Year
1996

Shannon Lucid enters Mir

U.S. astronaut Shannon Lucid transfers to the Russian space station Mir from the U.S. space shuttle Atlantis for a planned five-month stay. Lucid was the first female U.S. astronaut to live in a space station.

Lucid, a biochemist, shared Mir with Russian cosmonauts Yuri Onufriyenko and Yuri Usachev, conducting scientific experiments during her stay. Beginning in August, her scheduled return to Earth was delayed more than six weeks because of last-minute repairs to the booster rockets of Atlantis and then by a hurricane. Finally, on September 26, 1996, she returned to Earth aboard Atlantis, touching down at Edwards Air Force Base in California. Her 188-day sojourn aboard Mir set a new space endurance record for an American and a world endurance record for a woman.

ALSO ON THIS DAY

NATO bombs Yugoslavia

On March 24, 1999, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) commences air strikes against Yugoslavia with the bombing of Serbian military positions in the Yugoslav province of Kosovo. The NATO offensive came in response to a new wave of ethnic cleansing launched by Serbian ...read more

Queen Elizabeth I dies

After 44 years of rule, Queen Elizabeth I of England dies, and King James VI of Scotland ascends to the throne, uniting England and Scotland under a single British monarch.The daughter of King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, Elizabeth succeeded to the throne in 1559 upon the death of ...read more

Exxon Valdez runs aground

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German forces cross the Somme River

On March 24, 1918, German forces cross the Somme River, achieving their first goal of the major spring offensive begun three days earlier on the Western Front. Operation Michael, engineered by the German chief of the general staff, Erich von Ludendorff, aimed to decisively break ...read more

First teach-in conducted

The first “teach-in” is conducted at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor; two hundred faculty members participate by holding special anti-war seminars. Regular classes were canceled, and rallies and speeches dominated for 12 hours. On March 26, there was a similar teach-in at ...read more

Peyton Manning born

On March 24, 1976, Peyton Manning is born in New Orleans, Louisiana, to Archie and Olivia Manning. Archie had been a star quarterback for the University of Mississippi (1968-1970) and the New Orleans Saints (1971-1981).Peyton began his own football career at Isidore Newman High ...read more

Truman signs off on aid to Palestine

On this day in 1949, President Harry S. Truman signs a U.S. resolution authorizing $16 million in aid for Palestinian refugees displaced and facing starvation as a result of Israel’s War of Independence in 1948.Truman’s resolution contributed U.S. funds to a $32 million United ...read more

John Wesley Powell born

The great western explorer and conservationist John Wesley Powell is born near Palmyra, New York.The son of a Methodist minister, Powell imbibed his father’s theology as a boy. However, he was introduced to an alternative point of view when the elderly naturalist George Crookham ...read more

Elvis Presley is inducted into the U.S. Army

When Elvis Presley turned 18 on January 8, 1953, he fulfilled his patriotic duty and legal obligation to register his name with the Selective Service System, thereby making himself eligible for the draft. The Korean War was still underway at the time, but as a student in good ...read more

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof opens

Tennessee Williams’ play Cat on a Hot Tin Roof opens in New York, two days before his 44th birthday. The play would win Williams his second Pulitzer Prize.Williams had been an award-winning playwright since 1945, when his first hit play, The Glass Menagerie, opened, winning the ...read more

Exxon Valdez runs aground in Alaska

On this day in 1989, the Exxon Valdez oil tanker hits a reef in Alaska’s Prince William Sound, resulting in an enormous oil spill. Though there were no human victims of the crash, hundreds of miles of pristine coastline became coated with oil and thousands of sea birds, mammals ...read more

Wendall Phillips booed in Cincinnati

On this day in 1862, abolitionist orator Wendell Phillips is booed while attempting to give a lecture in Cincinnati, Ohio. The angry crowd was opposed to fighting for the freedom of slaves, as Phillips advocated. He was pelted with rocks and eggs before friends whisked him ...read more