Welles scares Nation

1938

Orson Welles causes a nationwide panic with his broadcast of “War of the Worlds”—a realistic radio dramatization of a Martian invasion of Earth.

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Cyclist Lance Armstrong is stripped of his seven Tour de France titles

On this day in 2012, Lance Armstrong is formally stripped of the seven Tour de France titles he won from 1999 to 2005 and banned for life from competitive cycling after being charged with systematically using illicit performance-enhancing drugs and blood transfusions as well as demanding that some of his Tour teammates dope in order to help him win races. It was a dramatic fall from grace for the onetime global cycling icon, who inspired millions of people after surviving cancer then going on to become one of Continue reading

U.S. takes possession of Alaska

On this day in 1867, the U.S. formally takes possession of Alaska after purchasing the territory from Russia for $7.2 million, or less than two cents an acre. ($0.02 in 1867 is equivalent in purchasing power to $0.33 in 2017, a difference of $0.31 over 150 years) The Alaska purchase comprised 586,412 square miles, about twice the size of Texas, and was championed by William Henry Seward, the enthusiasticly expansionist secretary of state under President Andrew Johnson.

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