Today in History: Dec. 26

The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the USSR, ceased to exist at midnight on this date in 1991. The constituent republics became independent nations. The Soviet Union existed for almost 69 years when it dissolved, an event that did not seem possible even a few months earlier. The moment ended the decades-long Cold War not with an exclamation point but a question mark.

The Cold War: Us versus them. On both sides, it was served with our breakfast cereal, our school lunches, and the nightly news watched during dinner. The Cold War was a fact, a background noise, a tinnitus-like hum heard 24/7, sometimes from far away and sometimes next door. Its removal seemed to make us aware that it had always been there, how loud it was, and that it had been driving us all insane.

As it ended (video after the jump):

 
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The Sumatra–Andaman earthquake, also known as the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake, the third-largest earthquake in recorded history, took place on this date in 2004. It had a moment magnitude between 9.1–9.3 and it triggered several tsunamis around the Indian Ocean, which devastated and destroyed communities. Approximately a quarter million lives were lost. The entire planet shook by as much as a centimeter when the quake struck.

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The Boston Red Sox sold the contract of Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees on this date in 1919.

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President Harry S. Truman died on this date in 1972. Jack Benny died on this date in 1974. Jason Robards died on this date in 2000. Vincent Schiavelli died on this date in 2005. He was one of the great actors, and no single clip brings that out:

 
President Gerald Ford died 10 years ago today. He was 93 years and 165 days old, making him the longest-lived U.S. President.

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Henry Miller was born on this date in 1891. Mao Zedong was born in 1893 on this date. Steve Allen was born on this date in 1921. Alan King was born on this date in 1927. Denis Quilley was born on this date in 1927.

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Caroll Spinney is 83 today. He still performs his two most famous characters:

 
John Walsh is 71. Carlton Fisk is 69 today. Chris Chambliss is 68. Ozzie Smith is 62. David Sedaris is 60 today. Tahnee Welch is 55. Lars Ulrich is 53. Jared Leto is 45. Alexander Wang is 33.

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One comment

  1. loisajay · December 26

    Vincent Schiavelli…he was one of those actors you just never forgot. I loved the clip. Thanks, Mark.

    Like

Please comment here. Thank you, Mark.

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