25 YEARS AGO
November 21, 1976 Philip Glass’s avant-garde opera Einstein on the Beach has its American premiere at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City.
50 YEARS AGO
December 20, 1951 Researchers at an Idaho test facility generate the world’s first electricity from nuclear fission.
75 YEARS AGO
December 10, 1926 Vice President Charles G. Dawes is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his 1924 reconstruction plan for Germany. (Dawes was also a songwriter whose 1912 “Melody in A Major,” remade as “It’s All in the Game,” was a number one record for Tommy Edwards in 1958.)
100 YEARS AGO
November 28, 1901 Alabama adopts a new constitution that effectively disenfranchises African-Americans.
Decembers, 1901 In his annual message to Congress, President Theodore Roosevelt calls for federal regulation of industrial trusts “within reasonable limits.”
125 YEARS AGO
November 1876 Abby and Julia Smith of Glastonbury, Connecticut, win a court fight to exempt themselves from paying taxes on the grounds that they are not allowed to vote.
150 YEARS AGO
December 24, 1851 A fire in the Library of Congress destroys about two-thirds of its 50,000 volumes, including most of the collection purchased from Thomas Jefferson in 1815.
175 YEARS AGO
November 26, 1826 Jedediah Smith’s party arrives at Mission San Gabriel, becoming the first Americans to reach California’s coast overland from the East.
225 YEARS AGO
December 19, 1776 The first issue of Thomas Paine’s series of pamphlets called The American Crisis is released. It begins with the stirring phrase “These are the times that try men’s souls.”
December 26, 1776 In an early-morning surprise attack, Gen. George Washington’s colonial army captures 1,000 British and Hessian troops at Trenton, New Jersey.