This Week in History: January 31st – February 6th

Welcome to this week’s edition of the staff blog’s ‘This Week in History!’ You will find historical facts, happenings, and associated books; #1 box office movies; and #1 NY Times best sellers from years gone by, all with book recommendations included based on each topic. This will be a weekly feature, so make sure to check out each week’s posting! NOTE: Click on any of the below book/movie titles to be taken to them in our online Café catalog!


NY Times Fiction Bestsellers


#1 Box Office Movies


This Week in History

  • January 31st
    • 1846- Carroll College is chartered in Waukesha by the territorial legislature. It is the oldest college in Wisconsin. (Wisconsin)
    • 1950- U.S. President Harry S. Truman announces the development of the hydrogen bomb, a weapon that, at the time, and later proved successfully, was at least a hundred times more powerful than the atomic bombs dropped on Japan during WWII. (United States/World)
    • 2020- The United Kingdom formally leaves the European Union, more than three years after the country voted for ‘Brexit.’ (World)
  • February 1st
    • 1692- The Salem Witch Hunt begins as three women are charged with witchcraft in Salem Village in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. (United States)
    • 1960- Four African-American students begin a sit-in at a segregated lunch counter at Woolworth’s in Greensboro, North Carolina, launching the Greensboro Sit-In Movement. (United States)
    • 2003- The U.S. space shuttle Columbia experiences a catastrophic break-up in the atmosphere of Earth when returning from orbit, killing everyone on board. (United States)
  • February 2nd
    • 1848- Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo is signed, formally ending the Mexican-American War. (United States/World)
    • 1887- The first Groundhog Day is held in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. (United States)
    • 1971- Idi Amin declares himself president of Uganda, becoming one of Africa’s most ruthless dictators ever. (World)
  • February 3rd
    • 1870- The 15 Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is ratified. The amendment supposedly guaranteed the right to vote regardless of race and was intended to ensure the civil rights of former slaves, but it would be another one hundred years before much of the Jim Crow South was forced to abide by the laws and rights outlined in this amendment. (United States)
    • 1959- Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and the Big Bopper die in a plane crash in Clear Lake, Iowa. (United States)
    • 1994- President Clinton ends trade embargo of Vietnam. (United States)
  • February 4th
    • 1789- George Washington is unanimously elected the first U.S. president. (United States)
    • 1945- The Yalta Conference, a meeting between the Allied leaders of WWII, begins. It was the last time FDR, Stalin, and Churchill would all be together. (World)
    • 2004- Facebook is launched and made live for online users for the first time. (United States/World)
  • February 5th
    • 146 BC- The Punic Wars between Rome and Carthage come to an end after nearly a century of fighting. (World)
    • 1849- The University of Wisconsin opens for the first time in Madison, with the first class of 20 students led by Professor John W. Sterling. (Wisconsin)
    • 1994- White supremacist Byron De La Beckwith is finally convicted of the murder of African American civil rights leader Medgar Evers, over 30 years after the crime was committed. (United States)
  • February 6th
    • 1778- Franco-American alliances signed during the American Revolution. The alliance formally recognized the United States as an independent nation, encouraged trade between the two nations, and provided military support by France for the Americans. (United States/World)
    • 1937- One of John Steinbeck’s masterpieces, Of Mice and Men, is published for the first time. (United States)
    • 2018- SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket has its first test flight. (United States)

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