Today In History

Today In History contains daily excerpts from events in the past. Occasionally, we compare what happened long ago with what is going on today.

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TIH 023 2022 Elizabeth Blackwell

January 23, 2022: In history, on this day in 1849, Geneva Medical College in New York bestowed a medical degree upon Elizabeth Blackwell, the first woman in the United States to receive one. Faced with discrimination throughout her career, Elizabeth Blackwell succeeded in becoming a doctor, practicing her profession, teaching medicine in London, and inspiring other women to become doctors. In 2017, for the first time ever, a majority of medical students in the United States were women.

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TIH 022 2022 Roe V Wade

January 22, 2022: In history, on this day in 1973, a landmark Supreme Court case, Roe Versus Wade, was decided. The controversial decision established a woman’s right to abort an unwanted pregnancy. This right, according to the ruling, was protected by the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, which guarantees a right to privacy. Abortion had not been a serious criminal offense in the U.S. until the 1860’s when the newly formed American Medical Association saw abortion practitioners as competition. Members of the AMA sought to eliminate the competition by pressuring the states to enact laws against abortion. The laws were rarely enforced until the 1930’s. Roe VS Wade made those state laws invalid.

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TIH 021 2022 COVID-19

January 21, 2022: In history, on this day in 2020 the first U.S. case of Coronavirus was detected in Washington state. A man who had traveled to Wuhan had apparently contracted the virus.

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TIH 020 2022 Final Solution

January 20, 2022: In history, on this day in 1942, Nazi officials met at Wannsee to discuss details of the “Final Solution” to the “Jewish Question.” Adolf Eichmann, chief of the Central Office of Jewish Emigration, met with fifteen other officials to devise plans for ridding Europe of all Jews. Various ideas were put forth. But the answer came several months later, when “gas vans” in Chelmo, Poland were used to kill 1000 people per day. It was seen as the most efficient way to deal with the Jewish Question. Minutes of the meeting in Wannsee were later used as evidence in the Nuremberg trials.

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