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Mark's Almanac

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Mark's Almanac

Mark's Almanac is a 90-second time travel that highlights the world's history from the very serious to the sometimes sublime. Listen during Morning Edition and 1A.


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  • It was on this date in 1864 that Confederate officer Bennett H. Young led a raid on St. Albans, Vermont during the U.S. Civil War. Young wanted to conduct raids on the Union from the Canada–US border to build the Confederate treasury by robbing banks and also forcing the Union Army to divert troops from the South.
  • It was on this date in 1520 that King Henry VIII of England ordered bowling lanes to be added to his palace at Whitehall. And it was on this date in 1860 that an 11-year-old girl wrote U.S. presidential candidate Abraham Lincoln, encouraging him to grow a beard.
  • It was on this date in 1947 that U.S. Airforce Captain Chuck Yeager became the first person to fly faster than the speed of sound. And it was on this date in 1964 that Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. won the Nobel Peace Prize for his work with non-violent resistance against racial prejudice.
  • It was on this date in 54 that Tiberius Caesar Augustus died from being poisoned. And it was on this date in 1943 that General Pietro Badoglio gave full cooperation of Italian troops to Allied forces in recapturing Rome.
  • It was on this date in 1492 that Christopher Columbus sailed the ocean blue. And it was on this date in 1972 that Magic Johnson made his debut in the NBA.
  • It was on this date in 1945 that the Chinese Civil War started between communist and national fractions in the country. And it was on this date in 1975 that Saturday Night Live premiered.
  • It was on this date in 1871 that the Great Chicago Fire started in the barn of Patrick and Catherine O'Leary. The fire lasted two days and killed 300 people. And it was on this date in 1918 that U.S. Army Sgt. Alvin York lead an attack on a German machine-gun nest, killing at least 25 enemy soldiers and capturing 132 prisoners during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive during World War I. York would later receive the Medal of Honor for his actions.
  • It was on this date in 1916 that Georgia Tech defeated Cumberland by a score of 222 - 0 in a college football game. And it was on this date in 2003 that Arnold Schwarzenegger was elected Governor of California.
  • It was on this date in 1979 that Pope John Paul II became the first pope to visit the White House. And it was on this date in 1993 that Michael Jordan announced his retirement from the NBA. Jordan would return to the Chicago Bulls 17 months later.
  • It was on this date in 1945 that the radio show American Mercury Presents Meet the Press premiered. Shortly after it moved to television, the title was shortened to Meet the Press. It has since gone on to become the longest-running television show of all time. And it was on this date in 1956 that The Ten Commandments premiered in theaters.