Plus: Shirley Temple and Studio 54 |

April 27, 2017

By Lily Rothman

Ever since President Franklin D. Roosevelt promoted the idea that he would achieve certain milestones during his first 100 days in office, U.S. presidents have had to watch out for that day. And, this Saturday, it arrives for President Trump.

Whether or not that marker is still politically significant— some argue that it only made sense for FDR in the context of the Great Depression — it’s one that Presidents and pundits have used for generations. It’s also proved to be a helpful framing device for looking back at how past administrations have hit the ground running (or not). With that in mind, we’ve spent the last couple weeks asking historians what they think their colleagues of the future might say about President Trump’s first 100 days. Which of his achievements and failures thus far will make a lasting impact? What will students be taught about his early days in office?

The answers are unsurprisingly wide-ranging. One particularly memorable turn of phrase came from Heather Ann Thompson, who just won the 2017 Pulitzer in history and summed up these last few months as “Dali-esque.” You can click here to read the whole round-up.

Here’s more of the history that made news this week:

The Inside Story of Why Take Your Daughter to Work Day Exists

Marie C. Wilson, who helped start Take Our Daughters to Work Day in 1993, explains how the idea came to be and what's changed since then

The Other Side of Confederate Memorial Day

The idea of Confederate Memorial Day is on its way out, but the events it commemorates are deserving of recognition in their own right

This Disturbing History Goes Beyond Henrietta Lacks

The story of African-Americans and medical research is as old as the nation is, an expert tells TIME

Inside the U.S. Effort to Find Nazi War Criminals

Eli Rosenbaum has spent nearly 40 years pursuing war criminals for the U.S. Justice Department. Just don't call him a Nazi hunter

Studio 54 at 40: Celebrity Photos From the Legendary Disco

It was the place to be for Andy Warhol, Gilda Radner and many others


Apr. 27, 1981

Today in 1981: The Space Shuttle

“Gone were the great parachutes and swinging capsules of earlier space missions, splashing into the sea, never to travel into space again. For the first time, a man-made machine had returned from the heavens like an ordinary airplane—in fact, far more smoothly than many a commercial jet. So long delayed so widely criticized, Columbia's flight should finally put to rest any doubts that there will one day be regular commuter runs into the cosmos.” (Apr. 27, 1981)

Read the full story

Apr. 27, 1936

Today in 1936: Shirley Temple

“Shirley Temple was cinema's No. 1 box-office attraction for 1935. She receives 3,500 letters and $10,000 in an average week. She is, outside of the 100,000 feet of screen film on which she appears every year, the world's most photographed person. Last week in Los Angeles, Shirley Temple was getting ready for her seventh birthday. All over the U. S. cinemaddicts packed theatres to see her first release of 1936 and the first picture she has made since the reorganization of the $54,000,000 company in which she is the most valuable single asset.” (Apr. 27, 1936)

Read the full story

Apr. 28, 2008

April 28 Is Arbor Day

“Ultimately, global warming is not a battle that will be fought fiscal year by fiscal year; it's a fight that will occupy us for generations. Our policies have to operate on the same time frame, even if our politics run on election cycles. We've learned from think tanks and war colleges that the outcome of any crisis is usually determined by one dominant global player that has the innovators who can churn out the technology, the financiers who can back it and the diplomatic clout to pull the rest of the planet along. That player, of course, exists, and it is, of course, us.” (Apr. 28, 2008)

Read the full story


Automatic First Lady Laura Olin explains at The Awl how and why she made a Twitter bot that automatically tweets Eleanor Roosevelt quotes — and how you can follow it.

Head-to-Head At Slate, Ben Mathis-Lilley makes the tongue-in-cheek case that William Henry Harrison (who died) had a better first 100 days than Trump did.

Her Legacy At The Atlantic, Emma Green exposes the truly fascinating history of the various organizations that claim to represent Anne Frank’s legacy. It’ll have you thinking twice when you see her name in the news.

That '70s Story Another deep dive into a slice of history comes from Nina Martyris, who tells the tale for NPR of what happened in 1974 when Nixon adviser H.R. Haldeman walked into Chez Panisse.

Unquote Niraj Chokshi at the New York Times interviews the man behind a website that investigates popular misquotations — and the article comes complete with a list of all the ways those misquotations can spread.

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