This Day in History

Tonight Hosted by Steve Allen Premieres on NBC (1954)
In 1954, Tonight debuted with 32-year-old Steve Allen hosting. The humorous late-night talk show came to occupy a prominent place in American television and has aired for more than 50 years, usually on weeknights. Some of its longer-running hosts have included Jack Paar, Johnny Carson, and Jay Leno, each backed by house musicians. In 1960, Paar walked off stage in the middle of a show, angry that censors had cut one of his jokes. He returned weeks later. What was the joke? Discuss

Steamship RMS Queen Mary Is Launched (1934)
Construction on the Queen Mary ocean liner began in Scotland in 1930. In 1934, British King George V's consort, Queen Mary, christened the ship in her own name. Operated by the Cunard Line, the glamorous luxury ship carried passengers between New York and England for decades—except during World War II, when it was painted grey and converted to carry troops. In the 1960s, air travel rendered transatlantic passenger ships obsolete, and the Queen Mary was retired. Where is it now?

The Maze Prison Escape (1983)
Maze Prison was a high-security prison in Northern Ireland that housed incarcerated members of the Irish Republican Army during the Troubles. In 1983, the Maze suffered the biggest jailbreak in British history. Using smuggled guns and knives, 38 prisoners overpowered prison guards and hijacked a food truck. One prison officer died during the escape and several others were wounded. Although half of the escapees were soon recaptured, the remaining 19 got away. What happened to them?