History: November 1, 2018

1512
The public is able to view the ceiling of the Sistene Chapel in Rome for the first time.

The work is heralded as among the master Michaelangelo’s finest.

The most famous of the nine ceiling panels depicting biblical stories is “The Creation of Adam,” which shows God giving the spark of life to Adam.

1765
British Parliament approves the Stamp Act, which forced American colonists to use special paper for all printing purposes. It was designed to raise money for the British Army serving in America.

Organizations like the Sons of Liberty sprang up in reaction to the measure.

The outcry was loud enough that Parliament did repeal the Stamp Act the following March; however, they also passed the Declaratory Acts, which asserted Parliament’s legislative supremacy over the colonies.

Of course, the back-and-forth culminated in the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War in 1775.

1800
John Adams moves into the President’s House in Washington, D.C.

Only a few months of his presidency remained, which was fortunate: there remained much work to be done to complete the house.

The remaining winter months were indeed cold and uncomfortable. Abigail Adams insisted that fires be lit in every room to warm the place. She had to hang her laundry indoors, in what is today the East Room.

1950
Two lame assassins botch an even lamer assassination attempt on president Truman.

The commander in chief and his family had been living in Blair House, across the street from the White House, which was undergoing renovations.

The two assassins, Grisello Torresola and Oscar Collazo ran up to the front door and stated shooting, willy nilly.

They were quickly subdued by poise officers and secret service, one of whom died in the fight. Torresola was also killed.

Collazo later admitted that their plan was ill-conceived. They were even unsure whether the president was home at 2 pm that afternoon, the time of the attack.

Truman kept his schedule that day. His only remarks: “A president has to expect these things.”

1952
The world’s first thermonuclear bomb is detonated over Eniwetok atoll in the Pacific Ocean.

The blast came 7 years after the explosion of of the atomic bombs over Japan. The Soviets caught up in 1949 with their own atom bomb. In the meantime, this gave the United States the most powerful weapon in the world. It was 1,000 times more destructive than other atomic bombs.

The Soviets caught up the following year, with the detonation of their own hydrogen weapon.

1993
With the passage of the Maastricht Treaty, the European Union becomes a real institution.

Named for the town in the Netherlands where negotiations over formation of the EU took place, the Maastricht Treaty called for a centralized European parliament, a central European bank, and universal foreign policy across the member nations.

It was also the first step for the foundation of the Euro currency.