On this day in 1962 the Beatles released their first single "Love Me Do". The foundation had been lead in the years prior though local Liverpool gigs and an extended stay in Hamburg, Germany. If they had their way they would have performed in leather with their hair combed back. But after obtaining some nice suits and some polish the Beatles were ready for their introduction to the world.
On this day in 1813 Shawnee chief Tecumseh is killed in a battle near Ontario, Canada during the War of 1812. Tecumseh had been fighting the United States since the American Revolution as he saw the expansion of the white man as the main enemy of Native Americans. What made him unique was his attempts to unify all tribes against the expansion that was already wiping his people from the face of the earth. He could see that the only way they could survive was to unite. Future president William Henry Harrison became famous for his "Indian fighter" image and was at the head of the army that killed Tecumseh.
On this day in 1942 Josef Stalin announced that his armies would make a last stand at Stalingrad. Up until that point they had been routed by the Germans and their Panzer tanks. Most of the city had fallen into enemy hands and Stalin was tired of his men running away. He ordered his officers to shoot any man who turned from the battlefield. The only ways one could leave the battlefield was victory or death.
On this day in 1986 Eugene Hasenfus is taken hostage by troops from the Sandinista regime in Nicaragua. His plane had been shot down and it was discovered to have American made weapons and ammunition and after being interrogated Hasenfus confessed that he was part of an American backed plan to arm anti-Sandinista, or Contra rebels. But this wasn't a low level conspiracy, it was a CIA backed plan to overthrow a country. Behind closed doors the United States sold weapons to Iran in exchange for money and the release of hostages. They used these funds to back the Contras in their fight against the Sandinistas. This would be known as the Iran-Contra affair.