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Today in History: Agnes Martin Is Born 

On March 22, 1912 Agnes Bernice Martin was born on a rural farm in Saskatchewan, Canada. Hoping to become a teacher, she immigrated to the United States in 1932 and attended Teachers College, Columbia University where she studied art education, earning a Bachelors of Science degree in 1932 and a Master's of Art degree in …

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Today in History: Ides of March 

On March 15, 44 BC, Roman politician, military general, and historian Gaius Julius Caesar was assassinated by many high-ranking Roman senators, including his protege Marcus Brutus. Caesar was for-warned with a handwritten note, which he did not read, as he entered the meeting hall adjacent to the Theatre of Pompey -- only to be surrounded by senators …

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Today in History: Ernest Hemingway Finishes Old Man and the Sea 

He no longer dreamed of storms, nor of women, nor of great occurrences, nor of great fish, nor fights, nor contests of strength, nor of his wife. He only dreamed of places now and the lions on the beach. They played like young cats in the dusk and he loved them as he loved the …

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Today in History: Getty Museum Receives Largest Endowment 

On February 28th, 1982 the J. Paul Getty Museum received the largest endowment in the history of funding for the arts -- a whopping $1.2 billion from the late Minneapolis-born billionaire, Jean Paul Getty (1892-1976), who made his fortune in oil and art. His wealth was fiercely contested by family and ex-family members -- allowing it to …

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Today in History: First Academy Awards Announced 

Did you know that the first ever Academy Awards were announced February 18th, 1929 on the back of the organization's newsletter and reprinted in Variety Magazine two days with the article "Academy Awards Talent Credit for Making-Writing-Acting-Titling")? Presentation of the awards honoring the best films of 1927 and 1928 took place months later -- May 16th, 1929 …

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Today in History: Olivia Hooker Is Born 

The last known survivor of the 1921 Tulsa race riots and the first Afro-American woman to enter the United States Coast Guard in February, 1945, Olivia Juliette Hooke was born today, February 12th, 1915 in Muskogee, Oklahoma. Olivia Hooker became one of five female afro-americans to join the Women's Reserve, known as SPAR (Semper Paratus Always Ready), …

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Today in History: Birth of a Nation Premiers 

Adapted from Thomas Dixon's novel, The Clansman: A Historical Romance of the Klu Klux Klan, D.W. Griffith's silent movie "Birth of a Nation" premiered on February 8th, 1915 at Clune's Auditorium in downtown Los Angeles. Its opening sequence included a "Plea for the Art of the Motion Picture": We do not fear censorship, for …

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Today in History: U.S. Coastguard Is Created 

On January 28, 1915 the U.S. Coast Guard was created by an Act of Congress, combining the Life Saving Service and the Revenue Cutter Service. "The cutter service had been established by Congress in 1790, at the suggestion of Alexander Hamilton, to prevent smuggling; until the creation of the navy in 1798 it was the …

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Today in History: Gold Is Discovered in Coloma 

On January 24th, 1848, James W. Marshall (1810-1885), an American carpenter and sawmill operator, spotted bright flakes in the water as he was building a sawmill for Capain John Sutter in Coloma, California. Thought he tried to keep his discovery of gold a secret, word quickly spread. Some 80,000 immigrants came overland on the California Trail, …

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Today in History: A Donkey Is Born 

As a symbol of the Democratic party, the donkey first appeared on January 15th, 1870 in Harper's Weekly in a political cartoon by Thomas H. Nast that  criticized Edwin Stanton, former Secretary of War, by using the caption, "A Live Jackass Kicking a Dead Lion".  Some believe the "jackass" played on a twist of General Andrew Jackson's name …

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Today in History: George Washington Delivers the First State of the Union Address 

Did you know that on Tuesday, January 8th, 1790 President George Washington delivered the first state of the union address to members of the United States Congress in New York City? He outlined administration policies, created by Alexander Hamilton; discussed national defense and foreign affairs; and advised on the need for a Federal Post Office, …

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Today in History: A Christmas Carol Is Published 

I HAVE endeavored in this Ghostly little book, to raise the Ghost of an Idea, which shalt not out my readers out of humour with themselves with each other, with the season, or with me. May it haunt their houses, pleasantly, and no one wish to lay it. Their faithful Friend and Servant, C.D. December, …

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Today in History: South Pole Is Discovered 

On December 14th, 1911 Roald Amundsen (1872-1928) of Norway became the first explorer to reach the South Pole, defeating his British rival Robert Falcon Scott in the race which began in October. While Amundsen used sleigh dogs in his dangerous trek, Scott deployed Siberian motor sledges, ponies and dogs only to reach the site a month later …

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Today in History: Presidential Inaugurations at Teachers College, 1887-2018 

Presidential inaugurations at Teachers College, Columbia University occur on the average every 11 years, from the appointment of Nicholas Murray Butler, 10th President of Columbia University and first President of Teachers College (formerly known as New York College for the Training of Teachers) in 1887, through to the investiture of Thomas Bailey, our eleventh president, on …

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Today in History: International Day of Persons with Disabilities 

In 1992 the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed December 3rd an annual observance, International Day of Persons with Disabilities, "to promote the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities in all spheres of society and development, and to increase awareness of the situation of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural …

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Today in History: First Thanksgiving 

"The character of a nation is revealed in its national holidays, just as the character of the people of that nation is revealed in the way in which they celebrate those holidays. In the same manner an individual reveals his true character more clearly in his amusements and in the way he spends his leisure …

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Today in History: Treaty on Conventional Forces in Europe Is Signed 

On November 19th, 1990, the Treaty on Conventional Forces in Europe was signed the Unites States and 21 other NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) and WTO (Warsaw Treaty Organization) countries at an historic CSCE (Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe) summit in Paris. The treaty established a military balance between two "groups of states-parties" which then …

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Today in History: Georgia O’Keeffe Is Born 

“I know now that most people are so closely concerned with themselves that they are not aware of their own individuality. I can see myself, and it has helped me to say what I want to say -- in paint.” -- from Full Bloom: The Art and Life of Georgia O'Keeffe, by Hunter Drohojowska-Philp, c2004) An …

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Today in History: Abraham Lincoln Is Elected President 

Although he received only 40% of the popular vote,  Abraham Lincoln was elected 16th President of the United States on November 6th, 1860. The Democratic Party was heavily divided at the time, and Lincoln became the first Republican to win the office. The presidential race of 1860 included candidates John Breckinridge, a Southern Democrat; John Bell, Constitutional Union; and …

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Today in History: Lawrence Cremin Is Born 

"Lawrence Cremin was truly a giant among us. A man of boundless energy, consistently high competence, lively spirit, twinkling eye, and great personal warmth and generosity, Cremin was a gifted scholar, teacher, administrator, and educational statesman. He could be courtly and gracious, wise and empathetic, or witty and fun, depending on the occasion. He could …

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