This Day in History

Private Slovik Executed for Desertion (1945)
US Army private Eddie Slovik was executed for desertion in 1945. His was the first such execution after the Civil War and the only one of 49 World War II desertion death sentences to be carried out. Slovik was initially separated from his unit during an artillery attack. He rejoined them but deserted after being assigned to the front lines. He later confessed in writing that he would do it again and refused offers to destroy his note and return to battle. How old was Slovik when he died? Discuss

Hitler Is Appointed Chancellor of Germany (1933)
Hitler's rise to power began long before 1933, with his development of the Nazi party in the early 1920s and the release of his book, Mein Kampf. When the Nazis were elected the largest party in the Reichstag in 1932, German President Paul von Hindenburg offered Hitler a subordinate position in the cabinet. Hitler held out for a more powerful post and only had to wait six months to be named chancellor. How did Hitler then work to eliminate the communists as a political opponent?

Edgar Allan Poe Publishes "The Raven" (1845)
Like Poe's other works, "The Raven" conveys the dreamlike and often macabre forces that pervaded the author's sensibility. While his wife suffered from a protracted illness, Poe composed this poem, which became an instant sensation when it appeared in the Evening Mirror in 1845. In the poem, the speaker, who is mourning the death of his love, Lenore, is mysteriously visited by a talking raven and asks the bird a series of questions. What is the raven's one-word response to each query?

Today

Norman Mailer (1923)
American writer Norman Mailer was catapulted to fame at 25 with the publication of The Naked and the Dead, a partially autobiographical novel based on his World War II service. He pioneered the use of novelistic techniques in nonfiction works, a style known as New Journalism, and won his first Pulitzer Prize in 1969 for The Armies of the Night. He won his second Pulitzer in 1980 with The Executioner's Song, a novel depicting the events surrounding whose execution? Discuss

Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1882)
Elected to an unprecedented four presidential terms, Roosevelt guided the US through the Great Depression and World War II. He instituted the New Deal program to promote economic recovery and social reform and, as war spread in Europe, prepared for the possibility that the US would enter the war. When it finally did, he led the nation to the threshold of victory, dying in office less than a month before Germany's surrender to the Allies. What quote about fear is attributed to FDR?

Oprah Winfrey (1954)
The grand dame of television talk shows, Winfrey is a highly respected television host, actress, billionaire media magnate, and philanthropist. Early in her career, she hosted AM Chicago, which, following its early success, was renamed The Oprah Winfrey Show and expanded to a full-hour format. In the mid-1990s, Winfrey adopted a less tabloid-oriented format and began covering important social issues like abuse, addiction, and depression. Why did Texas cattlemen sue Oprah in 1998?