This Day in History


  • 2009 Died: Robert F. Furchgott, American biochemist who was awarded the 1998 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, sharing it with two other scientists.
  • 1994 Died: Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis (née Bouvier), wife of President John Kennedy. She was the First Lady of the US from 1961 until Kennedy’s assassination in 1961.
  • 1991 Croatia held an independence referendum. With 83 percent turnout, 93 percent of voters supported sovereignty and independence of Croatia.
  • 1984 Michael Larson won $110,237 in cash and prizes (equal to about $250,000 in today’s money) on the television game show Press Your Luck.
  • 1982 Born: Rebecca Hall, British and American stage, film, and television actress who won the 2010 BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role.
  • 1980 Born: Drew Fuller, American actor and model best known for his roles as Chris Halliwell on Charmed and Trevor LeBlanc on Army Wives.
  • 1977 Born: Natalia Oreiro, Uruguayan singer-songwriter, actress, and fashion designer. Her breakout role was Milagros on Argentine TV series Muñeca Brava.
  • 1971 Died: Ogden Nash, American poet, author, and lyricist best known for his light poetry. He created over five hundred pieces of comic verse.
  • 1962 Marilyn Monroe sang “Happy Birthday, Mr. President” for President John F. Kennedy at a celebration of his 45th birthday, 10 day before the actual date.
  • 1961 Soviet spacecraft Venera 1 became the first spacecraft to fly-by another planet by passing Venus. However, it returned no data due to the loss of radio contact.
  • 1946 Born: André the Giant (pseudonym of André René Roussimoff), French wrestler and actor best known for his role of Fezzik in The Princess Bride.
  • 1934 A military coup took place in the Kingdom of Bulgaria. Kimon Georgiev became the new Prime Minister of Bulgaria, replacing Nikola Mushanov.
  • 1925 Born: Pol Pot (born Saloth Sar), Cabodian socialist revolutionary, leader of the Khmer Rouge. He served as Prime Minister of Democratic Kampuchea.
  • 1921 The United States Congress passed the Emergency Quota Act, restricting the number of immigrants admitted to the United States.
  • 1914 Born: Max Perutz, Austrian-born British molecular biologist who was awarded the 1962 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, sharing it with John Kendrew.
  • 1912 Died: Bolesław Prus (born Aleksander Głowacki), Polish novelist and short story writer. His best known novels include The Doll and Pharaoh.
  • 1910 Born: Nathuram Godse, militant Hindu nationalist who is known as the assassin of Mahatma Gandhi. He was hanged on November 15, 1949.
  • 1895 Died: José Martí, Cuban writer, poet, translator, revolutionary philosopher, and nationalist leader. He is one of the national heroes of the Republic of Cuba.
  • 1890 Born: Ho Chi Minh (born Nguyễn Sinh Côn), Vietnamese Communist revolutionary leader who served as prime minister and president of North Vietnam.
  • 1871 Born: Walter Russell, American polymath primarily remembered for his achievements as a painter, sculptor, builder, and author.
  • 1864 Died: Nathaniel Hawthorne, American novelist and short story writer whose best known works include Roger Malvin’s Burial and The Scarlet Letter.
  • 1825 Died: Henri de Saint-Simon, French economic and political theorist who created a political and economic ideology known as industrialism.
  • 1802 Napoleon Bonaparte established the National Order of the Legion of Honour. It is the highest decoration in France, which is divided into five degrees.
  • 1780 An unusual darkening of the day sky was observed over the New England and Eastern Canada. This event is known as New England’s Dark Day.
  • 1762 Born: Johann Gottlieb Fichte, German philosopher who was one of the founding figures of German idealism, which developed from Immanuel Kant’s works.
  • 1715 Died: Charles Montagu, 1st Earl of Halifax, English poet and statesman. He is best known for having devised the establishment of the Bank of England.
  • 1655 The Invasion of Jamaica conducted by the English began during the Anglo-Spanish War. It was the casus belli that resulted in the actual war.
  • 1649 The Rump Parliament passed an Act declaring England to be a Commonwealth. It made England a republic for the following eleven years.
  • 1536 Died: Anne Boleyn, the second wife of King Henry VIII of England. She was accused of adultery, incest, and high treason and beheaded.
  • 1389 Died: Dmitry Donskoy, Prince of Moscow and Grand Prince of Vladimir. He was the first prince of Moscow to challenge Mongol authority in Russia.
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