< Full Calendar

1871

Great Chicago Fire begins

On this day in 1871, flames spark in the Chicago barn of Patrick and Catherine O'Leary, igniting a two-day blaze that kills between 200 and 300 people, destroys 17,450 buildings, leaves 100,000 homeless and causes an estimated $200 million (in 1871 dollars; $3 billion in 2007 dollars) in damages. Legend has it that a cow kicked over a lantern in the O'Leary barn and started the fire, but other ... Read more >

< Full Calendar

2003

Arnold Schwarzenegger Elected Governor of California

Conan The Republican

Celebrities becoming huge, influential political figures? Why, I’ve never heard of such a thing! The current US Presidential election might feature a candidate better known for his televised bon mots and bizarre hair than his stance on international trade treaties, but the notion of unusual stars of stage and screen becoming elected officials was n... Read more >

< Full Calendar

2005

Massive earthquake hits Kashmir region

On this day in 2005, a massive 7.6-magnitude earthquake strikes the Kashmir border region between India and Pakistan. An estimated 70,000 people—nearly half of them children—were killed and 70,000 more were injured. More than 3 million were left homeless and without food and basic supplies. Kashmir is located at the juncture of the Eurasian and Indian tectonic plates—the collision of whic... Read more >

< Full Calendar

1967

Che Guevara captured

A Bolivian guerrilla force led by Marxist revolutionary Che Guevara is defeated in a skirmish with a special detachment of the Bolivian army. Guevara was wounded, captured, and executed soon after. Born in Argentina, Guevara believed that a man of action could revolutionize a people. He played a pivotal role in the Cuban Revolution of 1956-59 and encouraged Fidel Castro to pursue his communist,... Read more >

< Full Calendar

1970

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn wins the Nobel Prize in literature

The best-known living Russian writer at the time, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, wins the Nobel Prize for literature. Born in 1918 in the Soviet Union, Solzhenitsyn was a leading writer and critic of Soviet internal oppression. Arrested in 1945 for criticizing the Stalin regime, he served eight years in Russian prisons and labor camps. Upon his release in 1953 he was sent into "internal exile" in Asia... Read more >