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This Day in History



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Last Build Date: Tue, 22 Aug 2017 05:00:00 GMT

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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? Discuss



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?



Cease-Fire Declared in Iran-Iraq War (1988)

Sun, 20 Aug 2017 05:00:00 GMT

(image) On September 22, 1980, Iraqi forces invaded Iran, which was still struggling in the aftermath of its revolution. The resulting war—ostensibly a territorial dispute—turned into a bloody stalemate that saw the first widespread use of chemical warfare since World War I. An estimated 1.5 million people were killed in the conflict. After nearly eight years, the United Nations mandated a cease-fire. Both sides held thousands of prisoners of war for years. When were the last prisoners exchanged?