1.The beginning of the Persian Gulf War.
On this day in 1990 the Iraqi army led by Saddam Hussein invades its small oil-rich neighbor, Kuwait and take control of the entire country. Luckily the emir of Kuwait as well as his family and other key members of the government manged to seek refuge in Saudi Arabia just hours before Kuwait City was captured. On the same day the United Nations Security Council immediately came to the decision that denounced the invasion and required the immediate withdrawal from Kuwait. Not only did Hussein ignore the demands, but he increased his military presence in the area bringing the troop total up over 300,000. By late November the U.N. Security Council authorized the use of force if Hussein had not left Kuwait by January 15, 1991. He of course still refused to leave and starting the day after the deadline, the U.S. led a massive offensive coalition known as Operation Desert Storm which consisted of more than 700,000 allied troops. They bombed Baghdad, the capital of Iraq as the entire world watched on news stations in every language. Although the operation was led my the United States, there were as many 32 countries that stood against Hussein including Egypt, Saudi Arabia and of course Kuwait. The entire war lasted only a couple months and has been viewed to be one of the most one sided military conflicts in history.
2. 1876: Wild Bill Hickock murdered
Wild Bill Hickok, one of the Wild West’s most famous gunslingers, gets shot in the back on this date in 1876. Hickok had made a name for himself by surviving a few different gun battles over the years. One of those battles he managed to take out three men that were all trying to kill him. Over six years later this sensational gunfight was featured in the Harper’s New Monthly Magazine and instantly made Wild Bill famous. Father time eventually caught up the the sharpshooter and his once renowned eyesight began to fail. In 1871 he accidentally killed a deputy in Abilene, Texas, he vowed never to fight again. Over the next few years he traveled around the country working as a hunting guide for the wealthy. He also played himself in Buffalo Bill Cody’s Wild West show due to his famous reputation. But he would eventually resort to the meager life of low level gambler. At just 39 years old he was sitting at the poker table of the No.10 Saloon in Deadwood, North Dakota. Hickok had his back to the door when the young Jack McCall walked in and shot him in the head, killing him instantly. Legend has it that he was holding a pair of black eights, and black aces at the time and has since been referred to as the “Dead Man’s Hand”.
3. 1939: Einstein writes letter to the President regarding the Atomic Bomb
It was on this date in 1939 that Albert Einstein send a letter to the President of the United States, Franklin D. Roosevelt urging him to look into the need for an Atomic Bomb. Einstein was concerned that Nazi Germany had already began working on such a device and fear they would use it in the worst possible way. Being that he was Jewish and was born in German, Einstein had a special interest in the situation. The work he had done in the particle and energy theories eventually helped make quantum mechanics and early atomic research possible. Other scientists, Leo Szilard, Edward Teller and Eugene Wigner had all been working on the project and they decided to enlist Einsteins help with hopes that his fame and notoriety would help attract the Presidents attention on the matter. Which ended up being the right decision, shortly after Roosevelt received the letter he created the highly secret Uranium Committee and with the help of the British the Atomic program that became known as the Manhattan Project.