Today in 1965 during the evening rush hour the biggest power blackout in US history occurred in New York State, portions of seven neighboring states, and parts of eastern Canada, trapping 800,000 people in subways and stranding thousands in office buildings, elevators, and trains in darkness. 10,000 National Guardsmen and 5,000 police officers were called into service. All together 30 million people in 8 states and Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec were affected. During the night power was gradually restored and by morning power had been restored throughout the Northeast.
On August 14, 2003 another major blackout occurred that affected most of Eastern Canada and most of the Eastern US.
Today in 2001 the Kodak Theatre opened in Hollywood and became the permanent home of the Academy Awards. The building cost $94 million to construct. It features a five-story lobby with a grand spiral staircase, columns commemorating past Best Picture winners and a stage area 175 feet wide and 75 feet deep. The first Academy Awards ceremony was held in the Kodak Theatre March 24, 2002, the first time held in Hollywood since 1960.
The first Academy Awards were held in Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel May 16, 1929. The annual ceremony has been held variously at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, the Shrine Auditorium, the Pantages Theater, and the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. The Kodak Theatre hosts a variety of performances and special events.
Today in 1875 Indian Inspector E.C. Watkins submitted a report to Washington, D.C., that hundreds of free-roaming Sioux and Cheyenne Indians off the reservation in the Dakota Black Hills and associated with Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse are hostile to the US. The government put out the order that the Indians “Be informed that they must remove to a reservation before the 31st of January, 1876″ or “they would be turned over to the War Department for punishment.”
In 1868 Chief Red Cloud signed a treaty with the government giving his people the Black Hills. The treaty was broken when gold was discovered in the region and miners were allowed to intrude on Indian land. Further compounding the situation, by the time couriers carried the government’s message to the Sioux it was winter, making the 200 mile trek back to the reservation impossible.
Sitting Bull and his followers did not accept the treaty and refused to be confined to a reservation. It is a matter of conjecture that they would have returned to the reservation without the obstacles. In March 1876 a large force of soldiers under command of General Phillip Sheridan marched to trap the Indians and force them back to reservations.
One of the officers of this force was George Custer who engaged the Indians at Little Bighorn.
On this day in 1901, President Theodore Roosevelt issued an executive order to establish a naval base in the Philippines at Subic Bay. He intended to expand America’s influence into the Pacific as well as neighboring Latin American countries. He also believed that the spot should become the Navy’s Pacific headquarters, as the area’s rugged jungle terrain would provide an ideal training ground for naval and marine forces.
Opposition from Leonard Wood, governor-general of the Philippines, and various military leaders, preferred to build up an already existing base at Cavite, eventually derailing Roosevelt’s plans to move the Navy’s headquarters to Subic Bay. Roosevelt abandoned the idea in 1907. He turned his attention to another site for an expanded naval base: Pearl Harbor, in Hawaii.
After the Second World War, Subic Bay’s strategic importance was recognized. The harbor became a service port for U.S. forces during the Vietnam War. The base was abandoned and returned to the Filipino government in 1992.
Today in 1970 the Supreme Court refused to hear a challenge by the state of Massachusetts regarding the constitutionality of the Vietnam War. By a 6-3 vote, the justices rejected the effort of the state to bring a suit in federal court in defending Massachusetts residents claiming protection under a state law that allowed them to refuse military service in an undeclared war.