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This Day in History

Mon, 25 Sep 2017

The Maze Prison Escape (1983)

Maze Prison was a high-security prison in Northern Ireland that housed incarcerated members of the Irish Republican Army during the Troubles. In 1983, the Maze suffered the biggest jailbreak in British history. Using smuggled guns and knives, 38 prisoners overpowered prison guards and hijacked a food truck. One prison officer died during the escape and several others were wounded. Although half of the escapees were soon recaptured, the remaining 19 got away. What happened to them? Discuss

Sun, 24 Sep 2017

Black Friday (1869)

In 1869, American financial speculators Jay Gould and James Fisk attempted to corner the gold market by trying to prevent the sale of government gold, which they hoped to achieve by influencing President Ulysses Grant. The plan backfired when Grant discovered the plot and released $4 million of government gold for sale. On a day that came to be known as Black Friday, the price of gold plummeted, panic ensued, and thousands were ruined—though not Gould or Fisk. How did they gain access to Grant?

Sat, 23 Sep 2017

The Lewis and Clark Expedition Returns (1806)

In May 1804, about 40 men left St. Louis, Missouri, and headed west on an expedition initiated by US President Thomas Jefferson to search out an overland route to the Pacific Ocean, make contact with indigenous peoples, and survey the new Louisiana Purchase. More than two years later, the party returned to great acclaim. Their journey had an incalculable effect on the history of the American West. Who accompanied the explorers and helped them negotiate with the Native Americans they encountered?