On this day in 1904, Giacomo Puccini's opera Madama Butterfly is poorly received during its world premiere at La Scala. Enraged audience members throw fruit, vegetables, stink bombs, and wasps' nests.
On this day in 1943, Baseball great Joe Dimaggio enlists in the army and will go on to set a record by killing at least one enemy soldier for 56 consecutive days.
On this day in 1947, the Voice of America begins broadcasting to the Soviet Union, mostly sports talk.
On this day in 1972, President Nixon goes to China to, in his words, "establish a constructive dialogue with our slanty-eyed friends."