This Day in History


  • 2014 6 people were killed and 13 others injured in a killing spree near the campus of University of California, Santa Barbara. The perpetrator committed suicide.
  • 2013 The I-5 Skagit River Bridge that connected the cities of Mount Vernon and Burlington in the state of Washington collapsed into the river below.
  • 2010 Died: Simon Monjack, British screenwriter, film director, and producer. He died five months after the death of his wife, actress Brittany Murphy.
  • 2009 Died: Roh Moo-hyun, the ninth President of South Korea (from 2003 to 2008). He committed suicide by jumping from a mountain cliff.
  • 2004 At Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport, part of Terminal 2E collapsed, killing 4 people and injuring 3 others. The terminal was reconstructed and reopened in 2008.
  • 1994 Died: Joe Pass, American virtuoso jazz guitarist who is considered to be one of the most influential jazz guitarists of the 20th century.
  • 1974 Born: Ken Jennings, American game show contestant who is noted for holding the record for the longest winning streak on Jeopardy!
  • 1970 Born: Yigal Amir, Israeli activist who assassinated Prime Minister of Israel Yitzhak Rabin. He is currently serving a life sentence plus 14 years.
  • 1960 Died: Georges Claude, French engineer and inventor primarily remembered for the invention and commercialization of neon lighting.
  • 1960 Born: Linden Ashby, American actor and martial artist best known for his roles as Johnny Cage in Mortal Kombat and Sheriff Stilinski on Teen Wolf.
  • 1958 The first satellite of the United States Explorer 1 ceased transmission. Its launch began the Cold War Space Race between the USA and the USSR.
  • 1951 Born: Anatoly Karpov, Soviet and Russian chess grandmaster. He was World Champion from 1975 to 1985 and then again from 1993 to 1999.
  • 1949 The Federal Republic of Germany (also known as West Germany) was established from 11 states in the Allied Zones of occupation.
  • 1945 Died: Heinrich Himmler, German military commander and a leading member of the Nazi Party. He committed suicide by biting into a cyanide pill.
  • 1937 Died: John D. Rockefeller, American business magnate and philanthropist who is best known as a co-founder of the Standard Oil Company.
  • 1934 Died: Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker, American outlaws and robbers. They were ambushed and killed in Louisiana by police officers.
  • 1934 Born: Robert Moog, American electronic music pioneer best known as the inventor of the Moog synthesizer. He founded Moog Music in 1953.
  • 1933 Born: Joan Collins, English stage, film and television actress, author, and columnist. She is best known for her role as Alexis Carrington on Dynasty.
  • 1928 Born: Rosemary Clooney, American singer and actress whose best known hits include Come On-a My House, Mambo Italiano, and Tenderly.
  • 1911 The main branch of the New York Public Library was officially opened. The opening ceremony was presided over by President William Howard Taft.
  • 1906 Died: Henrik Ibsen, Norwegian playwright, poet, and theater director. His major works include Brand, Peer Gynt, A Doll’s House, The Wild Duck, The Master Builder.
  • 1883 Born: Douglas Fairbanks, American actor, director, producer, and screenwriter. He was also a founding member of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences.
  • 1873 Queen Victoria established the North-West Mounted Police, a Canadian police force. It was the forerunner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
  • 1857 Died: Augustin-Louis Cauchy, French mathematician who is regarded as an early pioneer of mathematical analysis, specifically complex analysis.
  • 1829 The patent for the accordion was officially granted to Cyrill Demian, an organ and piano maker from Vienna, and his two sons, Guido and Karl.
  • 1734 Born: Franz Mesmer, German physician primarily remembered for his theory of animal magnetism, sometimes later referred to as mesmerism.
  • 1707 Born: Carl Linnaeus, Swedish botanist, zoologist, and physician who laid the foundations for the modern biological naming scheme of binomial nomenclature.
  • 1618 The Second Defenestration of Prague took place. It precipitated the Thirty Years’ War, one of the longest and most destructive conflicts in the history of Europe.
  • 1498 Died: Girolamo Savonarola, Italian Dominic friar and preacher known for his prophecies. He was hanged and burned for defying the pope.
  • 1430 Joan of Arc was captured by the Burgundians during the Siege of Compiègne. They imprisoned her at Beaurevoir Castle and tried for heresy.
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