This Day in History… November 1, 1897

U.S. #2004 – When the complex was completed in 1897, it was the largest and costliest library in the entire world.

Library of Congress Opens to the Public

On November 1, 1897, America’s Library of Congress opened its doors.

James Madison was reportedly the first person to suggest the establishment of a congressional library in 1783. The library was officially created 17 years later by President John Adams. The legislation set aside $5,000 for the purchase of books that Congress would find useful. The first collection was housed in the U.S. Capitol Building and consisted of 740 books and three maps. Two years later, when Thomas Jefferson was President, he appointed the first overseer of the library as well as a committee to regulate it.

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This Day in History… October 31, 1940

Item #M11154 – The Battle of Britain was the first battle to be fought entirely in the air and the longest aerial bombing campaign in history.

Battle of Britain Ends

On October 31, 1940, the nearly four-month-long Battle of Britain came to an end.

By the summer of 1940, the German Army had pushed the Allied forces to the coast of France, and England was the next target. British Prime Minister Winston Churchill refused to consider a peace agreement with Germany, and Britain braced for an attack. In the words of Churchill, “The Battle of France is over, the Battle of Britain is about to begin.”

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This Day in History… October 30, 1974

Item #M9118 – Ali was dubbed “The Greatest,” “The People’s Champion,” and “The Louisville Lip.”

Ali Wins the “Rumble in the Jungle”

On October 30, 1974, Muhammad Ali faced off against heavyweight boxing champion George Foreman in the “Rumble in the Jungle.”

Muhammad Ali was born Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr., on January 17, 1942. He started boxing when he was 12 years old and became a talented fighter, winning six Kentucky Golden Glove titles, two national Golden Glove titles, and a gold medal in the 1960 Olympics, all before turning professional.

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This Day in History… October 29, 1863

U.S. #1016 was the first bi-colored U.S. postage stamp ever produced on the rotary press.

International Red Cross Establishes Goals

On October 29, 1863, representatives from around the world joined together to establish the International Red Cross.

While on a business trip to Italy in 1859, Swiss humanitarian Jean Henri Dunant witnessed the aftermath of the Battle of Solferino (part of the Austro-Sardinian War) in which nearly 40,000 soldiers were killed or wounded. Shocked by the lack of medical care, Dunant put his business aside and began tending to the wounded. He convinced locals to help without discrimination.

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This Day in History… October 28, 1886

U.S. #696 – The Statue of Liberty has welcomed over 12 million immigrants passing through New York harbor.

Grover Cleveland Dedicates Statue of Liberty

On October 28, 1886, the Statue of Liberty was completed and dedicated.

French politician and writer Édouard René de Laboulaye was one of the first to suggest giving America a gift to mark the centennial of the American Declaration of Independence. French sculptor Frédéric Bartholdi designed the sculpture and Gustave Eiffel (designer of the Eiffel Tower) designed the iron pylon and skeletal framework of the statue.

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This Day in History… October 27, 1964

U.S. #4078 – Speeches such as “A Time for Choosing”earned Reagan the nickname, “Great Communicator.”

Ronald Reagan Enters National Politics

On October 27, 1964, Ronald Reagan delivered his “A Time for Choosing” speech for Barry Goldwater’s presidential campaign, making him a national name.

Even as a young man, Reagan showed an interest in acting and politics. He appeared in school plays throughout his high school career and was elected president of the student council. And in college he participated in many different sports, played the lead role in several school productions, and served as the president of the student body.

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Posted in October 2015, This Day in History | 13 Comments