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Today's Birthday

This Day in History

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This Day in History The Seveso Disaster (1976) Around noon on July 10, 1976, an explosion occurred in the ICMESA manufacturing plant north of Milan, Italy, releasing a poisonous cloud of dioxin gas. Although dioxin is toxic—it was an ingredient in the herbicide Agent Orange used during the Vietnam War—evacuation efforts began slowly. Named for the small Italian town most affected, the Seveso disaster led to legislation aimed at preventing chemical accidents. How many animals were slaughtered to prevent toxins from entering the food chain? More... Discuss
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Today's Birthday Fanny Fern (1811) Fanny Fern was the pseudonym of Sara Willis Parton, an immensely popular American columnist and novelist known for her conversational writing style and emphasis on the everyday concerns of middle-class women. Though she had struggled to support her children after her first husband died and caused a scandal by ending her unhappy second marriage, she persevered and by 1855 commanded the unprecedented sum of $100 a week for her New York Ledger column. What famous saying is attributed to her? More... Discuss
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This Day in History USS Vincennes Shoots Down Iranian Passenger Jet (1988) Bordered by Iran and connected to the Persian Gulf, the Strait of Hormuz was guarded by Iran during its war with Iraq in the 1980s. Ships were routinely inspected to keep war goods from reaching Iraq. As the USS Vincennes crossed the strait on the morning of July 3, 1988, it exchanged fire with Iranian gunboats, pursuing them into Iranian waters. Not long after, it fired on Iran Air Flight 655, destroying the civilian airliner and killing everyone aboard. What mistakes led to the tragedy? More... Discuss
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Today's Birthday Florence Ballard (1943) A founding member of The Supremes, Ballard sang on 16 Top 40 hit singles. She was first recruited by future members of The Temptations for a sister group they were forming. Ballard in turn recruited Mary Wilson, whom she had met at a talent show, and Wilson brought in Diana Ross. Disputes over Ballard's role in the trio led Motown Records to release her from the group in 1967, reportedly for "exhaustion." Her solo career failed, and she died in 1976 at age 32 as a result of what? More... Discuss
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