This Day in History

  • First legal same-sex marriage performed in Massachusetts
    by History.com Editors on July 21, 2010 at 3:48 pm

    Marcia Kadish, 56, and Tanya McCloskey, 52, of Malden, Massachusetts, marry at Cambridge City Hall in Massachusetts, becoming the first legally married same-sex partners in the United States. Over the course of the day, 77 other same-sex couples tied the knot across the state, and hundreds more ...

  • Brown v. Board of Education Decided (1954)
    on May 17, 2022 at 5:00 am

    In 1951, a class action suit was filed against the Board of Education of the City of Topeka, Kansas, by 13 African-American parents on behalf of their children. The plaintiffs argued that segregating schools along racial lines violated the students' 14th Amendment right to equal protection under the law. The case was heard by the US Supreme Court, which unanimously agreed that "separate educational facilities are inherently unequal." What future Supreme Court judge represented the plaintiffs? Discuss

  • Pope Benedict XV Canonizes Joan of Arc (1920)
    on May 16, 2022 at 5:00 am

    Joan of Arc was a French military leader. As a girl, she began hearing voices—those of saints, she believed—exhorting her to aid the dauphin, who was being kept from the throne by the English in the Hundred Years War. Joan organized the French resistance that defeated the English siege of Orléans and had the dauphin crowned Charles VII. Captured and sold to the English by the Burgundians thereafter, she was tried for heresy and witchcraft. How old was she when she was burned at the stake?

  • Van Gogh's Portrait of Doctor Gachet Sold for $82.5 Million (1990)
    on May 15, 2022 at 5:00 am

    In June 1890, shortly before his death, Vincent Van Gogh created two versions of a painting depicting his doctor, Paul Gachet. The paintings, called Portrait of Dr. Gachet, portray the doctor seated beside a foxglove plant, an extract of which is used to treat heart conditions. In 1990, 100 years after it was first painted, Japanese businessman Ryoei Saito purchased one version of the work for the record sum of $82.5 million. Why did he later say he would have the painting burned?