< Full Calendar

1985

Ireland allows sale of contraceptives

In a highly controversial vote on this day in 1985, the Irish government defies the powerful Catholic Church and approves the sale of contraceptives. Up until 1979, Irish law prohibited the importation and sale of contraceptives. In a 1973 case, McGee v. The Attorney General, the Irish Supreme Court found that a constitutional right to marital privacy covered the use of contraceptives. Pressure... Read more >

< Full Calendar

1947

Mountbatten named last viceroy of India

Lord Louis Mountbatten, cousin of King George VI and a hero of World War II, is named the last British colonial administrator of India. As Britain had promised independence to India at the end of World War II, his appointment enraged many Indians. However, Mountbatten accelerated independence negotiations, and in pushing for the partition of the former Mogul Empire into India and Pakistan, he m... Read more >

< Full Calendar

1950

Dylan Thomas arrives in New York

On this day in 1950, Welsh poet Dylan Thomas arrives in New York for his first reading tour of the United States. His four U.S. tours were wildly successful but ended with Thomas' death at age 39. Thomas was born and raised in Swansea, Wales, where he was a poor student. He dropped out of school at age 16 and became a newspaper reporter. Before he turned 20, he won a newspaper poetry contest. H... Read more >

< Full Calendar

1976

SEATO disbands

After operating for 22 years, the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization concludes its final military exercise and quietly shuts down. SEATO had been one of the bulwarks of America's Cold War policies in Asia, but the Vietnam War did much to destroy its cohesiveness and question its effectiveness. SEATO was formed in 1954 during a meeting in Manila called by U.S. Secretary of State John Foster Dull... Read more >