BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) – Helen Keller meets her “Miracle Worker” and the very controversial “The Birth of a Nation” premiers. All this, including the adoption of a national anthem, and more in today’s “This Day in History”.
On this day in 1887, Anne Sullivan began teaching a six-year-old Helen Keller, who had lost her sight and hearing from illness a little more than 4 years earlier.
On this day in 1931, President Herbert Hoover signs an act making “The Star-Spangled Banner” the official national anthem of the United States.
On this day 1875, the first ice hockey game to be played indoors took place in Montreal, Quebec.
On this day in 1991, in Los Angeles, a video of police brutally beating a speeding suspect, Rodney King, was recorded. Once released, the video sparked mass outrage around the area, leading to riots.
On this day in 1915, Director D.W. Griffith’s controversial Civil War epic The Birth of a Nation opens in New York City. Controversy arose immediately for the film, which depicted the Ku Klux Klan’s historic role as opposition to the Reconstruction-era idea that blacks could be successfully integrated into society. The NAACP did all they could to denounce the film, or as they referred to it, “three miles of filth.” Despite its controversy, the film earned more than $10 million. In today’s dollars that would put the film’s gross in the $200 million range.
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