On this day in 1938 the Munich Pact is signed by Hitler, Mussolini, French Prime Minister Daladier, and British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain. In essence it was an agreement that would hand over Czechoslovakia to the Germans if they would halt their expansion there. But, Hitler took this as a sign of weakness and went ahead with his plans to conquer Europe. Chamberlain returned to England and declared the pact would ensure "peace in our time".
On this day in 1955 actor James Dean was killed in a car accident south of San Francisco at the age of 24. At the time of his death Dean had only been in one name movie, "East of Eden". The posthumous release of "Rebel Without a Cause" and "Giant", along with the crash made him a legend. The car he was driving, a Porsche Spyder named "little bastard", was said to be cursed. Upon leaving the site of the accident it fell off the truck that carried it and crushed the legs of a mechanic. It was parted out and the cars that received the transmission, tires, and engine were all involved in fatal car accidents. The truck that was carrying it's chassis to an exhibition was involved in a crash that killed the driver. Spooky.
On this day in 1868 May Alcott published the first edition of "Little Women". It became an instant success and has been beloved by many for almost 150 years. It follows the exploits of Jo March and her three sisters, along with their mother and father. It was one of the first novels written specifically for girls.