August 23, 1961
JFK GREETS 1 MILLIONTH VISITOR TO THE WHITE HOUSE
Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) John F. Kennedy, just 7 months after moving in as the 35th President of the United States, greeted the 1 millionth visitor to the White House today.
The “lucky” visitor, from the state of Georgia, & his family were given the opportunity to meet the President in person.
This marks the 1st time in history that a million visitors have toured the White House in any single year.*
*In an appearance on Mrs. Kennedy’s televised tour of the White House in February 1962, JFK said that a visit to the White House will make history come alive, particularly for young people.
August 23, 1962
JFK ORDERS INCREASE IN COVERT ANTI-CASTRO ACTIVITIES
Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) President Kennedy today ordered an increase in covert anti-Castro activities in response to the growing threat of a Soviet military build up in Cuba.
JFK requested contingency plans in the event the USSR places nuclear missiles on the island 90 miles from Florida.
August 23, 1989
PETE ROSE BANNED FROM BASEBALL FOR LIFE
Pete Rose, who played for the Cincinnati Reds from 1963 to 1986 & holds the Major League records for most hits, most games played, most at bats & most outs, was banned from baseball for life today as punishment for betting on baseball games.
Rose, who most likely will also be prohibited from election to the Baseball Hall of Fame, made 17 “All Star” appearances at 5 different positions.*
*Pete Rose confessed in his book “My Prison Without Bars.”
Pete Rose “Charlie Hustle”
Photo by Kjunstorm (2008)
August 23, 1939
GERMANY & USSR SIGN NON-AGGRESSION PACT
Moscow, USSR (JFK+50) The world was taken by surprise today when a non-aggression pact was signed here in Moscow by the representatives of Nazi Germany & the Soviet Union.
J. Von Ribbentrop signed for Germany while V. M. Moltov signed for the Soviet Union.*
*The pact will be in effect until Germany breaks it on June 22, 1941 by invading the USSR.
Moltov signs Non-Aggression Pact
August 23, 1939
Library of Congress Photo
August 23, 1927
SACCO & VANZETTI ARE ELECTROCUTED
Boston, Massachusetts (JFK+50) Italian-born anarchists Nicola Sacco & Bartolomeo Vanzetti were executed by electrocution here today at Charlestown State Prison.
The pair were convicted on July 14, 1921 of murder committed during a payroll robbery in South Braintree, Massachusetts.
Sacco & Vanzetti
August 23, 1926
RUDOLPH VALENTINO DIES AT AGE 31
New York City (JFK+50) Male star of the silent screen, Rudolph Valentino, died unexpectedly today of a ruptured ulcer.
The 31 year old screen idol was born Rodolfo Guglielmi in Italy.*
*Valentino, Hollywood’s 1st male sex symbol, was paid tribute by 100,000 fans who lined the streets as his coffin passed.
August 23, 1814
DOLLEY MADISON SAVES WASHINGTON PORTRAIT AS BRITISH INVADE CAPTIAL
Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) First Lady Dolley Madison, with British troops headed toward the President’s House, ordered the Gilbert Stuart portrait cut out of its frame, rolled up, & whisked away to safety today.*
George Washington Portrait
by Gilbert Stuart
White House Collection
*The portrait was actually a copy of Stuart’s original portrait. The next day, the British captured the President’s House & set it afire.
The attack on Washington, D.C. was part of the War of 1812 between Great Britain & the United States.
White House Collection
August 23, 1784
“STATE OF FRANKLAND” DECLARED
Jonesborough, North Carolina* (JFK+50) Representatives of 4 counties of upper western North Carolina declared their independence today & formed the State of Frankland.
*Today Jonesborough & all counties which were part of the “State of Franklin” are in Upper East Tennessee.
The representatives are from Washington, Sullivan, Spencer & Greene counties.**
**A petition for statehood was filed with the name changed to “Franklin” but it fell short of the two-thirds majority needed to pass.
Replica of Capitol of State of Franklin
Photo by Brian Stansberry (2008)