This Day in History


  • 2014 Two improvised explosive devices were detonated in the Gikomba market in Nairobi, Kenya. At least 12 people were killed in these attacks.
  • 2013 Died: Heinrich Rohrer, Swiss physicist who was awarded the 1986 Nobel Prize in Physics, along with Gerd Binning and Ernst Ruska.
  • 2012 Died: Chuck Brown, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and record producer who is often referred to as the “Godfather of Go-go”.
  • 2007 Nicolas Sarkozy officially took office as President of France. He was the sixth president of the Fifth Republic and the 23th president in the history of France.
  • 2003 Died: Mark McCormack, American lawyer, sports agent, and author primarily remembered as the founder of International Management Group.
  • 1997 Mobutu Sese Seko, the President of Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo) fled the country after being overthrown by Laurent-Désiré Kabila.
  • 1990 Died: Sammy Davis Jr., American singer, tap dancer, actor, and musician. In 2001, he was posthumously awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
  • 1990 Died: Jim Henson, American puppeteer, film director and producer, screenwriter, actor, and cartoonist. He is best known as the creator of The Muppet Show.
  • 1990 Born: Thomas Brodie-Sangster, English actor best known for his roles as Sam in Love, Actually and Newt in The Maze Runner and its sequel.
  • 1986 Born: Megan Fox, American actor prominence who is best known for her breakout role as Mikaela Banes in the 2007 action film Transformers.
  • 1984 Died: Irwin Shaw, American dramatist, screenwriter, novelist, and short-story writer whose best known works include The Young Lions and Rich Man, Poor Man.
  • 1975 Japanese mountain-climber Junko Tabei became the first woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest. In 1992, she also became the first woman to complete the Seven Summits.
  • 1973 Born: Tori Spelling, American actress and author who is best known for her role as Donna Martin on Beverly Hills, 90210 created by her father.
  • 1969 Born: David Boreanaz, American actor and producer known for his roles as Angel on Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Angel and Seeley Booth on Bones.
  • 1966 Born: Janet Jackson, American singer-songwriter, actress, dancer, and record producer. She is the youngest child of the famous Jackson family.
  • 1961 Park Chung-hee and his allies carried out a military coup d’état in South Korea, overthrowing the Second Republic. The legacy of this coup is controversial.
  • 1955 Born: Olga Korbut, Soviet gymnast who won four gold and two silver Olympic medals. She was the first woman to perform a backflip on bars.
  • 1953 American journalist William N. Oatis was released after spending 22 months in a Czechoslovakian prison. He had been charged with espionage.
  • 1953 Died: Django Reinhardt, French guitarist and composer of Romani ethnicity. He is considered to be the first important European jazz guitarist.
  • 1953 Born: Pierce Brosnan, Irish actor and film producer best known as the fifth actor to play the role of James Bond. He appeared in four James Bond films.
  • 1943 The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, when SS-Brigadeführer Jürgen Stroop personally pushed a detonator button to demolish the Great Synagogue of Warsaw.
  • 1929 The first Academy Awards presentation was held at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. 15 statuettes were awarded during a fifteen-minute ceremony.
  • 1923 Born: Merton Miller, American economist who was awarded the 1990 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, sharing it with two other economists.
  • 1920 Pope Benedict XV canonized Joan of Arc, The Maid of Orleans. Her feast day is May 30, it is widely celebrated by many Catholics, especially in France.
  • 1905 Born: Henry Fonda, American stage and film actor, the patriarch of a family of famous actors. His prolific acting career spanned over five decades.
  • 1830 Died: Joseph Fourier, French mathematician and physicist who is best known for his investigation of Fourier series. He is credited with the discovery of the greenhouse effect.
  • 1818 Died: Matthew Lewis, English novelist and playwright. His best known work is Gothic novel The Monk: A Romance, first published in 1796.
  • 1770 14-year-old Marie Antoinette of Austria married 15-year-old Louis-Auguste, Dauphin of France, who would later become King Louis XVI.
  • 1718 Born: Maria Gaetana Agnesi, Italian mathematician and philosopher. She is remembered for her study of the curve known as the Witch of Agnesi.
  • 1703 Died: Charles Perrault, French author who laid the foundations for a new literary genre, the fairy tale. He is known for his interpretations of folk tales.
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