On this day in 1998 Jesse Ventura is elected governor of Minnesota, going to show that the people shouldn't be trusted en masse. At first he became the beloved figurehead for the state, using his professional wrestler charisma to his advantage. But when the proverbial economic shit hit the fan the entire nation was shown his true colors. Ventura spent more time lashing out at those who he thought were to blame for the problems than trying to solve them.
On this day in 1957 the Soviet Union found a creative way to control its pet population when it sent Laika the dog into space. She became to first animal to leave Earth, but was killed when her life support systems failed due to short battery life. I suppose sending a dog to its doom was better than sending a person, but the Soviets became quite good at killing cosmonauts too.
On this day in 1969 Richard Nixon calls on the "silent majority" to speak up against the growing antiwar sentiment to the Vietnam Conflict. Nixon was in under the impression that most people were behind the endless conflict in the jungles of southeast Asia, but the people protesting weren't just homeless people in tents. They were students, activists, and Vietnam veterans who were tired of the violence for an increasingly empty mission to halt the advance of communism. Say what you want about the tenets of National Socialism, Dude, at least it's an ethos.