1. 1858: The transatlantic telegraph line completed
Thanks primarily to the efforts made by American merchant Cyrus West Field, the first transatlantic telegraph line was completed on this date in 1858. There had been multiple attempts made previously but all unsuccessful. After enlisting the help of four American and British vessels in July of 1958, they all met in the middle of the Atlantic where they started laying the 2,000 mile cable. In order to keep the cable safe, they dropped it in some places as deep as two miles below the surface. Two of the ships departed for Valentia, Ireland, and the other Trinity Bay, Newfoundland. The cable was put to the test on August 16th when Queen Victoria and President James Buchanan exchanged formal introductions and complimentary messages to each other. However, the cable would only last about a month before it started to deteriorate and soon stopped working all together. It wasn’t until 1866 that a more permanent cable was laid by the British ship Great Eastern.
2. 1962: The lovely Marilyn Monroe passed away
It was a sad day on this date in 1962 as Marilyn Monroe’s body was found in her home in Los Angeles. According to reports, she was found lying face down with a telephone in her hand, not wearing any clothes and empty pill bottles scattered all around her room. She had been suffering from severe depression and used medication to help treat those issues. By 1961, her depression had reached a level that required around-the-clock care from a psychiatrist. An autopsy revealed that she had deadly amounts of sedatives in her system, which led many to believe that she had committed suicide. However, we choose not to remember her in that way. That gorgeous smile and intoxicating laugh is something that will live on forever as far as we are concerned.
3. 1981: President Reagan fires over 11,000 air traffic controllers
President Ronald Reagan laid the hammer down when he called an executive action to terminate 11,359 air-traffic controllers on this date in 1981. A couple of days prior, there were said to be as many as 13,000 air-traffic controllers had gone on strike. The strike took place because they had tried failed in negotiations with the federal government regarding a shortened workweek and a raise in pay. President Reagan called the strike “illegal” and basically said that anyone that didn’t return to work within the next 48 hrs would no longer have a job. The strikers tried to call his bluff and many did not return. Not only did they get fired, but the President took it one step further by implementing a lifetime ban with the Federal Aviation Administration that would ensure none of the strikers would work in aviation again.