This Day in History

  • The first Miss Black America pageant takes place
    by History.com Editors on August 28, 2018 at 5:49 pm

    At nearly three in the morning, Saundra Williams walked across a stage with a cream rhinestone cape around her shoulders, a sash across her torso and a scepter in her hand, ready to be crowned as pageant royalty. Though it was the same night as the Miss America pageant, Williams’ crowning wasn’t ... […]

  • Michael Phelps Wins Record-Breaking Eight Gold Medals (2008)
    on August 17, 2019 at 5:00 am

    Phelps is an American swimmer who, at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, broke the record for the number of gold medals won at a single Olympics. He won gold in every one of his eight events, surpassing American swimmer Mark Spitz's seven-gold performance at the 1972 Munich Olympics. In seven of his races, Phelps set world records. Combined with the six gold and two bronze medals he won in Athens in 2004, Phelps has a total of 16 Olympic medals, two shy of the record held by what athlete? Discuss […]

  • Joseph Kittinger Parachutes from a Balloon at 102,800 feet (31,300 m) (1960)
    on August 16, 2019 at 5:00 am

    Kittinger is a former command pilot and career military officer in the US Air Force known for setting a number of records, including highest parachute jump and fastest speed reached by a human traveling through the atmosphere. As part of the Air Force's Project Excelsior, in 1960, he jumped from a balloon nearly 20 miles above the earth and fell for 4 minutes and 36 seconds before opening his parachute. He reached a speed of 614 mph (988 km/h) and came how close to breaking the sound barrier? […]

  • Foundation Stone Laid for Cologne Cathedral in Germany (1248)
    on August 15, 2019 at 5:00 am

    The Cologne Cathedral is the largest cathedral in northern Europe. It contains the paintings of Stephen Lochner and is believed to hold the relics of the Wise Men of the East. Built in the Gothic style, it was begun in 1248 on the site of an older church. The nave and two spires—each of which is 515 ft (157 m) high—were included in the original plans but built later, between 1842 and 1880. For the next four years, it was the tallest structure in the world, until the completion of what structure? […]