Year
1917

Mexican constitution proclaimed

After seven years of revolution and civil upheaval, Mexican President Venustiano Carranza proclaims the modern Mexican constitution, which promises the restoration of lands to native peoples, the separation of church and state, and dramatic economic and educational reforms. The progressive political document, approved by an elected constitutional convention, combined revolutionary demands for land reform with advanced social theory. It would be decades, however, before most of the sweeping reforms promised by the constitution became reality. Carranza was deposed and killed in 1920, and lasting stability eluded Mexico until after World War II, when industrialism spurred by the war grew into a major part of the economy and Miguel Aleman became the first in an unbroken series of civilian presidents.

ALSO ON THIS DAY

Battle of Dabney’s Mill (Hatcher’s Run)

On this day in 1865, at the Battle of Dabney’s Mill (also known as Hatcher’s Run), Union and Confederate forces around Petersburg, Virginia, begin a three-day battle that produces 3,000 casualties but ends with no significant advantage for either side. Dabney’s Mill was another ...read more

Roger Williams arrives in America

Roger Williams, the founder of Rhode Island and an important American religious leader, arrives in Boston in the Massachusetts Bay Colony from England. Williams, a Puritan, worked as a teacher before serving briefly as a colorful pastor at Plymouth and then at Salem. Within a few ...read more

Beckwith convicted of killing Medgar Evers

On this day in 1994, white supremacist Byron De La Beckwith is convicted in the murder of African-American civil rights leader Medgar Evers, over 30 years after the crime occurred. Evers was gunned down in the driveway of his Jackson, Mississippi, home on June 12, 1963, while his ...read more

Hitler to Mussolini: Fight harder!

On this day in 1941, Adolf Hitler scolds his Axis partner, Benito Mussolini, for his troops’ retreat in the face of British advances in Libya, demanding that the Duce command his forces to resist. Since 1912, Italy had occupied Libya because of purely economic “expansion” ...read more

South Vietnam requests more support

The South Vietnamese government requests that Washington double U.S. Military Assistance and Advisory Group (MAAG-Vietnam) strength from 342 to 685. The advisory group was formed on November 1, 1955 to provide military assistance to South Vietnam. It had replaced U.S. Military ...read more

Hank Aaron is born

On this day in 1934, Henry Louis Aaron Jr., the baseball slugger who broke Babe Ruth’s legendary record of 714 homers, is born in Mobile, Alabama. Aaron began his professional baseball career in 1952 in the Negro League and joined the Milwaukee Braves of the major league in 1954, ...read more

Millard Fillmore marries Abigail Powers

On this day in 1826, Millard Fillmore, who later becomes the 13th president of the United States, marries Abigail Powers, a New York native and a preacher’s daughter. As a youngster, Abigail’s mother encouraged her daughter’s interest in reading and urged her to take advantage ...read more

Andrew Greeley is born

On this day, Catholic priest and novelist Andrew Greeley is born in Oak Park, Illinois. Greeley was raised in an Irish Catholic community in Chicago and became a priest in 1954, at age 26. He took a doctorate at the University of Chicago, where he later taught sociology. A ...read more

United Artists created

By 1919, Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks and D.W. Griffith were all heavyweights in the rapidly growing motion-picture industry. Chaplin was a British actor and former vaudeville performer whose “Little Tramp” persona had made him one of the biggest stars of ...read more

Earthquake devastates southern Italy

The estimated 7.5 to 8.0-magnitude quake struck at about 1 p.m. in the Calabria province. Within a minute, over 100 villages were leveled throughout the region. In several cases, communities were literally wiped away with no survivors or standing structures remaining. The quake ...read more

Medger Evers’ killer is convicted

Byron de la Beckwith is convicted of the assassination of civil rights leader Medger Evers 31 years earlier, ending the lengthiest murder case in American history. Evers was gunned down in the driveway of his Jackson, Mississippi, home while his wife, Myrlie, and the couple’s ...read more