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News (This Day in History)

  • Legionnaire's Disease Mystery Declared Solved (1977)


    In July 1976, members of the American Legion veterans association who were gathered at a Philadelphia hotel began falling ill with a mysterious respiratory ailment that sickened 221 and killed 34. Months later, the US Centers for Disease Control announced that a new bacterium—Legionella pneumophila—had been identified as the culprit. It had spread through the hotel's air conditioning system. In 2010, it was reported that 20% of Legionella infections may come from what surprising source? Discuss
  • US Supreme Court Declares Home VCRs Legal (1984)


    After Sony introduced the Betamax home video tape recorder in the mid-1970s, Universal Studios sued, alleging that Betamax facilitated copyright infringement by allowing users to make copies of television programs. After an eight-year legal battle, the US Supreme Court ruled that using the new technology to "time-shift" one's television viewing constituted fair use. By then, Betamax had been eclipsed by the VHS format. What later case concerned the "space-shifting" of media?
  • Prohibition Era Begins in the US (1920)


    By January of 1919, members of the US temperance movement had been campaigning against excessive drinking for a century. Their efforts resulted in the 18th Amendment, which, when it went into effect in 1920, prohibited the sale—but not the consumption—of liquor. Prohibition spawned what John D. Rockefeller called "a vast army of lawbreakers" who profited from the illegal sale of alcohol, and the failed ban was repealed in 1933. What was delivered to the White House immediately after the repeal?