Today in History

Photo by Andrey Grushnikov on


Protesting high taxes and political corruption, American farmers begin a military standoff that closes the federal court in Springfield. Shays’ Rebellionwill eventually be defeated by a private militia, but it will sufficiently rattle national leaders to call for a stronger national government to suppress future uprisings.


English chemist and autodidact Michael Faraday publically demonstrates his discovery of electromagnetism, or as he calls it, a ‘wave of electricity,’ via electromagnetic induction. His discovery of this energy transmission will help generate mankind’s electrical revolution.


Twenty kilotons of nuclear fission flatten a purpose-built ‘town’ in a remote part of the USSR’s Kazakh Republic, and the Soviet Union is now on par with the US as the only other nuclear power on the globe. Called ‘First Lightning,’ the Soviet’s atom bomb is born of espionage and scientific brilliance.


Once roiling with Category 5 strength over the Gulf of Mexico, Hurricane Katrina has weakened, but it’s still packing ferocious winds, as it makes landfall near New Orleans, Louisiana. A massive storm surge will breach levies, devastating that city as Katrina becomes one of the worst natural disasters in US history.

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