2019—The New York Times publishes “The 1619 Project,” arguing chattel slavery was central to the nation’s creation. Conservatives freak out.
1966—“As long as the United States and our brave allies are in the field,” says LBJ, “[a Communist takeover of South Vietnam] is impossible.”
1945—President Truman announces Japan’s surrender. Naval enlistees in San Francisco celebrate their reprieve with three nights of looting, vandalism, rape, and murder.
1936—In Owensboro, Ky., at 5:30 a.m, 15,000 watch as Rainey Bethea becomes the last person publicly hanged in America. Arthur Hash, the assigned executioner, is so drunk a deputy sheriff has to pull the lever.
1935—FDR signs the Social Security Act; the GOP begins trying to gut it.
1908—A would-be lynch mob in Springfield, Ill., frustrated that two Black men had been removed from jail for their safety, begins to riot.
1884—The coffin of Lieut. Frederick F. Kislingbury is exhumed and an autopsy performed in Rochester, N.Y., 10 days after the survivors of the Greely expedition were fêted with a parade in Portsmouth, N.H. The heroes appear to have cannibalized his remains.
1862—Abe Lincoln becomes the 1st President to meet a delegation of African-Americans, whom he offends by recommending they remove to Africa.
1765—Boston’s Liberty Tree is christened: two figures are hanged in effigy.