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This Day in History



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Last Build Date: Sat, 16 Dec 2017 05:00:00 GMT

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The Great White Fleet Begins Its Circumnavigation of the Globe (1907)

Sat, 16 Dec 2017 05:00:00 GMT

(image) Just seven years before the start of World War I, a fleet of 16 American battleships took part in a 14-month, round-the-world voyage ordered by US President Theodore Roosevelt as a peaceful display of American naval power. Later known as the "Great White Fleet," the ships were painted white except for the gilded scrollwork on their bows. In ports around the world, thousands of people turned out to see the ships when they arrived. Why did several of the ships make an unscheduled stop in Italy? Discuss



Jens Olsen's World Clock Is Started by Danish King Frederick IX (1955)

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 05:00:00 GMT

(image) Originally a skilled locksmith, Jens Olsen learned the trade of clock-making and, in the 1920s, designed an exceedingly intricate astronomical clock made of more than 14,000 parts. Today displayed in Copenhagen City Hall, the clock shows not only the time and date but also lunar and solar eclipses and the positions of stars and planets. The complex clock took over a decade to assemble, and Olsen died before his masterpiece was finally set in motion by King Frederick IX. Who helped him start it?



First Group of Explorers Reaches South Pole (1911)

Thu, 14 Dec 2017 05:00:00 GMT

(image) Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen had been planning for a trip to the North Pole until he heard that someone had beaten him to it. Instead, he and his team set sail for Antarctica. There, they spent nearly a year preparing for the final two-month trek that made them the first people to reach the South Pole. With good equipment and plenty of sled dogs, the team was extremely well prepared compared to other polar expeditions of the day, some of which ended badly. How was their clothing better?