Year
1924

George Herbert Walker Bush is born

Also on this day in history, the first Bush president, George Herbert Walker Bush, is born in Milton, Massachusetts. Bush served in the Navy during World War II and survived a harrowing ordeal when his torpedo bomber was shot down over the Pacific. Bush drifted in the water for several hours until a U.S. submarine picked him up. He was later awarded a Distinguished Flying Cross for bravery in combat.

After the war, Bush married Barbara Pierce, attended Yale University, worked in the oil business and then devoted his life to public service. After serving two terms as a U.S. representative from Texas, he served in several diplomatic and intelligence capacities, including U.S. ambassador to the United Nations (1971), chairman of the Republican National Committee (1973), chief envoy to the People’s Republic of China (1974), and briefly as director of the Central Intelligence Agency from January 1976 to January 1977. In 1980, presidential candidate Ronald Reagan chose Bush to be his running mate; Bush went on to serve two terms as vice president. In 1988, Bush won the presidency and presided over the end of the Cold War between Russia and the U.S. and led America in the 1991 defeat of Saddam Hussein during Operation Desert Storm.

Bush is the father of another president, George Walker Bush, and of Jeb Bush, the two-term governor of Florida.

ALSO ON THIS DAY

Honey Cone earns a #1 hit with “Want Ads”

Before they came together to form a group of their own, Edna Wright spent years as a Raelette, Shelly Clark as an Ikette and Carolyn Willis—well, if Lou Rawls had named his backup group the way Ray Charles and Ike Turner did theirs, then Carolyn Willis would have spent years as a ...read more

Medgar Evers assassinated

In the driveway outside his home in Jackson, Mississippi, African American civil rights leader Medgar Evers is shot to death by white supremacist Byron De La Beckwith.During World War II, Evers volunteered for the U.S. Army and participated in the Normandy invasion. In 1952, he ...read more

Philippine independence declared

During the Spanish-American War, Filipino rebels led by Emilio Aguinaldo proclaim the independence of the Philippines after 300 years of Spanish rule. By mid-August, Filipino rebels and U.S. troops had ousted the Spanish, but Aguinaldo’s hopes for independence were dashed when ...read more

Reagan challenges Gorbachev

On this day in 1987, in one of his most famous Cold War speeches, President Ronald Reagan challenges Soviet Leader Mikhail Gorbachev to “tear down” the Berlin Wall, a symbol of the repressive Communist era in a divided Germany.In 1945, following Germany’s defeat in World War II, ...read more

Paris on the verge of invasion

On this day in 1940, 54,000 British and French troops surrender to German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel at St. Valery-en-Caux, on the northern Channel border, as the Germans continue their gains in France.Even after the evacuation of Dunkirk by the British Expeditionary Force, tens ...read more

South Vietnamese premier resigns

Mounting Roman Catholic opposition to South Vietnamese Premier Phan Huy Quat’s government leads him to resign. The next day a military triumvirate headed by Army General Nguyen Van Thieu took over and expanded to a 10-man National Leadership Committee on June 14. The Committee ...read more

Lavelle testifies before Congress

Gen. John D. Lavelle, former four-star general and U.S. Air Force commander in Southeast Asia, testifies before the House Armed Services Committee. He had been relieved of his post in March and later demoted after it was determined that he had repeatedly ordered unauthorized ...read more

Big Red sets record at Belmont Stakes

On this day in 1920, Man O’ War wins the 52nd Belmont Stakes, and sets the record for the fastest mile ever run by a horse to that time. Man O’ War was the biggest star yet in a country obsessed with horse racing, and the most successful thoroughbred of his generation.Man O’ War ...read more

John F. Kennedy receives medals

Lieutenant John F. Kennedy receives the Navy’s highest honor for gallantry for his heroic actions as a gunboat pilot during World War II on this day in 1944. The future president also received a Purple Heart for wounds received during battle. As a young man, Kennedy had ...read more

Anne Frank receives a diary

On this day, Anne Frank, a young Jewish girl living in Amsterdam, receives a diary for her 13th birthday. A month later, she and her family went into hiding from the Nazis in rooms behind her father’s office. For two years, the Franks and four other families hid, fed and cared ...read more

Gregory Peck dies

On this day in 2003, the film actor Gregory Peck, best known to many for his Academy Award-winning portrayal of the courageous, dignified lawyer Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird (1962), dies at his home in Los Angeles, at the age of 87.Born on April 5, 1916, in La Jolla, ...read more

Deadly quake hits India

On this day in 1897, a powerful earthquake in Assam, India, triggers deadly landslides and waves, killing more than 1,500 people. The quake, with a devastating 8.8 magnitude, struck at 5 p.m. near the town of Shillong in northern India. This area is close to the Himalayan ...read more

Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman murdered

Nicole Brown Simpson, famous football player O.J. Simpson’s ex-wife, and her friend Ron Goldman are brutally stabbed to death outside Nicole’s home in Brentwood, California, in what quickly becomes one of the most highly publicized trials of the century. With overwhelming ...read more