Year
1960

Nikita Khrushchev throws a tantrum at the United Nations

In one of the most surreal moments in the history of the Cold War, Russian leader Nikita Khrushchev removes his shoe and pounds a table with it in protest against a speech critical of Soviet policy in Eastern Europe. During a debate over a Russian resolution decrying colonialism, a representative of the government of the Philippines charged the Soviets with employing a double standard, pointing to their domination of Eastern Europe as an example of the colonialism they were criticizing in their resolution. In response, Khrushchev took off one of his shoes and began to furiously pound the table. The chaotic scene finally ended when General Assembly President Frederick Boland (Ireland) broke his gavel calling the meeting to order, but not before the image of Khrushchev as a hotheaded buffoon was indelibly etched into America’s collective memory.

ALSO ON THIS DAY

USS Cole attacked by terrorists

At 12:15 p.m. local time, a motorized rubber dinghy loaded with explosives blows a 40-by-40-foot hole in the port side of the USS Cole, a U.S. Navy destroyer that was refueling at Aden, Yemen. Seventeen sailors were killed and 38 wounded in the attack, which was carried out by ...read more

The origin of Oktoberfest

Bavarian Crown Prince Louis, later King Louis I of Bavaria, marries Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen. The Bavarian royalty invited the citizens of Munich to attend the festivities, held on the fields in front of the city gates. These famous public fields were named ...read more

USSR leads the space race

The Soviet Union launches Voskhod 1 into orbit around Earth, with cosmonauts Vladamir Komarov, Konstantin Feoktistov, and Boris Yegorov aboard. Voskhod 1 was the first spacecraft to carry a multi-person crew, and the two-day mission was also the first flight performed without ...read more

Terrorists kill 202 in Bali

On this day in 2002, three bombings shatter the peace in the town of Kuta on the Indonesian island of Bali. The blasts, the work of militant Islamist terrorists, left 202 people dead and more than 200 others injured, many with severe burns. The attacks shocked residents and those ...read more

Columbus reaches the New World

After sailing across the Atlantic Ocean, Italian explorer Christopher Columbus sights a Bahamian island, believing he has reached East Asia. His expedition went ashore the same day and claimed the land for Isabella and Ferdinand of Spain, who sponsored his attempt to find a ...read more

Gen. Joseph Stilwell dies

On this day in 1946, Gen. Joseph W. Stilwell, the man who commanded the U.S. and Chinese Nationalist resistance to Japanese incursions into China and Burma, dies today at age 63. Born March 19, 1883, in Palatka, Florida, and a graduate of the West Point Military Academy, Stilwell ...read more

Thomas Jefferson composes romantic letter

On this day in 1786, a lovesick Thomas Jefferson composes a romantic and introspective letter to a woman named Maria Cosway. Early in 1786, widower Thomas Jefferson met Maria Cosway in Paris while he was serving as the U.S. minister to France. Cosway was born to English parents ...read more

John Denver dies in an aircraft accident

To those who bought records like “Rocky Mountain High” and “Take Me Home, Country Roads” by the millions in the 1970s, John Denver was much more than just a great songwriter and performer. With his oversized glasses, bowl haircut and down vest, he was an unlikely fashion icon, ...read more

Fire rages in Minnesota

A massive forest fire rages through Minnesota on this day in 1918, killing hundreds of people and leaving thousands homeless. The fire burned at least 1,500 square miles. The fire, known as the Cloquet-Moose Lake fire because that is where the damage was worst, began at rail ...read more