History by the Week

1953 Corvette

Here is what happened in history during the past week.

June 24, 1948–The Soviets blockaded West Berlin, cutting off rail, road, and water access to the western sectors of the city. This led to the Berlin airlift, in which the U.S. and its allies dropped food and supplies into West Berlin from above.

June 25, 1864–Union soldiers began digging a tunnel to Rebel lines in Petersburg, Virginia. They hoped to pack the tunnel with powder and blow a hole in Confederate fortifications. The explosion worked, but the resulting Battle of the Crater was a disaster for the Union.

June 26, 1819–W. K. Clarkson received a patent for his velocipede—an early bicycle. However, there were earlier versions and no one person is credited with inventing the bike.

June 27, 1950–President Truman ordered U.S. forces to South Korea to combat an invasion by North Korea.

June 28, 1953–Workers assembled the first Corvette in Flint, Michigan. Initial price tag: $3,490.

Pele (right) at the 1958 World Cup

June 29, 1958–Pele, considered one of the greatest soccer (or should I say football?) players of all time, led Brazil to its first World Cup championship, a 5-2 win over Sweden. He was only 17 years old.

June 30, 1936–Margaret Mitchell’s best-selling novel, Gone with the Wind, was published. Tragically, Mitchell was killed by a speeding car when she was crossing an Atlanta street 10 years after the book was made into the landmark 1939 movie.

By Doug Peterson

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History by the Slice