On this day in 1888 the first edition of National Geographic magazine is published. The National Geographic Society was founded nine months earlier by a group of 33 scientists and scholars to discuss geography and world travel. The magazine became a means for its members to put in writing their findings and was free to those who paid their yearly dues. My guess is they had pictures of topless tribeswomen in that first issue as a means to up membership. Eh? EH?
On this day in 1776 Connecticut school teacher Nathan Hale is executed by the British army for spying. Hale was a captain in the Continental Army and had volunteered to go behind enemy lines in New York City and gather intelligence. After observing troop movements Hale was captured while rowing back to American held territory. After being interrogated Hale was charged with spying and sentenced to death. His famous last words were "I only regret that I have but one life to give for my country".
On this day in 1862 President Abraham Lincoln issues the Emancipation Proclamation freeing thousands of slaves from servitude. Lincoln had proposed the legislature to his cabinet two months prior and they recommended he deliver the news after a Union military victory. Although the battle of Antietam was tactically a draw, the Confederates retreated back into Virginia and Lincoln said "close enough".