1. 1984: Geraldine Ferraro named vice presidential candidate
During the 1984 presidential campaign the leading Democratic candidate, Walter Mondale, announced on this day that he had selected Geraldine Ferraro as his running mate. This would be the first time that a female had ran on a major party national ticket. Ferraro was the U.S. Representative for New York that was commonly known for her advocacy of women’s rights to congress. It was believed that adding her would not only increase the potential women’s vote, but because she was the daughter of an Italian immigrant, she would also attract more ethnic voters. However, the Mondale-Ferraro ticket didn’t stand a chance against the incumbent President Ronald Reagan and his Vice President, George Bush. The Reagan-Bush ticket would go on to win by the greatest landslide for the Republican party in U.S. History. They won every state with exception of Mondale’s home state of Minnesota.
2. 1979: Disco Demolition Night
What started as a marketing promotion to increase the turnout of a double-header at Comiskey Park as the home town Chicago Cubs face the Detroit Lions turns into disaster. The promotion was called “Disco Demolition” and the idea was that anyone that brought a disco record they could get a discount ticket to the game for only 98 cents. Then in between the two games they were going to blow up a dumpster full of the records brought. Two popular disc jockeys at the time for a local Chicago station came up with the idea and brought it to White Sox executive Mike Veek who approved the unorthodox idea. More than 40,000 people showed up, more than double what was expected. Plus an additional 40,000 outside the ball park. After the first game the dumpster was detonated and more than half the crowd stormed the field tearing it to pieces, destroying the grass, foul poles and much more. More than nine injuries were reported and the field was in such bad shape that the White Sox ended up having to concede a forfeit loss to the Tigers because of it. Some people believe this night was what death blow that killed Disco.
3. 1957: Eisenhower becomes first President to ride in a helicopter
As part of a evacuation test in the event of a nuclear attack Dwight D Eisenhower gets on fairly small helicopter to ride out to Camp David on this day in 1957. This was the first time a President rode in a helicopter even though they had been used in the military since 1947. For this flight he would ride in what would be the equivalent of a three seat Bell Ranger, however not long after that he would begin flying in a much larger aircraft. Until 1976 both the Army and Marine Corps were responsible for all presidential helicopter missions. Anytime he was on an Army chopper it used the call sign “Army One”, same for the Marines. After 1976 the Marines took over all helicopter operations and since then the presidential chopper has been referred to as Marine One. Currently there are always two identical “Marine One’s” available to the president at any time, one to be used and other as a decoy. Similar to the process used with Air Force One.