|(1835) The New York Sun publishes a story of utter lunacy|
|‘Great Astronomical Discoveries Lately Made,’ reads the New York Sun’s headline, claiming the discovery, via an enormous telescope, of a surreal civilization on the moon. Reports of man-bats, unicorns, and goats living in a verdant paradise are unfortunately later proven to be a hoax..|
|(1939) Dorothy Gale goes somewhere over the rainbow|
|L. Frank Baum’s children’s story comes to the silver screen as MGM’s big-budget film version of ‘The Wizard of Oz’ opens in theaters across America. A box-office disappointment, the tale of Dorothy’s trip from Kansas to the Emerald City will grow in popularity through re-releases and TV broadcasts. .|
Follow the yellow brick road again! Young Dorothy lives on a farm in Kansas where a large tornado picks her house, and her dog up and deposits them in the land of Oz. Things in Oz are strange and beautiful, but Dorothy just wants to get back home. She’s helped by the Good Fairy of the North, but she’s also in trouble with the Wicked Witch of the West, who seeks revenge for the death of the Wicked Witch of the East, for which she blames Dorothy. While searching her way home she meets a Scarecrow who needs a brain, a Tin Man who needs a heart, and a cowardly lion who needs courage.
|(1945) Chinese communists kill a US intelligence officer|
|US missionary and intelligence officer John Birch is shot near Xi’an while traveling to meet with Allied POWs 10 days after Japan’s WWII surrender. Considered the first fatality of the Cold War, he will inspire American conservatives 13 years later to establish the John Birch Society in his honor..|
John Morrison Birch was an American Baptist minister, missionary, and United States Army captain who was a U.S. military intelligence officer in China during World War II. Birch was killed in a confrontation with Chinese Communist soldiers a few days after the war ended. He was posthumously awarded the Army Distinguished Service Medal.
|(1950) A tennis trailblazer breaks a racial barrier|
|Tennis player Althea Gibson celebrates her 23rd birthday on the same day she makes history as the first African American to play in the US National Championship. A record crowd watches as she competes in Forest Hills, New York, in the tournament that will be later called the US Open..|
Althea Gibson was an American tennis player and professional golfer, and the first black athlete to cross the color line of international tennis. In 1956, she became the first person of color to win a Grand Slam title. The following year she won both Wimbledon and the U.S. Nationals, then won both again in 1958, and was voted Female Athlete of the Year by the Associated Press in both years. In all, she was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame and the International Women’s Sports Hall of Fame. “She is one of the greatest players who ever lived,” said Robert Ryland, a tennis contemporary and former coach of Venus and Serena Williams. “Martina couldn’t touch her. I think she’d beat the Williams sisters.” In the early 1960s she also became the first black player to compete on the women’s professional golf tour.