Today in history
- Operation Uranus Begins (1942)
In the summer of 1941, a wave of German forces swept into the Soviet Union and proceeded to conquer a vast amount of territory. Stopped at Stalingrad, the Germans became mired in one of the most significant battles of WWII and were ill-prepared for the deteriorating Soviet weather. The enormous Soviet counteroffensive, code-named Operation Uranus, overwhelmed them. Within days, their entire force at Stalingrad was encircled. What nearly delayed the artillery bombardment that began the offensive? Discuss
- The Day of Two Noons: US and Canada Adopt Standard Time Zones (1883)
Before the adoption of time zones, clocks in the US and Canada were set according to the position of the sun overhead, meaning that time varied according to location. For the rail industry, this presented a logistical nightmare, and so many railroads kept their own time, further complicating matters. Standardization solved everything. On "The Day of Two Noons," train stations reset their clocks according to newly adopted time standards. Which US city continued to keep local time until the 1900s?
- Elizabeth I Becomes Queen of England and Ireland (1558)
King Henry VIII of England died nine years after the birth of his much-desired male heir, Edward VI. However, Edward died at the age of 15, and his chosen successor—his cousin, Lady Jane Grey—was beheaded after a nine-day rule. Jane was succeeded by Henry VIII's eldest daughter, whose turbulent five-year-reign earned her the nickname "Bloody Mary." Mary died childless, and the crowning of her half-sister, Elizabeth, marked the beginning of an era of stability. How long did Elizabeth reign?