25 YEARS AGO
December 23, 1975: President Gerald R. Ford signs the Metric Conversion Act, which plans for a voluntary nationwide adoption of the metric system of measurements.
50 YEARS AGO
December 5, 1950: Chinese forces pressure the U.S. 8th Army into abandoning Pyongyang, the capital of North Korea. Within a month, the Chinese will take Seoul, the South Korean capital, and threaten the entire peninsula.
December 19, 1950: Gen. Dwight D. Elsenhower takes a leave of absence from his job as president of Columbia University to become the commander of NATO.
75 YEARS AGO
December 12, 1925: The world’s first motel, appropriately named the Motel Inn, opens its doors in San Luis Obispo, California.
125 YEARS AGO
December 4, 1875: “Boss” William M. Tweed escapes from a New York City jail where he has been awaiting a trial to try to recover the millions of dollars he had embezzled from the public. He will be captured in Spain the following September.
150 YEARS AGO
December 21, 1850: In response to a protest from Chevalier J. G. Hulsemann, the Austrian charg d’affaires, U.S. Secretary of State Daniel Webster defends America’s right to support the revolution in Hungary.
200 YEARS AGO
January 20, 1801: John Adams, the lame-duck President, appoints John Marshall to the Supreme Court. Marshall will go on to serve 34 years as perhaps the greatest Chief Justice in United States history.
225 YEARS AGO
January 10, 1776: Thomas Paine publishes Common Sense , which advocates an end to monarchy and independence for the colonies.
325 YEARS AGO
December 19, 1675: New England settlers slaughter hundreds of Indians in what comes to be known as the Great Swamp Fight. The battle turns the tide of King Philip’s War, the last serious Indian uprising in New England.