Year
1843

B’nai B’rith founded

B’nai B’rith, the oldest Jewish service organization in the world, is founded in New York City by Henry Jones and 11 others. B’nai B’rith, meaning “Sons of the Covenant,” organized its first lodge in November, and Isaac Dittenhoefer was elected the first president. The fraternal organization went on to become a national leader in charity work and disaster relief, and in 1913 it formed the Anti-Defamation League to combat anti-Semitism. Today, some 500,000 men and women are members of B’nai B’rith.

ALSO ON THIS DAY

Palestinians hijack German airliner

Four Palestinians hijack a Lufthansa airliner and demand the release of 11 imprisoned members of Germany’s Baader-Meinhof terrorist group, also known as the Red Army Faction. The Red Army Faction was a group of ultra-left revolutionaries who terrorized Germany for three decades, ...read more

Sir Isaac Brock saves Canada

During the War of 1812, British and Indian forces under Sir Isaac Brock defeat Americans under General Stephen Van Rensselaer at the Battle of Queenstown Heights, on the Niagara frontier in Ontario, Canada. The British victory, in which more than 1,000 U.S. troops were killed, ...read more

Continental Navy established

The Continental Congress authorizes construction and administration of the first American naval force—the precursor of the United States Navy.Since the outbreak of open hostilities with the British in April, little consideration had been given to protection by sea until Congress ...read more

White House cornerstone laid

The cornerstone is laid for a presidential residence in the newly designated capital city of Washington. In 1800, President John Adams became the first president to reside in the executive mansion, which soon became known as the “White House” because its white-gray Virginia ...read more

Poet Charles Sorley killed at Loos

On this day in 1915, the 21-year-old Scottish poet Charles Hamilton Sorley is killed by a German sniper’s bullet during the Battle of Loos.The son of a university professor in Aberdeen and a promising scholar himself, Sorley decided to spend a year studying in Germany in 1913 ...read more

American Basketball Association debuts

On October 13, 1967, the Anaheim Amigos lose to the Oakland Oaks, 134-129, in the inaugural game of the American Basketball Association. In its first season, the ABA included 11 teams: the Pittsburgh Pipers, Minnesota Muskies, Indiana Pacers, Kentucky Colonels and New Jersey ...read more

White House cornerstone is laid

On this day in 1792, the cornerstone of the White House is laid in the nation’s new capital, Washington, D.C.George Washington, who had been in office just over a year when the site for the capital was determined, asked a French architect and city planner named Pierre L’Enfant to ...read more

Poet Robert Lowell sentenced to prison

On this day in 1943, 26-year-old poet Robert Lowell is sentenced to jail for a year for evading the draft. Lowell refused to be drafted because he objected to saturation bombing in Europe and other Allied tactics. He served the term in New York’s West Street jail.Lowell was born ...read more

Jimmy Stewart stars in Harvey

On this day in 1950, the actor James Stewart stars in Harvey, a drama about an eccentric man whose best friend is a giant invisible rabbit. Directed by Henry Koster and based on a Pulitzer Prize-winning play of the same name by Mary Chase, Harvey earned Stewart the fourth Best ...read more

Ohio voters reject Vallandigham

The voters of Ohio send Clement Vallandigham to a resounding defeat in the fall gubernatorial election. As leader of the Copperheads, or anti-war Democrats, Vallandigham was an important and highly visible critic of the Republicans’ war policy, particularly the emancipation of ...read more