1983: The Hitler Diaries is Ruled a Hoax
Many people wondered just want was going through Adolf Hitler’s mind, so imagine what it must have been like to have discovered 60 volumes of journals from the German leader. In early 1983, West German magazine Stern purchased these diaries for 9.3 million Deutsche Marks ($3.7 million) which then sold serialization rights to numerous new organizations. One publication, The Sunday Times, asked the historian Hugh Trevor-Roper to authenticate the diaries, which he did. However, during a press conference announcing the publication of the diaries, he changed his mind which lead to other historians doubting the credibility of the diaries. After forensic analysis, it was confirmed on this day that the journals were fakes written by Konrad Kujau known for having a history of petty crimes and deception. (Image: Wikimedia)
2013: The House of Horrors
It was on this day in 2013 when people all over the world were shocked to learn that three women were now free after being kidnapped by Ariel Castro in Cleveland, Ohio for over ten years. Castro offered each woman a ride home, but instead took them to his home and restrained them in his basement. Michelle Knight was 21-years-old when she disappeared in 2002 on the day that she was was supposed to appear in court for a child custody case.
Amanda Marie Berry disappeared just before her 17th birthday on April 21, 2003. She had called home to say that she was getting a ride home from work, but she never arrived. Then on April 2, 2004, Georgina Lynn DeJesus disappeared after leaving her middle school. The women were rescued when Berry escaped with her six-year-old daughter (Castro was the father) from the “home” that they were living in. Within hours, the other two women were freed and Castro was arrested. He was sentenced to life plus 1,000 years in prison without the possibility of parole.
1954: First Mile Run in Less than Four Minutes
After coming in 4th place during the 1500 meters run at the 1952 Olympics, Roger Bannister was determined to run the mile in less than four minutes. He achieved his goal on this day at Iffley Road track in Oxford with three minutes and 59.4 seconds.
1940: John Steinbeck Awarded
John Steinbeck’s novel, The Grapes of Wrath (which was based on various newspaper articles he had written regarding agricultural migrant workers) was the best-selling book of 1939 just months later was awarded the Pulitzer Prize.
2004: The Last ‘Friends’ Episode
NBC’s hit sitcom Friends ended its 10-year run on this day with 52.5 million viewers tuning in to see Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer star in “The One Where They Say Goodbye.”
- 1915: Orson Welles (film director)
- 1931: Willie Mays (baseball player)
- 1945: Bob Seger (singer)
- 2019: Archie Mountbatten-Windsor (British royal)
I write about arts and entertainment in the greater Seattle area.