Monthly Archives: December 2011

Strong closes out 1861 with gloomy forecast for new year 150 years ago today (1861)


Video: Strong's diary entry (at 1:31:08)

(Tuesday, December 31, 1861) — On the last day of 1861 during the American Civil War, George Templeton Strong, lawyer, founder of the U.S. Sanitary Commission, and accomplished diarist, wrote: “Poor old 1861…. It has been a gloomy year of trouble and disaster. I should be glad of its departure, were it not that 1862 is likely to be no better.”

Edith Wilson, America’s ‘first female president,’ dies 50 years ago this hour (1961)

(Thursday, December 28, 1961, 10:45 p.m. EST)Edith Bolling Galt Wilson, First Lady of the United States from 1915 to 1921 as the second wife of President Woodrow Wilson, died tonight of congestive heart failure at her Washington home. She was 89.

Wilson has been labeled “the Secret President” and “the first woman to run the government” for the role she played when her husband suffered prolonged and disabling illness after a stroke in October 1919. Some even refer to her as “the first female president of the United States.”

‘Odd Man In’ episodes airs on ‘Hawaii Five-0’ 40 years ago this hour (1971)


Video: 'Odd Man In' (part 1)

(Tuesday, December 28, 1971, 8:30 p.m. ET) — A veteran criminal who has already had dealings with Five-O escapes, and plans to steal millions of dollars from drug smugglers on tonight’s episode of the CBS-TV police procedural drama Hawaii Five-0. Continue reading ‘Odd Man In’ episodes airs on ‘Hawaii Five-0’ 40 years ago this hour (1971)

Lincoln frees British diplomats, averts war between U.S. and Britain 150 years ago today (1861)

(Thursday, December 26, 1861) — Confederate diplomatic envoys James Mason and John Slidell were freed by President Abraham Lincoln today, heading off a possible war between the United States and Great Britain.

The two men were arrested after the USS San Jacinto intercepted the British mail packet RMS Trent near the Bahamas on November 8, 1861, as they were headed to London to lobby for recognition of the Confederacy, sparking a diplomatic crisis between the UK and US known as the Trent Affair during the American Civil War. Continue reading Lincoln frees British diplomats, averts war between U.S. and Britain 150 years ago today (1861)

Churchill addresses Congress, warns of dark days but holds victory is certain 70 years ago today (1941)

(Friday, December 26, 1941, 12:30 p.m. EST) — Winston Churchill, the first wartime Prime Minister of Great Britain ever to address the Congress of the United States, told that body today that anti-Axis forces probably will be able to undertake a world-wide offensive in 1943 and in the end give the Axis powers a lesson the world “will never forget.” Continue reading Churchill addresses Congress, warns of dark days but holds victory is certain 70 years ago today (1941)