WebGem: This Day in History” Sites

Websites can be WebGem Finds, Too! We’ll start with two sites that help you locate tidbits about history, so useful in making interesting sermons or speeches.

We’ll choose yesterday, October 23, 2015 as a baseline, and we offer two “on this day” related websites for events for this day in history, other than the ever-present Wikipedia engine.  Here are a few notables for October 23rd, and a quick comparison as to where we found them listed, online. We haven’t looked into any primary sources, so we don’t guarantee “facts” below (they’re just for comparison):

Selected Notables and Site Comparison

4004 BC The world was created today, according to Archbishop James Ussher. onthisday.com
42 BC Brutus commits suicide (after defeat by Mark Antony and Octavian). onthisday.com
1760 First Jewish prayer books printed in North America. onthisday.com
1824 First steam locomotive. onthisday.com, on-this-day.com
1915 25,000 women march in New York City, demanding the right to vote. onthisday.com
1917 The first US shot was fired in WW I (US Infantry Division “Red One”). onthisday.com
1946 First convening of The United Nations General Assembly in New York. on-this-day.com
1947 UN presentation by NAACP. onthisday.com
1962 The OAS approves the US Naval quarantine of Cuba, during the Cuban Missile Crisis. on-this-day.com
1973 Nixon agrees to turn over White House tape recordings to Judge Sirica. onthisday.com, on-this-day.com
1989 Hungary gains independence as a republic, after 33 years under Soviet rule. on-this-day.com
1991 Dr. Kevorkian’s machine kills two. onthisday.com
1992 Akihito is the first Japanese emperor to stand on Chinese soil. on-this-day.com
1996 Boris Yeltsin (Russian President) and Bill Clinton (US President) agree to joint peace effort in besieged Bosnia. on-this-day.com
1998 Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Chairman Yasser Arafat reach a breakthrough in a land-for-peace West Bank accord. on-this-day.com
2001 Odyssey (Nasa’s spacecraft, which in 2010 becamse now the longest operating spacecraft) begins orbiting Mars. on-this-day.com

On any particular day, one website may be more thorough than another.  We omitted notable birthdays (e.g., Johnny Carson, 1925; Pelé, 1940; “Weird Al” Yankovic, 1959) and dates of  death, or the tally results might have been different. For the entries they covered, each website included the year as well, and at least one explanatory sentence.  And although one site has more entries for this particular date, we feel it’s a tie between onthisday.com and on-this-day.com, depending on what you’re looking for:

onthisday.com – this site the most historical listings on the particular date chosen: 196 total events for October 23rd, including famous weddings, births and deaths, over two pages. Photos of relevant celebrities add interest. This date included photos such as: comic actor/director/filmmaker Charlie Chaplin (29) who was married on to Mildred Harris (17) in 1918; Walt Disney, who released the film Dumbo in 1941; Fashion icon Christian Dior, who died on in 1957; musician Sid Vicious, who attempted suicide at Rikers in 1978; and singer George Harrison, who released Best of Dark Horse in 1989.

on-this-day.com – this site has three breakout pages for each date: misc. events, famous birthdays and music history (e.g., the iPod release date in 2001).  The landing page has an easy calendar showing the current month, for easy navigation. Other “fun” features include trivia, US-history specific section, and Billboard Hits.

About Fact Finding –  Know how to check your facts. When using a fact for a sermon, a fact-aggregation website is only a start.  The fact needs to be verified, back to the source. For example, Wikipedia usually includes citations with live links. Chase them down, all the way back to the primary source. Likewise, when you find a quote you like, go back to the original book or article from which that quote was taken. Verify that the quote is correctly stated, and that you have the right author, and that the person you’re quoting is someone quote-worthy. After all, a quote is more than the words… it’s the author as well.

About WebGems – WebGems are a regular feature of curated content, selected by the team at NHM Ministrants and meant to enrich your faith experience. We intend to spand a wide range of genres, introducing artists and now also eMinistry content that may be new and fresh to our viewers. If you would like to suggest a potential WebGem, we’d love to hear from you.

Categories WebGems | Tags: | Posted on October 24, 2015

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