Welcome to the weekend edition of Today in History. I’m so glad you’re enjoying the post. Have an awesome weekend.
Madeleine Albright, America’s first female secretary of state, is born
Madeleine Albright, America’s first female secretary of state, is born Marie Jana Korbelova on May 15, 1937, in Prague, Czechoslovakia (now the Czech Republic).
The daughter of Czech diplomat Josef Korbel, Albright fled to England with her family after the Nazis occupied Czechoslovakia in 1939. Though Albright long believed they had fled for political reasons, she learned as an adult that her family was Jewish and that three of her grandparents had died in Nazi concentration camps. The family returned home after World War IIended but immigrated to the United States in 1948 after a Soviet-sponsored Communist coup seized power in Prague. Josef Korbel became dean of the school of international relations at the University of Denver (where he would later train another female secretary of state, Condoleeza Rice).
On May 15, 1941, the jet-propelled Gloster-Whittle E 28/39 aircraft flies successfully over Cranwell, England, in the first test of an Allied aircraft using jet propulsion. The aircraft’s turbojet engine, which produced a powerful thrust of hot air, was devised by Frank Whittle, …read more
On May 15, 1942, a bill establishing a women’s corps in the U.S. Army becomes law, creating the Women’s Auxiliary Army Corps (WAACs) and granting women official military status. In May 1941, Representative Edith Nourse Rogers of Massachusetts, the first congresswoman ever from …read more
Without the black keys, the white keys on a piano would pretty much be stuck playing “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” and “Do Re Mi.” If you want anything more interesting than that—if you want a song like “Yesterday,” for instance—you’re going to have to get the two sets of keys …read more
More than eight years after they intervened in Afghanistan to support the procommunist government, Soviet troops begin their withdrawal. The event marked the beginning of the end to a long, bloody, and fruitless Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. In December 1979, Soviet troops …read more