This Day in History


  • 2014 Died: Maya Angelou, American author, poet, actress and singer. She’s best known for the series of seven autobiographies, that focus on her childhood and early adult experience. The first book of the series I know Why the Caged Bird Sings brought her international recognition.
  • 2010 141 passengers of Jnaneswari Express were killed when the train derailed in the West Midnapore district of West Bengal, India. The reason of derailment is disputed at to whether sabotage or a bomb damage of the railway track.
  • 2007 Died: David Lane, American white nationalist leader, a founder of The Order, a white nationalist revolutionary organization active in the USA.
  • 2003 Died: Ilya Prigogine, Russian-Belgian chemist, Nobel Prize in Chemistry laureate for definition of dissipative structures and their role in thermodynamic systems.
  • 2002 The cleanup duties of World Trade Center after the September 11 attacks of 2001 officially ended in New York, USA. The last steel girder was removed and closing ceremonies took place at Ground Zero in Manhattan.
  • 2002 Large ice deposits were found on the planet Mars by the robotic spacecraft Mars Odyssey.
  • 2001 Died: Francisco Varela, Chilean biologist and philosopher. Together with his teacher Humberto Maturana he introduced the concept of autopsies to biology.
  • 1999 The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci was put back to display in Milan, Italy after 22 years of restoration work.
  • 1975 Fifteen West African countries signed the Treaty of Lagos, creating the Economic Community of West African States.
  • 1972 Died: Edward VIII, the King of the United Kingdom and the Dominions of the British Empire and Emperor of India from January 20, 1936 till December 11, 1936.
  • 1968 Born: Kylie Minogue, Australian singer-songwriter, producer, and actress. She became popular after starring in the Australian TV soap opera Neighbours. Today she is one of the most successful Australian celebrities.
  • 1942 Born: Stanley B. Prusiner, American neurologist and biochemist, Nobel Prize laureate for his work in proposing an explanation for the cause of “mad cow disease” and its human equivalent Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.
  • 1940 Belgium surrounded to Nazi Germany to end the Battle of Belgium.
  • 1940 The first allied infantry victory of the World War II: Norwegian, French, Polish and British forces recaptured Narvik in Norway.
  • 1937 Died: Alfred Adler, Austrian psychologist, the founder of the school of individual psychology. He became the first psychologist to emphasize the importance of the social element in the re-adjustment process of the individual.
  • 1937 President Franklin D. Roosevelt in Washington, D.C. pushed a button that signaled the start of the vehicle traffic on the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California. This became the official opening of the bridge.
  • 1937 The German automobile manufacturer Volkswagen (VW) was founded.
  • 1931 Born: Carroll Baker, American actress, who enjoyed popularity as a serious dramatic and as a movie sex symbol. Her notable roles include Giant, How the West Was Won, Cheyenne Autumn, The Game and Murder, She Wrote.
  • 1912 Born: Patrick White, English-Australian author, poet, and playwright, one of the most important English-language novelists of the 20th century, Nobel Prize laureate for an pic and psychological narrative art, which has introduced a new continent into literature.
  • 1908 Born: Ian Fleming, English journalist and author, best known for the series of spy novels about James Bond.
  • 1888 Born: Jim Thorpe, American decathlete, football player and coach, one of the most versatile athletes of modern sports. He won Olympic gold medals for pentathlon and decathlon, played American football, baseball and basketball.
  • 1884 Born: Edvard Beneš, Czech politician. He lead the Czechoslovak independence movement during World War I and later became the second President of Czechoslovakia.
  • 1871 Revolutionary and socialist government that ruled Paris from March 18, 1871, the Paris Commune, fell.
  • 1858 Born: Carl Richard Nyberg, Swedish inventor and businessman, best remembered as the developer of blow torch.
  • 1849 Died: Anne Brontë, English author and poet, the youngest member of the Brontë literary family. Together with her sisters she published Poems by Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell and two novels, Agnes Grey and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall.
  • 1843 Died: Noah Webster, American lexicographer and author, English-language spelling reformer, the “Father of American Scholarship and Education”. His name is associated with An American Dictionary of the English Language.
  • 1805 Died: Luigi Boccherini, Italian cellist and composer, best known for one particular minuet from his String Quintet in E and he Cello Concerto in B flat major.
  • 1787 Died: Leopold Mozart, Austrian violinist, composer, and conductor, best known as the father and teacher of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
  • 1779 Born: Thomas Moore, Irish poet and composer, best remembered for the lyrics of The Minstrel Boy and The Last Rose of Summer.
  • 1738 Born: Joseph-Ignace Guillotin, French physician, best known for proposal of use of a guillotine as a less painful method of execution. He is mistakenly credited with the invention of this device, while its actual developer was Antoine Louis.
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One thought on “This Day in History

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