Year
1966

McNamara shouted down at Harvard speech

Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara faces a storm of student protest when he visits Harvard University to address a small group of students. As he left a dormitory, about 100 demonstrators shouted at him and demanded a debate. When McNamara tried to speak, supporters of the Students for a Democratic Society shouted him down. McNamara then attempted to leave, but 25 demonstrators crowded around his automobile so that it could not move. Police intervened and escorted McNamara from the campus.

ALSO ON THIS DAY

Tacoma Bridge collapses

Only four months after its completion, the Tacoma Narrows Bridge in Washington State suffers a spectacular collapse. When it opened in 1940, the Tacoma Narrows Bridge was the third-longest suspension bridge in the world. Built to replace the ferry system that took commuters from ...read more

FDR reelected a record third time

Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt is reelected president of the United States for a record third time, handily defeating his Republican challenger, Thomas Dewey, the governor of New York, and becoming the first and only president in history to win a fourth term in office. Roosevelt, ...read more

Magic Johnson announces he is HIV-positive

On this day in 1991, basketball legend Earvin “Magic” Johnson stuns the world by announcing his sudden retirement from the Los Angeles Lakers, after testing positive for HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. At the time, many Americans viewed AIDS as a gay white man’s disease. Johnson ...read more

Nixon re-elected president

Richard Nixon defeats Senator George McGovern (D-South Dakota) and is re-elected President of the United States. With only 55 percent of the electorate voting, the lowest turnout since 1948, Nixon carried all states but Massachusetts, taking 97 percent of the electoral votes. ...read more

Magic Johnson announces he has HIV

On November 7, 1991, basketball legend Magic Johnson holds a press conference to announce that he has HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, and is retiring from the L.A. Lakers. From then on, he said, he would focus on staying healthy and on helping people—especially young ...read more

FDR wins unprecedented fourth term

On this day in 1944, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt is elected to an unprecedented fourth term in office. FDR remains the only president to have served more than two terms. Roosevelt rose above personal and political challenges to emerge as one of the nation’s most revered ...read more

Singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell is born

“The moment I began to write, my music was not folk music.” Performing solo with her acoustic guitar and long, straight, blond hair, the woman born Roberta Joan Anderson in Fort MacLeod, Alberta, Canada, on this day in 1943, may have looked the part, but in truth the only ...read more

French novelist Albert Camus is born

On this day, Albert Camus, future Nobel Prize winner, is born in Algiers to a working-class family. Camus was a good student and a dedicated athlete who won a scholarship to a prestigious French high school in Algiers. His sporting endeavors were ended at age 17 by an attack of ...read more

“King of Cool” Steve McQueen dies

On this day in 1980, the actor Steve McQueen, one of Hollywood’s leading men of the 1960s and 1970s and the star of such action thrillers as Bullitt and The Towering Inferno, dies at the age of 50 in Mexico, where he was undergoing an experimental treatment for cancer. In 1979, ...read more

Tacoma Narrows Bridge collapses

The Tacoma Narrows Bridge collapses due to high winds on this day in 1940. Fortunately, only a dog was killed. The Tacoma Narrows Bridge was built in Washington during the 1930s and opened to traffic on July 1, 1940. It spanned the Puget Sound from Gig Harbor to Tacoma, which is ...read more

A family is brutally murdered

David Hendricks, a businessman traveling in Wisconsin, calls police in Bloomington, Illinois, to request that they check on his house and family. According to Hendricks, no one had answered the phone all weekend and he was worried. When the police and neighbors searched the home ...read more

Battle of Belmont, Missouri

On this day in 1861, Union forces under Ulysses S. Grant overrun a Confederate camp at the Battle of Belmont, Missouri, but are forced to flee when additional Confederate troops arrive. Although Grant claimed victory, the Union gained no ground and left the Confederates in firm ...read more

Art Arfons sets land-speed record

On November 7, 1965, a drag racer from Ohio named Art Arfons sets the land-speed record—an average 576.553 miles per hour—at Utah’s Bonneville Salt Flats. (Record speeds are the average of two runs, one out and one back, across a measured mile.) Arfons drove a jet-powered ...read more