On this day in 1952 Ernest Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea is published for the first time. One of the most beloved short stories in American history, it solidified Hemingway's image as a great writer. He used his visits to Cuba as inspiration for the story about a man well past his prime attempting to achieve greatness while out fishing for marlin.
On this day in 1974 one of the most infamous pardons in American history occurred when Gerald Ford let Richard Nixon off the hook. Claiming it would help the country heal after the Watergate scandal and the resignation of Nixon, it basically allowed the former president to allude justice. The fact that his former vice president was the one giving him the pardon didn't ease the backlash against Ford either.
On this day in 1998 Mark McGwire passes Roger Maris as the single season home run king when he belts his 62nd home run of the season. The home run race of the summer of 1998 got off to a fast start for McGwire when he had a record setting pace. But Sammy Sosa of the Chicago Cubs had an amazing month of June where he hit more home runs in a months span than anyone in history. It was neck and neck for the next two months when McGwire finally pulled ahead in September. He ended up hitting 70 home runs that season. But he was a doper, and admitted 10 years after the fact that he was indeed on steroids. It was fun while it lasted.
On this day in 1986 the Oprah Winfrey show is shown nationally for the first time. It would end up being one of the most beloved talk shows of all time and created an empire for the hard working Winfrey. At the urging of her long time friend Roger Ebert, Winfrey decided to syndicate her popular Chicago talk show. It soon was a ratings smash and enjoyed nearly 25 year run.
On this day in 1935 senator Huey Long is shot on the steps of the Louisiana State Capitol. Known as the "Kingfish", Long was extremely popular amongst the people struggling to get through the Great Depression. He called for a redistribution of wealth that would create a minimum income of $2,500 per household during a time when many people were out of work completely. He gained many enemies after becoming the youngest governor in the history of the State of Louisiana at the age of 35 in 1928. Franklin Roosevelt knew that he might lose the election of 1936 against Long. He was "lucky" that Long was killed before the election.