Men and nations behave wisely once they have exhausted all the other alternatives.
      - Abba Eban (1915-2002)

Today is Wednesday - April 1st, 2015

On This Day In History:

Island of Lost Toys

1970 - AMC Introduces the Gremlins

American Motors Corp. (AMC), the company that first introduced the compact car in the 1950s, introduced the Gremlin, America's first sub-compact car. Unfortunately, It was not just an April Fool's joke.

AMC's "success" relied heavily on the vision of the company's first President, George Romney, who strongly believed that to compete with the "Big Three" his company must offer smaller, more fuel-efficient alternatives to their cars. The AMC Rambler, a compact car, accounted for nearly all of AMC's profits through the 1950s, the era during which the company enjoyed its most substantial success.

AMC's fortune faded rapidly after Romney left the company in 1962, and by the end of the ' 60s, the company's output had dropped to a dismal 250,000 sales per year. The release of the Gremlin in 1970 marked the company's return to Romney's vision. Designed to compete with the imported Volkswagens and Japanese sub-compacts, the Gremlin was essentially the AMC Hornet with its back end cut off.

AMC President Roy Chapin attempted to re-create the vigorous personal campaign that Romney had used successfully to market the Rambler in the 50s. He appeared before the American public in advertisements to extol the virtues of the first American "sub-compact" car. Unfortunately for AMC, the Gremlin was ugly, and after only a short time on the market, the "Big Three" released their own sub-compact models that looked much more stylish.

Celebrating Birthdays Today:

Anne McCaffrey
Born in 1926

Debbie Reynolds
Born in 1932

Ali MacGraw
Born in 1938

Hannah Spearritt
Born in 1981

What Happened on Your Special Day?

I became a fan of "today in history" information when I was very young. My father had a calendar that he had put together of "reasons to celebrate". If anybody asked "what are we celebrating?" my father could check his book and come up with a reason to celebrate for any day of the year. Charlie Chaplin's birthday, Buster Keaton's birthday, the anniversary of the opening of the Golden Gate Bridge, for every day of the year, my father's calendar had some interesting historical event that had occurred.

With this page I have tried to continue the tradition. Generally, I prefer to include birthdays and anniversaries of positive, uplifting, life affirming people and events that have had particular significance in my life. It's here because it was important to me.

I am trying to continually update with links from stories to other relevant sites. Check back regularly for a story on something interesting that happened on this day in history.

There are many, many, sites out there that have a lot of "this day in history" information. Many are not so great, full of inaccurate information and "negative vibes". However, there are a few that are really fabulous. Here are links to a few of my favorites. These sites feature "Today in History" stories for today, and some include archives that will enable you to look up information for any other date in history that is special to you:

This Day in History
The History Channel tells you what happened in Automotive, Civil War, Cold War, Crime, Entertainment, General Interest, Literary, Old West, Vietnam War, Wall Street, and World War II history for today or any day.

Life Magazine Covers
Life offers a look at covers from this day in history.

New York Times: On This Day
Lists events which occurred on each month and day of the year throughout history. Links to New York Times articles on the events when available.

Today in History
Stories and pictures from the American Memory historical collections of the U.S. Library of Congress.

The Internet Movie Database
The Internet Movie Database claims itself to be the biggest, best, most award-winning movie site on the planet. I'm not sure if it really is, but it is huge and has TONS of info on even the most obscure films, movies stars, directors, producers, etc. If it is motion picture related, you can probably find out something about it at this site.

PBS | History
The PBS web site is a comprehensive companion to more than 1,300 PBS television programs and specials, as well as original Web content and real-time learning adventures. The site does not have a specific "Day in History" feature, but with more than 175,000 pages of historical and educational content, visitors can delve deeply into the subjects they most enjoy — history and news to arts, science, and technology.

Those Were the Days
The "Today in History" feature from 440 International. Those Were the Days is a daily series of historic events that occured on each specific day. Each day contains events covering news, sports, entertainment, inventions, personalities, organizations, literature, etc. The years covered in these events span time from as far back as the 1700s (earlier when data is available) with primary concentration between 1900 and and 1990.