1. 1973: Nixon signs law authorizing Alaskan oil pipeline
President Richard Nixon signed the Trans-Alaskan Pipeline Authorization Act into law on this date in 1973 that would allow the construction of a massive oil pipeline in the oil-rich state of Alaska. The country was in the midst of an oil crisis that made them rely solely on the oil from the middle eastern countries, which was significantly more expensive. Nixon announced that the pipeline from the North Slope of Alaska could eventually carry as much as 2 million barrels of oil per day to the port at Valdez. Nixon apparently pleaded with congress not to attach any amendments to the bill that would give regulatory power over the construction of the pipeline to federal agencies such as the Department of Fish and Game and EPA. This, of course, would prevent any hangups in the construction by environmental agencies. The pipeline was completed by 1977 and continues to play a major part in the Alaskan and U.S. economies.
2. 1945: The U.S. brought German rocket scientists to America after WWII
It was on this date in 1945 that 88 German-Nazi scientists arrived in the United States to begin working for America. After the end of World War II, both Russian and American leaders starting tracking down all of the German scientists that had worked on the deadly secret projects in the Nazi arsenal. They had come up with highly feared V-1 and V-2 rockets, as well as biological warfare such as disease and nerve agents. According to some reports, Hitler had been working on a bubonic plague weapon that he luckily never was able to use. Soldiers were instructed to seek out weapons caches that had been stashed all over Germany and especially keep an eye out for scientists. In the end, they managed to track down 88, and all of them came to work for Uncle Sam under a secret project now known as “Operation Paperclip”.
3. 2001: The first Harry Potter film released in U.S. theaters
It was on this date in 2001 that the smash hit fantasy novel series written by J.K Rowling made it’s big screen debut with Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. The story follows a young boy named Harry that comes to the realization that he’s and powerful wizard in a secret underworld. Rowling was a struggling single mother that came up with the idea for the story while riding on a train. There were even rumors that she had written the first parts of the book on a napkin. She eventually got it published in 1996 and it was immediately considered a mega best seller. Over time she released a total of 7 novels that tells Harry’s whole life and the many wild adventures along the way that broadened your mind in ways you didn’t know possible. The first film was successful enough that it sparked a total of 7 more, the last book was split into two films, all of which were massive hits in the box office. Rowling may once have been a struggling single mother, by following this wild idea she had while riding a train she now is extremely wealthy beyond what she ever imagined.