1. 1961: President Kennedy Establishes the Peace Corps
Shortly after John F Kennedy was elected President of the United States one of the first things he did was sign an executive order that would put the Peace Corp into a trial basis. Kennedy referred to the Peace Corps as the ” New Army” that would consist of volunteers and the main objective would be traveling to underprivileged countries and assisting them in any way possible. Congress did not like the idea because they thought it was going to cost too much money and they didn’t see how helping other countries helps the U.S. Kennedy went on to send a message to congress asking for support and expressing the significance of helping other countries was to the United States. Kennedy wrote “Our own freedom, and the future of freedom around the world, depend, in a very real sense, on their ability to build growing and independent nations where men can live in dignity, liberated from the bonds of hunger, ignorance, and poverty”
2. 1872: Yellowstone Becomes first National Park
On this day in 1872 President Ulysses S Grant signs the bill making 1,221,773 acres across three states, Wyoming, Idaho and Montana, known as Yellowstone the first National Park of the Unites States. The Yellowstone Act of 1872 designated the region as a public “pleasuring-ground,” which would be preserved “from injury or spoliation, of all timber, mineral deposits, natural curiosities, or wonders within.” There were many expeditions through that part of the country but the most significant, and the one that led to it being a nation park, was the 1871 exploration led by government geologist Ferdinand Hayden. The reason it has such an impact was because Hayden brought pioneering photographer William Jackson as well as highly respected landscape artist Thomas Moran to document the literally unbelievable beauty of this part of the country. All previous stories of expeditions that had gone through that part of the country were called “tall tales” and nobody believed them until the Hayden exploration brought all the photos and paintings to congress.
3. 1932: 20 month old Charles Lindbergh Jr. is Kidnapped
On this Day in 1932 Charles Lindbergh walked into his sons room to find a ransom note laying on the floor where his 20 month old son should have been. The note demanded that he give $50,000 or his son would be killed. The kidnapper had climbed up to the second story window using a ladder and left his muddy footprints in the boys room. Lindbergh was internationally famous for his flight across the Atlantic Ocean back in 1927 so he had the money. The story went viral, as far as viral can be in 1932, with outcries across the nation begging the kidnappers to release the boy. Al Capone stepped up to offer assistance even though he was in a prison cell. Lindbergh waited for 3 days until he finally heard back from the kidnappers only now they wanted $70,000. So He takes the money to the designated drop spot and there he is instructed that his baby boy would be in a boat named Nelly off the coast of Massachusetts. But after an excruciating search there was no sign of the Nelly or the boy. Not long after that the body of the boy was found not far from the Lindbergh’s mansion, he had been killed the night of the kidnapping and found less than a mile from his home. Charles and his wife shattered with grief could not bare to look at the mansion that once had their little boy running around so they donated the mansion to charity.