Year
1952

Hussein succeeds to Jordanian throne

Prince Hussein is proclaimed the king of Jordan after his father, King Talal, is declared unfit to rule by the Jordanian Parliament on grounds of mental illness. Hussein was formally crowned on November 14, 1953, his 18th birthday. Hussein was the third constitutional king of Jordan and a member of the Hashemite dynasty, said to be in direct line of descent from the Prophet Muhammad.

During his nearly five decades of rule, he maintained good relations with the West and steadily developed Jordan’s economy. He fought against Israel in 1967’s Six-Day War and later against Palestinian guerrillas who tried to seize control of the Jordanian state. He opposed the Persian Gulf War of 1991 but supported the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. He died in 1999 and was succeeded by his eldest son, Prince Abdallah. He was the 20th century’s longest-serving executive head of state.

ALSO ON THIS DAY

Oscar-winning actor Robin Williams dies at 63

On the big screen, Williams made his debut in the 1977 low-budget comedy “Can I Do it ‘Til I Need Glasses?” then went on to appear in films such as “The World According to Garp” (1982), “Moscow on the Hudson” (1984) and “Good Morning, Vietnam” (1987), for which he earned his ...read more

Jonesboro schoolyard shooters guilty

In Jonesboro, Arkansas, Mitchell Johnson pleads guilty to the Jonesboro schoolyard massacre on his 14th birthday, and Andrew Golden, age 12, is convicted. Both boys had been charged with five counts of murder and 10 counts of battery for the March 24 shooting that left four ...read more

Watts Riot begins

In the predominantly black Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles, racial tension reaches a breaking point after two white policemen scuffle with a black motorist suspected of drunken driving. A crowd of spectators gathered near the corner of Avalon Boulevard and 116th Street to watch ...read more

Federal prisoners land on Alcatraz

A group of federal prisoners classified as “most dangerous” arrives at Alcatraz Island, a 22-acre rocky outcrop situated 1.5 miles offshore in San Francisco Bay. The convicts–the first civilian prisoners to be housed in the new high-security penitentiary–joined a few dozen ...read more

Germans begin to evacuate Sicily

On this day in 1943, German forces begin a six-day evacuation of the Italian island of Sicily, having been beaten back by the Allies, who invaded the island in July.The Germans had maintained a presence in Sicily since the earliest days of the war. But with the arrival of Gen. ...read more

Major leaguers walk off the job

On August 11, 1994, the longest work stoppage in major league history begins. Because of the strike, the 1994 World Series was cancelled; it was the first time baseball did not crown a champion in 89 years.During the negotiation of a new collective bargaining agreement, tensions ...read more

Reagan jokes about bombing Russia

On this day in 1984, President Ronald Reagan makes a joking but controversial off-the-cuff remark about bombing Russia while testing a microphone before a scheduled radio address. While warming up for the speech, Reagan said “My fellow Americans, I am pleased to tell you today ...read more

Meriwether Lewis is shot in the leg

While hunting for elk along the Missouri River, Meriwether Lewis is shot in the hip, probably by one of his own men.Meriwether Lewis and William Clark had embarked on their epic journey to the Pacific two years earlier. The 33 members of the Corps of Discovery had experienced ...read more

Hip Hop is born at a birthday party in the Bronx

Like any style of music, hip hop has roots in other forms, and its evolution was shaped by many different artists, but there’s a case to be made that it came to life precisely on this day in 1973, at a birthday party in the recreation room of an apartment building in the west ...read more

Alex Haley’s birthday

Alex Haley, author of Roots and The Autobiography of Malcolm X is born on this day in Ithaca, New York.Haley was raised in Henning, Tennessee, where his maternal grandparents lived. His grandmother frequently told him stories of his family’s history. He graduated from high school ...read more

American Graffiti opens

On this day in 1973, the nostalgic teenage coming-of-age movie American Graffiti, directed and co-written by George Lucas, opens in theaters across the United States. Set in California in the summer of 1962, American Graffiti was nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best ...read more

Hurricane submerges Louisiana resort

A hurricane hits the Louisiana coast, killing more than 400 people, on this day in 1856. Isle Derniere, a resort community, was totally submerged by the storm surges.This hurricane, which came before scientists began naming big storms, probably formed in the southeastern Gulf of ...read more