On this day in 1985 people packed theaters to see if Marty McFly could get Back to the Future to, um, well 1985. Still one of my favorite movies of all time, it featured a soundtrack filled with Huey Lewis tunes, a lot of 50's stereotypes, and a "Fish under the sea" dance, along with a DeLorean DMC 12 time machine requiring "1.21 gigawats" to fire up the flux capacitor.
On this day in 1863 the Battle of Gettysburg ended when Robert E Lee failed to break the Union lines. In the morning he ordered George Pickett and his 15,000 men to charge the center of the enemy lines, resulting in one of the most famous disasters of the war. The Confederate army retreated to Virginia, never to leave again. It was the turning point of the war.
On this day in 1969 Brian Jones, founding member of the Rolling Stones, was found dead in his swimming pool. The coroner's report officially listed "death by misadventure". He had been kicked out of the band 3 weeks prior due to heavy drug use and failure to show up to recording sessions. He was only 27.
On this day in 1971 Jim Morrison, founding member of the Doors, was found dead in a bathtub in his Paris apartment. Because his girlfriend said he wasn't using drugs the night before, there was no autopsy. He had escaped both the limelight and the law by going to Paris. His career had began a downward spiral that could have only ended with his early death. He was only 27.
On this day in 1775 George Washington assumed command of the Continental Army. The Continental Congress had begun procedures to break away from England and form their own country or countries. But they needed a leader to lead their rebel army. They chose the tall, Virginia farmer who had served, at times disastrously, in the French and Indian war. He was not chosen as much for his abilities, but by where he was from. The southern colonies would have balked at a military leader from New England, as much as northern colonialists would have likewise to a military leader from the deep south.