What Happened on February 9?

  • Senator Joseph McCarthy made a speech starting the Second Red Scare. (1950) McCarthy claimed that he had a list with over 200 "known communists" that worked in high positions in the US government, sparking widespread hysteria about "subversives." Despite the fact that most of his claims were never verified, McCarthy became an instant celebrity, and thousands of people were blacklisted or investigated for "subversive" tendencies.

  • The Beatles appeared on the Ed Sullivan show. (1964) Fans went wild for the "Fab Four" in their first live TV appearance. Girls cried and fainted during the show, which set a record with over 70 million viewers.

  • The US sent the first combat troops to Vietnam. (1965) Although some US troops had been in Vietnam in an advisory capacity for several years, this was the first commitment of combat troops to the area. The increased involvement of the US in Vietnam was not very popular globally; both Russia and China threatened to intervene if the US kept sending troops.

  • The "Normandie" burned. (1942) The opulent luxury liner was being converted into a wartime transport ship when it accidentally caught fire and burned until it capsized. During its heyday, the Normandie carried many celebrities, including Ernest Hemingway, Walt Disney, and James Stewart.

  • The first star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame was awarded. (1960) The first star went to Joanne Woodward, who had won the Oscar for The Three Faces of Eve. Woodward was also well-known for her marriage to Paul Newman, which was one of the longest-lasting and happiest in Hollywood.

  • Satchel Paige became the first African-American in the Baseball Hall of Fame. (1971) Paige was a star pitcher, and also became the oldest person to play in the major leagues — he was still playing in his late 50s. His appointment to the Baseball Hall of Fame came more than 30 years after Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in baseball.

  • John Quincy Adams became president, despite the lack of a voting majority. (1825) Adams was elected by the House of Representatives after the Electoral College could not arrive at a majority. His appointment was largely due to the influence of Henry Clay, whom Adams later appointed as his Secretary of State.

  • The game of volleyball is said to have been invented. (1895) The game was originally called Mintonette, and was invented by a YMCA instructor named William G. Morgan. The game was intended to be a combination of tennis and handball, and was also inspired by the invention of another new game — basketball, which was just starting to catch on.

  • Fyodor Dostoevsky died. (1881) Dostoevsky was an extremely influential Russian novelist; his famous works include The Brothers Karamazov and Crime and Punishment. He died of natural causes in Moscow, and over 40,000 mourners turned out for his funeral.

  • The US Weather Bureau was established. (1870) It was originally placed under the control of the military, then moved to the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Commerce before it finally became the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Discussion Comments


In a way, Sen Joe Mc Carthy was correct; isn't everything that we buy and use, (except for food) made in a Communist country? The U.S. has become a giant warehouse for merchandise coming out of the People's Republic of Communist China. All of that anguish and fighting was for nothing! Peace! I buy American whenever possible.


Joe McCarthy was proven correct with regard to the communists and "fellow travellers" who were black-listed in Hollywood. There were many such as it later came out. The Communist Party supported Russia as was documented by more recent information released from historic documents.

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