Tammy Gladding and daughters, Taylor and Tara, enjoy cycling the quiet streets of Marquette, Kan.
Sue McCabe couldn't wait to get her hands in the soil when she moved to Marquette, Kan., two years ago and settled on the first piece of land she's ever owned. She planted a vegetable garden, 30 rosebushes, 12 fruit trees and a row of sunflowers in her backyard and turned her half-acre homestead into a home.
"Sometimes you just have to go by faith,” says McCabe, 49, who had never set foot in Kansas before moving from Lancaster, Pa., to Marquette to take advantage of the town's free land.
She and her husband, Paddy, 49, are among hundreds of modern-day homesteaders being lured to the Great Plains by the promise of free parcels of land in rural towns such as Marquette (pop. 542); Hendrum, Minn., (pop. 315); Chugwater, Wyo., (pop. 244); Crosby, N.D., (pop. 1,089) and Kenesaw, Neb. (pop. 873).
The McCabes decided to strike out and move west after seeing a television news story about Marquette's land giveaway. They filed an application online and handled all the arrangements by telephone and fax for building their 1,450-square-foot ranch house, which cost $80,000.
"Where we were, it was very crowded and very expensive,” Sue says. "We never could have afforded a house.”
Marquette and other towns are staking their hopes of survival on modern homesteaders like the McCabes and a land deal reminiscent of the nation's Homestead Act of 1862 that settled the frontier. That government-land giveaway awarded settlers 160 acres after they lived on and cultivated the land for five years. Modern landholders, too, must build a house and live in it. Although requirements differ in each town, all have the same goal of repopulating the community and keeping businesses and schools open.
In Marquette, "the school was the driving issue,” says Mayor Steve Piper, the town's third-generation grocer. "We were going to lose it.” He and five other business leaders formed the Marquette Development Co., bought 50 acres of farmland for $100,000, and divided it into 80 lots with streets and utilities. In November 2003, they offered the first 20 lots to people willing to build a house and live in it for at least a year.
Allan Lindfors, a city councilman and banker, can't stop smiling as he recounts what happened. "We thought if we could build 20 houses and bring in 10 children in 10 years, it would theoretically help,” he says. "The first lots were gone within four months.”
By last summer, Marquette had given away all 80 lots and begun developing 20 more acres. The town's population boomed by a third. "It's bigger than we ever anticipated,” Lindfors adds.
Also surprising, he says, is that prospective newcomers aren't deterred by the scarcity of jobs in town. "We explain that you may have to drive 30 miles to Salina or 70 miles to Wichita, but that isn't a problem.”
The McCabes, both nurses, didn't have work lined up before moving, but both found part-time jobs within three weeks. Paddy landed a full-time position within six months at the Hutchinson Correctional Facility 40 miles away. Sue, who also is a hairdresser, converted a room of their new house into the town's only hair salon and keeps busy with $8 shampoos and sets.
The former urban dwellers say they've adjusted to the rhythm of small-town life where the Marquette Farmers State Bank locks up for lunch at noon and the only grocery store, Piper's Fine Foods, closes at 6 p.m.
"It's calmer here,” Sue says, "and the people are so friendly. You have to wave in Kansas.”
The neighborliness also sweetened the free-land deal for the McCabes' neighbor Tammy Gladding, 35, a widow with two daughters who packed up and moved halfway across the country from San Bernardino, Calif., in 2004.
"I wanted a safer place for my kids,” says the mother of Tara, 10, and Taylor, 12. Gladding's parents heard about the free land and the family drove to Marquette to check it out. All of them were impressed.
"This felt right the minute I saw the area,” Gladding says. The small class sizes at Marquette Elementary School especially appealed to her; Tara's enrollment boosted the fourth-grade class to 10.
"The first week I moved here, the lady running the swimming pool asked me if I'd like to volunteer for the EMS service,” Gladding says. She did, and plans to use her EMT training in a hospital job. "I knew more of these people in the first month than in 10 years of living in California.”
Gladding works part time at City Sundries serving 65-cent corn dogs and 94-cent cherry phosphates at an old-fashioned marble soda fountain.
The small-town charm attracted her parents, Debi and Jeff Gruwell, of Riverside, Calif., who bought a 1920s-era house in Marquette last June and eventually may build on a free lot.
"It's not hustle-bustle,” says Jeff, 57. "I could not believe the traffic. There isn't any.”
Cash bonuses and incentives
Other Kansas communities are attracting newcomers with more than free land. Ellsworth County gives cash bonuses for children enrolled in the county's public schools, up to $3,000 per family, which is applied to the down payment for the home loan. In two years, 17 families with 36 children have taken advantage of the county's "Welcome Home Plan.”
"We do require that they make a trip here first,” says Anita Hoffhines, the county's economic development director, who gives tours to prospective homesteaders in the prairie towns of Wilson (pop. 799); Ellsworth (pop. 2,965), Holyrood (pop. 464), and Kanopolis (pop. 543).
"If they're moving from the city, they're giving up some amenities,” Hoffhines says. "We don't have sushi bars or malls with 20 movie screens, but your kids can ride their bikes to the pool.”
In Hendrum, Minn., which began offering free land in 1994, volunteers cleared dilapidated houses from tax-delinquent properties so the vacant lots could be given away.
Homesteader Tom Kristensen, 53, says his free lot in Hendrum gave him hope after suffering a stroke in 2003 and retiring early from his insurance job in Dallas. He built a 1,200-square-foot home for $70,000 and moved in last June. "It's cheaper than rent,” he says.
In Chugwater, Wyo., "darn near free land” is available for $100 through the Chugwater Housing Incentive Program.
"We want to stay progressive and build up our housing stock,” says Dixie Slider, the program's administrator. "All of our housing is about 50 years old.”
Heather and Lawrence Garringer, tired of living in a Detroit suburb, staked their claim last summer for a building lot in Chugwater. Lawrence, 26, a construction worker, drew the plans for their 1,600-square-foot house. Heather, 25, stays home with Liam, 19 months, and Kaitlin, 5.
"I'm excited,” Heather says as she packs to move 1,300 miles west to put down roots. "I hope the town grows with us.”
That's exactly what Chugwater and the other homestead towns scattered across the Great Plains are counting on.
· 4977 bc - Johannes Kepler's date for the creation of the universe, based on the his views of the chronology in Genesis. · 160 - Quintus Tertullian, Latin ecclesiastical writer, was born, probably at Carthage, the son of a centurion (d. ca. 220/230). He was schooled in rhetoric and jurisprudence and became a Christian perhaps in 190/195. He was a catechist (or presbyter) at Carthage. He held that the end, preceded by troubles and apostasy, was near, and that only the empire held off impending doom. He espoused Montanism, a millennialist expectation of the immediate return of Christ, in later life. · 630 - Death of Ardashir III, king of the Sassanid dynasty. · 1076 - Willem, bishop of Utrecht (1054-76), murderer of earl Floris I, dies · 1124 - David I becomes King of Scotland. Scotland's Alexander I dies at age 46 after a 17-year reign and is succeeded by his brother David, 40, who has ruled in the south since the death of their grandfather Edgar in 1107 · 1296 - Battle of Dunbar: The Scots are defeated by Edward I of England. · 1352 - the French were defeated by the English at the battle of Poitiers · 1500 - Pedro Cabral took possession of Brazil for Portugal with religious ceremonies on Easter Monday. · 1509 - Pope Julius II places the Italian state of Venice under interdict. · 1518 - Treaty of St Truiden: anti-French Trapdoors/Bourgondisch covenant · 1521 - Battle of Mactan: Explorer Ferdinand Magellan is killed by natives in the Philippines led by chief Lapu-Lapu. · 1522 - Battle at Bicacca: Charles I and Pope Adrianus VI beat France · 1526 - Mogol King Babur beats sultan of Delhi · 1541 - A conference at Regensburg (Ratisbon) opened between Lutherans and Catholics. Its purpose was to restore religious unity in Germany. · 1546 - William Foxley, a pot-maker for the Mint in the Tower of London, fell asleep and could not be awakened by anyone. He woke up 14 days later. · 1565 - Cebu is established becoming the first Spanish settlement and Catholic mission in the Philippines. · 1570 - Pius V Excommunicated Protestant Queen Elizabeth I for "being a heretic and favorer of heretics, and her adherents in the matters aforesaid to have incurred the sentence of excommunication and to be cut off from the unity of the body of Christ." · 1576 - Peace of Beaulieu and Paix de Monsieur · 1643 - Tirso de Molina's "Bellaco Sois, Gomez," premieres in Madrid · 1646 - King Charles I flees Oxford · 1650 - The Battle of Carbisdale: A Royalist army invades mainland Scotland from the Orkney Islands but is defeated by a Covenanter army. Scottish general Montrose defeated · 1662 - Netherlands and France sign military covenant · 1667 - The blind, impoverished John Milton sells the copyright of Paradise Lost the most magnificent epic in the English language for £10 to Samuel Simmons. · 1686 - Dongan Charter granted to New York City. · 1688 - In an attempt to win popular support James II reissued his Declaration of Religious Indulgence, which promised no more religious tests and freedom of conscience forever. · 1694 - Frederik August I "the Strong" becomes monarch of Saksen · 1734 - John Martin Boltzius was one of two German clergymen selected to accompany the first group of Salzburger emigrants to Georgia. His journal entry for April 27th - "A man from this place showed us two unusually large snakes he had shot. They are called rattlesnakes, because they have many rattles on their tail that make a noise like peas in a hollow and dry nutshell. These snakes are dangerous above all others but, because of the kind care of the Creator, they must give people warning with their rattling so that they won't come to close to them. There is a root here that looks like a black hellebore, which is said to be very good for snakebite if some of it is eaten and a piece put on the bite at the same time." · 1737 - Birth of Edward Gibbon (died 1794), English historian and author of The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. · 1739 - George Whitefield (1714-70) began practice of open-air preaching, 1739. Often Whitefield preached to from ten to thirty thousand people at a time. Today in London there are only two open places in London where Whitefield preached still open: Kennington Oval and Blackheath, where the preacher is remembered by the small prominence known as Whitefield's Mount. · 1745 - The London Evening Post reported: Last week a woman that keeps the Queen's Head ale-house at Kingston, in Surrey, was ordered by the court to be ducked for scolding, and was accordingly placed in the chair, and ducked in the river Thames, under Kingston bridge, in the presence of 2,000 or 3,000 people. · 1746 - King George II won the battle of Culloden. Duke of Cumberland beats "James VIII and III" · 1749 - The first official performance of Handel's Music for the Royal Fireworks finished early due to the outbreak of fire. · 1751 - In London, Georgia's Trustees appoined a committee to make preparations to surrender the charter of the colony so that Georgia would be taken over by the British government and be operated as a royal colony. The action came two years before the charter's original expiration date of June 9, 1753, and was motivated by inadequate funding from the British government and a fear that if they waited two more years, Georgia would be annexed to South Carolina. · 1773 - The British Parliament passes the Tea Act, designed to save the British East India Company by granting it a monopoly on the North American tea trade. It doesn't fly well in Boston. · 1775 - Peter Bohler (b. 1712), Moravian minister and missionary, died. Set apart by Zinzendorf in 1737, Bohler was sent by way of London to the American colonies to work among the blacks in Georgia. While in London, he met John Wesley, to whom Bohler conveyed a complete self-surrendering faith, instantaneous conversion and a joy in believing. Bohler's positive, assuring faith became a permanent mark on Wesley's life and has characterized historic Methodism ever since. · 1793 - The first Synod of the German Reformed Church met at Lancaster, Pennsylvania. There were 178 congregations and 15,000 communicants reported. The most important congregations were at Philadelphia, Lancaster and Germantown, Pennsylvania, and Frederick, Maryland. · 1805 - First Barbary War: United States Marines and Berbers attack the Tripolitan city of Derna (The "shores of Tripoli" part of the Marines' hymn). · 1805 - Lewis describes an area that would become Fort Union Trading Post in 1829, " on the point of the high plain at the lower extremity of this lake I think would be the most eligible site for an establishment." · 1810 - Ludwig van Beethoven gave the world a romantic piece for piano, with the dedication, 'For Therese, as a remembrance'. Nowadays nobody remembers Therese, though she was possibly Therese von Malfatti, the daughter of a Viennese medical doctor, and at the time the focus of Beethoven's attention. The publisher couldn't read Beethoven's handwriting and to this day the piece is known as 'Fur Elise'. · 1813 - War of 1812: United States troops capture the capital of Ontario, York (present day Toronto, Ontario). Americans under Gen Pike capture Toronto; Pike is killed · 1825 - Welsh-born utopian socialist and social reformer Robert Owen set up the colony of New Harmony, Indiana. · 1828 - Opening of the London Zoological Gardens in Regent's Park, London. · 1830 - Simon Bolivar abdicates from his position of President of Colombia. · 1838 - Fire destroys half of Charleston · 1840 - Foundation stone for new Palace of Westminster, London, laid by wife of Sir Charles Barry. · 1841 - Sir William McBean George Colebrooke is appointed Lieutenant-Governor of New Brunswick, having previously been lieutenant-governor of the Leeward Islands and Antigua. · 1841 - Imakita Kosen, 1st Zen teacher of D.T. Suzuki, found the awakening · 1847 - Francis Troutman and four other Kentucky slave catchers arrive at the home of the Adam Crosswhite family-Kentucky slaves who had escaped to Marshall. Troutman, who planned to return the Crosswhites to their former master, was confronted by several hundred Marshall residents who threatened the slaveholders with tar and feathers. While Troutman was being charged with assault and fined $100, the Crosswhites fled to Canada. A Kentucky court assessed the Michiganians with fines equal to the Crosswhites' value. · 1853 - The first three Morman missionaries (Hosea Stout, James Lewis, and Chapman Duncan) arrived in Hong Kong. Finding it impossible to gain access to China, they stayed for just four months, perhaps baptizing one convert. · 1856 - Empress Xiaoqin was promoted to second-class concubine with the title Yifei. This followed her giving birth to the future Tongzhi emperor. Empress Xiaoqin eventually became the Empress Dowager Ci Xi and wielded great influence for a generation. · 1857 - Establishment of Jewish congregations in Lower Austria prohibited · 1859 - "S.S. Pomona" sinks in North Atlantic drowning all 400 aboard · 1860 - Thomas J Jackson is assigned to command Harpers Ferry · 1861 - President Abraham Lincoln extended blockade of Confederacy to VA and NC ports and suspends the writ of habeas corpus in some areas of the USA. It was extended throughout the nation on September 24, 1862 against anyone suspected of being a Southern sympathiser. Thanks to the government's new-found ability to imprison without charge, over the next four years some 18,000 'subversives' and peace activists were jailed without charges. · 1861 - After Virginia secedes from the United States, West Virginia secedes from Virginia and forms its own state. · 1861 - From Columbus, Ga., John Banks recorded in his diary of the excitement he observed to the early progress of the Civil War: "The war excitement keeps up without abatement. Much talk of attacking Washington City. Troops coming on from the North to protect the city. Were attacked in Baltimore, several killed. Railroads torn up and bridges burnt to prevent this passage." · 1863 - The Army of the Potomac began marching on Chancellorsville. · 1863 - Battle of Streight's raid: Tuscumbia to Cedar Bluff, AL · 1865 - The New York State Senate creates Cornell University as the state's land grant institution. · 1865 - The steamboat Sultana, carrying 2,300 passengers, explodes and sinks in the Mississippi River, killing 1,700, most of whom were Union survivors of the Andersonville Prison. 1,450 paroled Union POWs killed when steamer "Sultana" blows up. · 1865 - Body of John Wilkes Booth brought to Washington Navy Yard. · 1867 - Opera "Rom‚o et Juliette" is produced (Paris) · 1869 - Australia: The electric telegraph submarine cable from Melbourne to Tasmania was opened. · 1870 - Heinrich Schliemann discovers Troi · 1871 - West Virginia voters approved the Flick Amendment, which restored voting rights to former Confederate supporters. · 1874 - White League, Paramilitary white supremacist organization, forms. The White League was first organized at Opelousas in a desperate attempt to correct abuses prevailing under the administration of Governor Kellogg. · 1877 - President Hayes removes Federal troops from LA, Reconstruction ends · 1877 - Opera "Le Roi de Lahore" is produced (Paris) · 1880 - Francis Clarke and M.G. Foster patented the electrical hearing aid. · 1881 - Widespread Russian pogroms against Russian Jews started in Elisabethgrad · 1884 - Greenwich is established as Prime Meridian. Greenwich, a southeastern borough of London, England, has kept us on time as the prime meridian of the world since then. · 1890 - French troops under Capt Archinard occupy Ouss‚bougou West Sudan · 1894 - France: Trial of the French anarchist Emile Henry for bombing the Terminus café on February 12, 1894 and blowing up the Bons-enfants police station on November 8, 1892. Henry proudly acknowledged his actions, reading a declaration in which he analysed a corrupt society and called for further revolt. The jury found no extenuating circumstances and didn't go easy on him. · 1895 - Lilianne (Allain) Dubocquet is born in Néguac. A member of the Resistance Movement in Paris (France) during WWII, she later receives accolades from the United States and Britain for her work in sheltering escapees during the Nazi occupation. · 1895 - The final issue of the weekly newspaper, Rolling Stone, appeared. It was published in Texas by William Sydney Porter (a.k.a. O. Henry). · 1896 - The French governor of Indochina decides on the building of the infamous central prison, called Maison Centrale, in Ha Noi's Hoa Lo Street. · 1897 - Grant's Tomb is dedicated. · 1899 - The Western Golf Association was founded in Chicago, IL. · 1902 - The South Australian 5th and 6th Imperial Bushmen contingents to the Boer War, arrived back in Australia. The two contingents had amalgamated whilst in South Africa. · 1903 - French President Émile François Loubet makes state visit to Tunisia. A military review of thousands of native troops is followed by an exclusive banquet and ball. · 1903 - W.E.B. Du Bois's The Souls of Black Folk was published. · 1903 - Jamaica Race Track opened in Long Island, NY. · 1903 - 1st Highlander (Yankee) shut-out, Phila Astro's win 6-0 · 1904 - The Australian Labor Party becomes the first such party to gain national government, under Chris Watson. · 1905 - World Exposition opens in Luik · 1906 - Salem, Ohio celebrates its Centennial. · 1907 - French Governor of Indochina Broni decides to allow the employment of indigenous nurses in Tonkin (Northern Viet Nam). · 1908 - The 1908 Summer Olympics open in London. Start of the Fourth Modern Olympic Games in London (April 27-October 31). Britain heads the medal table winning 56 gold. · 1909 - Sultan of Turkey Abdul Hamid II is overthrown, and is succeeded by his brother, Murat V. · 1910 - Louis Botha and James Barry Munnik Herzog form the nationalist United South African (or Unionist) Party, calling for South African independence and equality for Afrikaners. · 1910 - Belgian parliament rejects socialist motion for general voting rights · 1911 - Following the resignation and death of William P. Frye, a compromise is reached to rotate the office of President pro tempore of the United States Senate. · 1912 - Relief laws replaces those of 1854, in Netherlands · 1913 - Georgia - After night watchman Newt Lee discovered Mary Phagan's body in the basement of the National Pencil Company, he called Atlanta police. Investigating the scene of the crime, police found two roughly scrawled notes, which they initially assume were written by Phagan. One of the notes indicates she was sexually assaulted, and both implicate a "long tall black negro." Believing they were written by Phagan before she died, Atlanta police arrested Newt Lee, who was black, and Arthur Mullinax, a white ex-street car driver, on suspicion of being involved in Phagan's murder. Mullinax, who had frequently driven Phagan to and from work, was arrested because a witness claimed to have seen the two together Saturday, with Phagan appearing to be dazed or drugged. Both men declared their innocence. · 1914 - Honduras becomes a signatory to the Buenos Aires copyright treaty. · 1915 - 2nd BN AIF engaged in a desperate struggle for Russell's Top at Gallipoli. Beaten back the Australians regrouped, charged forward and retook the trench. The struggle lasted all day and night. The Turks were making general attacks which were eventually defeated. · 1916 - Western Front comprises the Franco-German-Belgian front and any military action in Great Britain, Switzerland, Scandinavia and Holland. Eastern Front comprises the German-Russian, Austro-Russian and Austro-Romanian fronts. Southern Front comprises the Austro-Italian and Balkan (including Bulgaro-Romanian) fronts, and Dardanelles. Asiatic and Egyptian Theatres comprises Egypt, Tripoli, the Sudan, Asia Minor (including Transcaucasia), Arabia, Mesopotamia, Syria, Persia, Afghanistan, Turkestan, China, India, etc. Naval and Overseas Operations comprises operations on the seas (except where carried out in combination with troops on land) and in Colonial and Overseas theatres, America, etc. Political, etc. comprises political and internal events in all countries, including Notes, speeches, diplomatic, financial, economic and domestic matters. Source: Chronology of the War (1914-18, London; copyright expired) · 1916 - Dr Ben Reitman (anarchist Emma Goldman's lover) was arrested in New York for distributing pamphlets on birth control. · 1918 - Lt. George Burdon McKean (14th Cdn. Infantry Batt.) wins the Victoria Cross at Gavrelle France · 1919 - Western Front comprises the Franco-German-Belgian front and any military action in Great Britain, Switzerland, Scandinavia and Holland. Eastern Front comprises the German-Russian, Austro-Russian and Austro-Romanian fronts. Southern Front comprises the Austro-Italian and Balkan (including Bulgaro-Romanian) fronts, and Dardanelles. Asiatic and Egyptian Theatres comprises Egypt, Tripoli, the Sudan, Asia Minor (including Transcaucasia), Arabia, Mesopotamia, Syria, Persia, Afghanistan, Turkestan, China, India, etc. Naval and Overseas Operations comprises operations on the seas (except where carried out in combination with troops on land) and in Colonial and Overseas theatres, America, etc. Political, etc. comprises political and internal events in all countries, including Notes, speeches, diplomatic, financial, economic and domestic matters. Source: Chronology of the War (1914-18, London; copyright expired) · 1919 - A Schwassmann discovers asteroid #912 Maritima · 1920 - Pogrom leader Petljoera declares Ukraine Independence · 1921 - Hadjememaar, [Corn de Gelder] elected in Amsterdam · 1922 - Yakut ASSR formed in Russian SFSR · 1922 - Fritz Langs "Dr Mabuse, der Spieler" premieres in Berlin · 1923 - Mussolini govt italian place in South Tirol/Alto Adige · 1931 - Lowell Thomas on the news: "Over in Palestine they are trying to negotiate a settlement of the long-standing dispute between the Zionists and the Arabs. The Arab Executive Commission has been invited to talk the situation over with Sir John Chancellor, British High Commissioner in the Holy Land. The Arabs have refused." · 1932 - Imperial Airways began an air service from London to Cape Town. · 1932 - Hart Crane, American author, committed suicide by jumping overboard from a ship en route from Mexico. · 1932 - Apollo asteroid discovered, with a perigee of 2 million miles · 1933 - Karl Jansky reports reception of cosmic radio signal in Wash DC · 1933 - In celebration of the end of Prohibition, Governor William A. Comstock lowers Michigan state's drinking age to 18 to 20 years old to drink beer and wine, but not hard liquor. Four years later, the legislature raised the age limit for all alcohol consumption to 21, where it remained until 1972. · 1935 - Brussel's World Expo opens · 1936 - The United Auto Workers (UAW) gains autonomy from the American Federation of Labor. · 1937 - German bombers devastated Guernica, Spain. · 1937 - In the United States, the first social security checks were distributed and The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco USA opens. · 1937 - The world's longest suspension bridge, the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, is officially opened. Its length: 4,200 feet. · 1937 - King George VI performed the official opening of the National Maritime Museum at Greenwich, England. · 1938 - Geraldine Apponyi married King Zog of Albania. She was the first American woman to become a queen. · 1938 - Greece and Turkey sign a treaty of friendship. · 1938 - A colored baseball was used for the first time in any baseball game. The ball was yellow and was used between Columbia and Fordham Universities in New York City. · 1938 - Tommy Dorsey and his orchestra recorded I Hadn't Anyone 'til You for Victor Records. Jack Leonard was featured as vocalist. · 1939 - Conscription for men aged 20-21 was announced in Britain. · 1940 - Himmler issues directive to establish a concentration camp at Auschwitz. · 1940 - Philip Hague Abelson codiscovered neptunium (Np, element 93) · 1941 - World War II: German troops enter Athens. Athens falls to the German invaders after 180 days of Greek resistance. · 1941 - USA: Allied withdrawal from Greece completed during the night 27/28 April. Anzac forces moved to Crete. · 1942 - Belgium Jews are forced to wear stars · 1942 - Darwin, Australia was bombed by Japanese aircraft. Darwin was bombed 64 times during the Second World War · 1942 - Tornado destroys Pryor Oklahoma killing 100, injuring 300 · 1943 - Britain's first professional women's jockey makes her racing debut. · 1943 - Lou Jansen and Jan Dieters arrested, lead illegal CPN party in Holland · 1945 - World War II: Last German troops are expelled from Finnish Lapland (the last day of World War II going on in Finland). The day is the national war veteran day in Finland. Soviet Union breaks contact with Polish government exiled in London · 1945 - The Allies reject peace offers by German SS chief Heinrich Himmler, insisting on unconditional surrender. Russians and Americans link at Elbe Russian and American troops join hands at the River Elbe in Germany, bringing the end of WWII a step closer. US 5th army enters Genua · 1945 - Italian partisans capture Mussolini prisoner · 1945 - The Second Republic was founded in Austria. · 1945 - The Völkischer Beobachter, the newspaper of the Nazi Party, ceases publication. · 1945 - Admiral Suzuki Kantaro became Japan's third prime minister in a year. · 1946 - the International Military Tribunal for the Far East began its trials in Tokyo, Japan, ruling on the indictments of former Japanese Prime Minister Hideki Tojo and 27 associates. · 1946 - The SS African Star was placed in service. It was the first commercial ship to be equipped with radar. · 1947 - Norwegian anthropologist Thor Heyerdahl set off from Callao, Peru, heading for Polynesia to prove his theory that the original Polynesian islanders could have come from Peru. · 1947 - Babe Ruth Day is celebrated at Yankee Stadium. Major-league parks throughout the U.S. and Japan participated. A crowd of 60,000 fans honored their hero in ceremonies at Yankee Stadium in New York City. Ruth, who was dying of throat cancer, managed to put in an appearance to thank his former club. · 1947 - The first broadcast of Studio One on CBS radio was broadcast. The show was full of great stars, but no sponsors. CBS dropped Studio One after a year on radio. The show, however, began a nine-year run on CBS-TV ... with sponsors. · 1948 - Arab legion attacks Gesher bridge on Jordan River · 1950 - Britain officially recognises the State of Israel. · 1950 - The Communist-controlled National Catholic Church was created in Rumania at a congress under Andreas Agotha, whom Rome promptly excommunicated. · 1950 - The Communist Party is outlawed in Australia. · 1950 - Apartheid: In South Africa, the Group Areas Act is passed formally segregating races. · 1950 - Despite mass protests, Premier John B. McNair imposes a four percent sales tax in New Brunswick to help finance education and social services. Two years later, McNair and his party are defeated at the polls. · 1951 - In Tehran, Iran's Premier Hussein Ala resigned. · 1951 - Mohammed Mossadeq chosen premier of Persia · 1953 - The U.S. offered $50,000 and political asylum to any Communist pilot that delivered a MIG jet. · 1953 - Five people were killed and 60 injured when Mt. Aso erupted on the island of Kyushu. · 1953 - 1st general elections in British Guyana, won by Jagans PPP · 1955 - Egypt announces plans to sell cotton to Communist China. · 1955 - Wanda Fricke, RN, arrived in New Guinea to open medical work there. · 1955 - Prime Minister Nehru will offer best quality Indian mangoes to the dignitaries from Asian and African countries who are still in Jakarta after attending the Bandung Conference. Thirteen cases of mangoes were flown to Jakarta on April 25 by an Air India International Constellation. · 1955 - The Lok Sabha on April 25 passed a motion for consideration of the State Bank Bill, which provides for the nationalisation of the Imperial Bank of India and the setting up of a new State Bank. Clause by clause consideration of the Bill will be taken up later in the week after members have had time for informal discussion on amendments. During the debate on April 25, several members felt that the amount of compensation provided for - four times the face value of the shares - was rather high, but the Minister for Revenue and Defence Expenditure, Mr. A.C. Guha justified it, saying that the assets of the Bank would be equal to - in fact more than - the compensation payable. · 1956 - Burma Premier U Nu's Volksliga voor Vrijheid loses election · 1956 - Rocky Marciano retired as undefeated world heavyweight boxing champion. · 1957 - Italy: Situationist International (1957 - 1972) founding conference, at Cosio d'Arroscia. The SI are often attributed as being one of the key ideological catalysts for the May 1968 revolution centred around Paris. · 1957 - Elvis Presley performed his first concert outside of the U.S. at Toronto's Maple Leaf Gardens. · 1958 - Spanish southern protectorate (part of Spanish Sahara), one of four 'international administrative zones' imposed on Morocco in 1912, is ceded to Morocco under the control of King Mohamed V (Sidi Mohamed). · 1959 - The last Canadian missionary leaves China · 1959 - Liu Sjau-chi elected president of China PR · 1959 - Lloyd Price's song, Personality, was released. Price had 10 songs that made it on the nation's pop music charts in the 1950s through early 1960s. · 1959 - "Today" show goes abroard the first time (Paris France) · 1960 - Togoland gains independence from French-administered UN trusteeship, and became the Republic of Togo. · 1960 - Police in Nowa Huta, Poland, tried to remove a cross. Women protested. Men joined to protect the women from police brutality. Riots developed. The Communist Party headquarters was burned. This was one of many religious protests that forced the Communists to grant a measure of religious leeway to Poland. · 1960 - South Korean pres Syngman Rhee resigns · 1960 - The first atomic powered electric-drive submarine Tullibee was launched from Groton, CT. It was the first sub to be equipped with closed-circuit television. · 1961 - President Kennedy - At a White House meeting with W.H. Fitzjohn, Chargé d'Affaires of the Embassy of Sierra Leone, President Kennedy personally apologizes to the African diplomat for having been denied service in a Maryland restaurant because of his race. Meeting with the National Security Council to discuss Laos, Vietnam, Cuba, the Emergency Freedom Fund, and the privileged nature of NSC discussions. Meeting with bipartisan legislative leaders to discuss the situation in Laos. President Kennedy then flies to New York City. In an address before the American Newspaper Publishers Association at the Waldorf Astoria Towers in New York City on the responsibilities of "the President and the Press," President Kennedy urges journalists "to heed the duty of self-restraint" in reporting matters that may affect U.S. national security. The President urges Congress to enact an Executive Employees Standards Act to replace the seven currently existing statutes and also sends to Congress Reorganization Plans 1 and 2 of 1961 to provide more efficiency in the dispatch of business of the Security and Exchange Commission and the Federal Communications Commission. · 1961 - Sierra Leone is granted its independence from the United Kingdom, with Milton Margai as the first Prime Minister. · 1961 - The Liberation Association of Labour of South Viet Nam is established as part of the National Front for Liberation. · 1961 - NASA launches Explorer 11 into Earth orbit to study gamma rays · 1962 - US performs atmospheric nuclear test at Christmas Island · 1962 - The United States Congress approves a law to provide for a National Portrait Gallery as a bureau of the Smithsonian Institution (P.L. 87-443). · 1962 - Goethe Link Observatory discovers asteroids #2334 Cuffey & #3474 · 1962 - Fats Domino performed "You Win Again" and "Ida Jane" on "American Bandstand." · 1963 - In Baghdad, Palestinian students stormed the Jordanian Embassy, shouting "Death to King Hussein." · 1963 - "Jopie" Pengel forms govt in Suriname · 1963 - Cuban premier Fidel Castro arrives in Moscow · 1963 - Establishment of the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry · 1963 - Brian Sternberg set the pole vault record 16 feet, 5 inches. · 1964 - USA: Advance party of 7 Fd Sqn RAE embarked for service in Borneo. · 1964 - "Love Me Do" by the Beatles was #1 for one week in the US and John Lennon's "In His Own Write," a collection of funny poems and drawings, was published in the U.S. · 1965 - In the American War, liberation forces inflict the first defeat on the US at Nui Thanh, Quang Nam Province. · 1965 - Egypt recalls its diplomats from Tunisia. · 1965 - "Pampers" were patented by R.C. Duncan. · 1967 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site · 1967 - In Montreal, Prime Minister Lester Pearson lighted a flame to open Expo 67. · 1967 - Elvis Presley completed his work on the movie "Clambake." His movie "Easy Come, Easy Go" premiered in the U.K. · 1968 - Abortion became legal in Britain, when pregnancy endangers the physical or mental health of a woman or child. · 1968 - Congress of Political Party Radicals (PPR) forms in Netherlands · 1968 - An anti-war march in Chicago drew 8,000 people. When the march ended, Chicago police ordered the crowd to disperse, then attacked with clubs. The unofficial Sparling report criticised the police and the Richard Daley administration. · 1968 - Vice-President Hubert H Humphrey announced his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination. · 1968 - Muhammad Ali's successor was finally decided after an eight-month runoff. Jimmy Ellis defeated Jerry Quarry of Atascadero, CA for the World Boxing Association's heavyweight title. · 1969 Vietnamese liberation forces and people attack a US logistic base near Da Nang airport, destroying over 150,000 tonnes of weapons, over 300 armoured vehicles, 10 aircraft and a large amount of fuel. · 1969 - Joe Cocker made his debut appearance on "The Ed Sullivan Show." And Glen Campbell and Dionne Warwick were guests on Jose Feliciano's TV special. · 1970 - T Smirnova discovers asteroid #2469 Tadjikistan · 1970 - Hollywood actor Tony Curtis was fined £50 in a London court for possession of marijuana. · 1971 - Curt Flood resigns Senators after 13 games and departs for Denmark · 1971 - Protest disrupts Welsh language trial · 1971 - Hank Aaron hit his 600th career home run of San Francisco pitcher Gaylord Perry. · 1971 - The final episode of "Green Acres" aired. · 1972 - The government of Willy Brandt weathered the first motion of no confidence in the history of the Federal Republic of Germany. The opposition based its motion on Brandt's unpopular conciliatory stance toward Eastern Europe. With only 247 votes, the motion failed to achieve the required majority. · 1972 - Constructive Vote of No Confidence against German Chancellor Willy Brandt fails under obscure circumstances. · 1972 - US Apollo 16 spacecraft safely crash lands in the Pacific Ocean after taking three astronauts to the Moon. · 1972 - NYC Mayor John Lindsey appeals that John Lennon not be deported · 1973 - Steve Busby of Kansas City lead the Royals to a 3-0, no-hit shutout of the Detroit Tigers. · 1974 - A Soviet airliner Pan Am 707 crashes into mountains of Bali crashes shortly after take-off from Leningrad Airport killing all 108 passengers and crew on board. · 1974 - Kool & the Gang performed "Hollywood Swinging" and The DeFranco Family performed "Save the Last Dance for Me" on "American Bandstand." · 1975 - Saigon was encircled by North Vietnamese troops. · 1975 - USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR · 1975 - As of this last show in a five-night engagement at the Los Angeles Sports Arena by Pink Floyd, 511 fans had been arrested for various offences, mostly marijuana possession. During the third night of the event, LA Police Chief Ed Davis was quoted as saying during a Rotary Club speech, "Tonight at the Sports Arena, they have a dope festival. It's called a rock concert or something." · 1976 - Arabic Monetary Fund established in Abu Dhabi · 1976 - Pop star David Bowie was delayed while his special train was stopped and searched for several hours on the Polish-Russian border. Customs officers confiscated Nazi books and mementos. · 1976 - Maxine Nightingale received a gold record for the single, Right Back Where We Started From. Nightingale was in the productions of Hair, Jesus Christ Superstar, Godspell and Savages in the early '70s. Right Back Where We Started From was a number two hit for two weeks in 1976. · 1977 - Bloody riots in Soweto South Africa · 1977 - H-E Schuster discovers asteroid #2234 Schmadel · 1977 - First of two nights for Zeppelin at the Richfield Coliseum in Cleveland. Famous concert because of 'Destroyer' bootleg · 1978 - Pro-Soviet Marxists seized control of Afghanistan. Afghanistan's armed forces seize power, establishing a government based on Islamic principles. President Daoud was killed and new President Nur Mohammed Taraki proclaimed the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan. · 1978 - Accident at nuclear reactor Willow Island, W Virginia, kills 51 · 1971 - George Harrison releases "Love Comes to Everyone" · 1981 - Xerox PARC introduces the computer mouse. · 1981 - The first female soccer official is hired by the NASL · 1981 - Ringo Starr and Barbara Bach were married in London. Paul McCartney and George Harrison attended the ceremony. · 1982 - The trial of John W. Hinckley Jr. began in Washington. Hinckley was later acquitted by reason of insanity for the shooting of U.S. President Reagan and three others. · 1982 - California assemblyman Philip Wyman proposed a bill in the state legislature requiring record companies to post warning labels on CDs that contain backward-recorded messages singing the praises of Satan. · 1983 - Medardo Gomez, pastor of the Lutheran Church of the Resurrection in San Salvador, and Angel Ibarra, director of medical services of Lutheran Social Services of El Salvador, were arrested by the National Police. Gomez was released three days later. He was president of the Lutheran Synod of El Salvador, a Missouri Synod partner church with 3,266 members. The previous month he had just been elected chairman of CONCAP, the council of Missouri Synod-related churches in Central America and Panama. · 1983 - Pitcher Nolan Ryan surpassed Walter Johnson's strikeout record-one that had held since 1927 when he struck out his 3,509th batter of his career.. · 1984 - First Cultural Ministers' meeting between Viet Nam, Laos and Cambodia is held in Phnom Penh. · 1984 - Libyan embassy siege ends Eleven days after the killing of London policewoman Yvonne Fletcher 30 Libyans (diplomats and others under diplomatic immunity) leave their embassy and return to Tripoli. · 1984 - In Philadelphia, the radio station WWSH broadcasted a "No Michael Jackson" weekend in protest of his airwave saturation over the last years and Michael Jackson returned to the hospital for further scalp and facial laser surgery stemming from the burns he received filming a Pepsi commercial. · 1984 - Asteroid #3625 discovered · 1986 - Caught in the fall-out The nuclear reactor at Chernobyl blew up on 26 April 1986 but news of the world's worst nuclear accident did not emerge until two days later. Twenty years after the disaster an area around the plant the size of Greater London is still considered uninhabitable. · 1986 - Captain Midnight (John R. MacDougall) hijacks HBO's satellite and transmits his own message (protesting de-scrambling fees) to HBO viewers. · 1987 - Austrian president Kurt Waldheim was barred from entering the United States by the The U.S. Justice Department. He was accused of aiding in the execution of thousands of Jews in World War II. · 1988 - Over Hawaii, a flight attendant was sucked out of an Aloha Airlines Boeing 737 and fell to her death when an upper part of the plane's cabin area ripped off in mid-flight. · 1989 - Beijing students take over Tiananmen Square in China. The first of many massive pro-democracy demonstrations in China in the Spring of 1989. More than 150,000 students and workers calling for democracy marched, cheering and singing, through central Beijing. · 1989 - Hurricane in Bangladesh, kills 500 · 1989 - Italy imposes mandatory seatbelt laws · 1990 - Joe Slovo, leader of the South African Communist Party and the African National Congress, returned to South Africa after a 27-year exile. · 1990 - Dodger Orel Hershiser undergoes career-threatening shoulder surgery · 1991 - Winnie Madikizela-Mandela fails to win the presidency of the ANC's Women's League. · 1991 - Augusta-born Amy Grant's "Baby, Baby" pushed to the number one popular music single in America. The singer/songwriter was born in Augusta, Ga. on Nov. 25, 1960. · 1992 - The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia is proclaimed, comprising of Serbia and Montenegro. · 1992 - Russia and 12 other former Soviet republics won entry into the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. · 1992 - A Zambian air force plane carrying Zambia's national football team crashes into the Atlantic off Gabon, killing all 30 aboard. · 1992 - Betty Boothroyd is new Speaker of the House of Commons. · 1993 - Afghan Antonov AN-32 crashes at Tashqurgan, kills 76 · 1993 - Last day of referendum in Ethiopia (Eritrea) shows overwhelming vote for independence. Eritrea gains independence from Ethiopia after 30 years of civil war following a UN-monitored referendum. · 1993 - Prince released a statement that he was retiring from studio recordings to concentrate on theater, film and other ventures. · 1994 - South African general election, 1994: The first democratic (multi-racial) general election in South Africa, in which black citizens vote. Nelson Mandela, after years of imprisonment, was elected President of South Africa. · 1994 - President Nixon buried in Nixon Library in Calif · 1996 - The Israeli military operation in Lebanon, Operation Grapes of Wrath, ends after 16 days of heavy bombing. · 1996 - Thirty thousand rallied across Germany for an end to nuclear power. · 1996 - Twenty-seven protesters were arrested at Watts Bar nuclear power plant, Spring City, Tennessee, USA. · 1996 - President Bill Clinton gave a 4 1/2 hour videotaped testimony for the defense for the Whitewater scandal. · 1997 - Hong Kong officially opens the world's longest road-rail suspension bridge, linking the colony to its new offshore airport. · 1997 - Andrew Cunanan murders Jeffrey Trail, beginning a murder spree that will last until July and terminate with the murder of fashion designer Gianni Versace. · 1997 - Top economic decision-makers of the Group of Seven (G7) leading industrialized nations signalled their concern over the continued rise of the US dollar, especially in relation to the weakened Japanese yen. · 1997 - Seventeen activists protesting continued funding of the School of the Americas were arrested for digging a mass grave on Pentagon grounds. · 2000 - Paleontologists unveil the most complete ape-man skull ever excavated, a 1.5-million to 2-million-year-old skull of a female Paranthropus robustus, a cousin of early man. The fossil was found in South Africa. · 2001 - Six workers of the International Committee of the Red Cross are shot and hacked to death in Congo, the deadliest attack on the aid group in five years. · 2001 - The National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA) issued a study stating that Threats to individual privacy have never been greater due to the spread of electronic databases in government, medicine, business and the workplace. However, unwise legislation could destroy many benefits of information sharing for private individuals. · 2001 - A&E aired "Live By Request" in which the BeeGees performed many of their hit songs. · 2002 - Soldiers loyal to Afghan warlord Padsha Khan Zadra launch more than 200 rockets at Gardez, the capital of Paktia province. At least 25 people are killed in fighting between his soldiers and fighters loyal to the leaders installed by the government of Hamid Karzai. · 2003 - Nicanor Duarte Frutos is elected president of Paraguay, extending the Colorado Party's uninterrupted 55 years of rule.-AP/REUTERS/VNS · 2003 - In Britain, the Sunday Times reported that Paul McCartney was the Britain's richest musician. His personal fortune was listed as $1.2 billion. · 2003 - Fire authorities in Perth, Western Australia described as "lucky" a man who escaped unharmed after his attempt to recharge his mobile phone in a microwave oven caused a minor explosion. Fire officers had been called the previous night to the man's home in suburban Scarborough after the battery exploded. "It's a timely reminder to people not to put things in the microwave other than food - and this includes phone batteries or using your microwave to dry your clothes," said Fire and Emergency Services district officer Alan Riley. · 2004 - Presidential Elections - Cato Institute criticizes John Kerry's domestic Peace Corps-like "Compact with the Next Generation," which he promises will "bring the greatest expansion of national service in history." · 2004 - Oscar-winning actress Halle Berry files for divorce from her second husband, RandB singer Eric Benet, six months after the couple separated. · 2005 - Vladimir Putin became the first Kremlin leader to visit Israel and in Neve Dekalim, Gaza Strip, thousands of Israelis protested the Israeli government's plan to withdraw from the area. · 2005 - The Superjumbo jet aircraft Airbus 380 makes its first flight from Toulouse, France. · 2005 - In the Michael Jackson child-molestation trial, Deborah Rowe testified for the prosecution and In California, an appellate court said that the judge in the Michael Jackson child molestation trial was right to seal dozens of records. The court said the judge had successfully balanced Jackson's right to a fair trial and the public's right to know.
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We have just posted, as a
news story (click here)
this urgent call for
humane, medical release
for Herman Wallace of the
Angola 3, recently
diagnosed with liver
International has just
launched a campaign
calling for Herman's
We have just posted, as a
news story (click here)
this urgent call for
humane, medical release
for Herman Wallace of the
Angola 3, recently
diagnosed with liver
International has just
launched a campaign
calling for Herman's