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This Day in History



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Last Build Date: Wed, 23 Aug 2017 05:00:00 GMT

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Freckleton Air Disaster (1944)

Wed, 23 Aug 2017 05:00:00 GMT

(image) On the morning of August 23, 1944, an American B-24 bomber aircraft crashed into the village of Freckleton in Lancashire, England, during a fierce storm. The plane hit the Holy Trinity School, three houses, and a snack bar for American servicemen. Fuel from the plane's ruptured fuel tank created an inferno. Of the 61 people killed in the crash and fire, 38 were children. What reportedly widespread belief among the American airmen about British weather may have contributed to the disaster? Discuss



The First Geneva Convention Is Signed (1864)

Tue, 22 Aug 2017 05:00:00 GMT

(image) After witnessing firsthand the suffering of thousands of wounded soldiers left without aid on a battlefield in Italy, Jean-Henri Dunant returned to his native Switzerland and began campaigning for the humane treatment of war wounded. This prompted an international conference that resulted in the First Geneva Convention, an international agreement protecting neutral medical personnel and wounded soldiers. The Red Cross was also founded as a direct result of his efforts. What battle inspired him?



Demon Core Goes Critical (1945)

Mon, 21 Aug 2017 05:00:00 GMT

(image) The Demon Core was a plutonium core—used in nuclear testing at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico—so nicknamed because it resulted in the deaths of two scientists in separate accidents. In 1945, Harry Daghlian accidentally dropped a tungsten carbide brick onto the core, causing it to go "critical," or achieve a chain reaction of nuclear fission. Daghlian stopped the reaction, but died from radiation poisoning a month later. What happened to the second scientist nine months later?