A Historical Day

(1804) Swashbuckling raid scuttles a pirated US frigate

1804 Disguised as Maltese sailors, Lt. Stephen Decatur and his men board the USS Philadelphia, an American vessel run aground in Tripoli Harbor and held by Barbary pirates. The ship is considered too valuable to be allowed to remain in the hands of the pirates, so Decatur and his men set her alight..

(1878) The silver dollar is deemed US legal tender

1878 Amid roiling economic controversy and a financial panic, the United States Congress passes the Bland-Allison Act, requiring the minting of silver coins to be put into circulation as dollar coins. Gold coins will be preferred among Americans, however, giving rise to the gold standard economy. .

(1923) King Tut’s tomb unsealed in Egypt

1923 British archaeologist Howard Carter unseals a doorway at the back of a tomb buried under the sands of Thebes, Egypt, and after more than 3,000 years, the pharaoh Tutankhamun has a visitor. .

(1960) Submarine begins world’s first underwater circumnavigation

1960 The USS Triton begins ‘Operation Sandblast,’ the first submerged circumnavigation of the globe. The voyage will generally follow the overwater route Magellan sailed more than four centuries earlier..