1910 Jacques Cousteau was born.
1937 Stalin’s great Soviet “purge” ended.
1950 Ben Hogan made his comeback on the professional golf circuit.
This was the day, in 1937, when Josef Stalin’s great Soviet “purge” reached its climax. After a secret military trial, Marshal Tukhachevski and seven other high-ranking
Officers were convicted of conspiring with the Germans and sentenced to death. They were shot the next day. Earlier in the year, thirteen civilian leaders who had fallen out of favor with Soviet Premier Stalin, had been convicted and executed. With this execution, Stalin managed to terrorize and suppress all opposition to his call for pure socialism. He also branded any concept that was not his own as anti-socialist, Leninist, Trotskyite, or simply traitorous. What makes this case even more interesting is that Stalin signed a non-aggression treaty with Germany two years later. The U. S.S. R. remained conveniently neutral until it became more convenient to side with the Allies.
Every act of athletic heroism is memorable. That is particularly true when an athlete makes a comeback. Today is the anniversary of such an event. In 1950, professional golfer Ben Hogan thrilled the nation when he won the U. S. Open Golf Championship. Hogan had been a champion long before then. But more than a year earlier, he had been seriously injured in a car accident. It appeared he would never play again. But Hogan was determined. He worked. He struggled. He exercised. He kept trying. And he won.
We often think of pioneering explorers as individuals who discover uncharted lands, scale the highest peaks, or reach for the stars. But today is the birthday of an explorer who discovered uncharted lands and solved many mysteries under the sea. French naval officer and undersea explorer Jacques Cousteau was born on this day in 1911. Besides crossing deep into this mysterious frontier, Cousteau also developed a process for using television cameras underwater and invented the aqualung diving apparatus.