of them. I thought that teenagers usually come up with emoticons.

I'm glad that someone thought of these though. I don't think my life would be complete without emoticons. I use them all the time when I chat and message.

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