This Day in History

  • 2013 Died: Jerome Karle, American chemist and academic, Nobel Prize in Chemistry laureate for the direct analysis of crystal structures using X-ray scattering techniques.
  • 2012 The transit of Venus across the face of the Sun could be seen. This transit of Venus occurs in pairs, the previous transit took place in June 2004, 8 years earlier. The next pair of transit will occur in 2117 and 2125.
  • 2006 Died: Billy Preston, American singer-songwriter, pianist, and actor. He was recognized as a top session musician in the 1960s, during which he backed Sam Cooke, Little Richard, Ray Charles and The Beatles.
  • 1996 Died: George Davis Snell, American geneticist, transplant immunologist, Nobel Prize laureate for discovery of the genetic factors that determine the possibilities of transplanting tissue from one individual to another.
  • 1984 One of the best-selling video games of all time Tetris was first released in the USSR.
  • 1982 Israeli Defense Minister Ariel Sharon invaded southern Lebanon during Operation Peace for the Galilee, that marked the beginning of the 1982 Lebanon War.
  • 1981 A passenger train traveling between Mansi and Saharsa, India, derailed at a bridge crossing the Bagamati river. The government announced the official death toll at 268 dead and another 300 missing, but it’s generally believed, that the number of victims is closer to 1,000.
  • 1968 Died: Robert F. Kennedy, American soldier, lawyer, and politician, younger brother of President John F. Kennedy. Kennedy was an American icon of liberalism, he was a leading candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination in the 1968 election.
  • 1962 Died: Yves Klein, French painter, an important figure in post-war European art. He was the leading member of the French artistic movement of Nouveau réalisme and pioneered the development of performance art.
  • 1961 Died: Carl Jung, Swiss psychiatrist and psychotherapist, the founder of analytical psychology. He proposed and developed the concepts, which are widely used today, like the collective unconscious, archetypes, extraversion and introversion.
  • 1948 Died: Louis Jean Lumière, French director, producer, and screenwriter, one of the first filmmakers in history. Together with his brother, he patented the cinematograph, which allowed simultaneous viewing by multiple parties.
  • 1947 Born: Robert Englund, American actor and director, best known for playing the role of Freddy Kreuger in the Nightmare on Elm Street.
  • 1946 Died: Gerhart Hauptmann, German author and playwright, Nobel Prize in Literature laureate in recognition of his fruitful, varied and outstanding production in the realm of dramatic art.
  • 1944 The Battle of Normandy (code name Operation Overlord) began. 155,000 of Allied troops were landed on the beaches of Normandy, France, to break through the Atlantic Wall and push inland. This was the largest amphibious military operation in history.
  • 1943 Born: Richard Smalley, American chemist and academic, Nobel Prize in Chemistry laureate for discovery of buckminsterfullerene, a new form of carbon.
  • 1941 Died: Louis Chevrolet, Swiss-American race car driver and businessman, founder of the Chevrolet Motor Car Company and the Frontenac Motor Corporation, the manufacturer of racing parts for Ford’s Model T.
  • 1933 Born: Heinrich Rohrer, Swiss physicist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate for designing the scanning tunneling microscope. Nowadays this instrument allows to get images of surfaces at the atomic level.
  • 1918 Born: Edwin G. Krebs, American biochemist and academic, Nobel Prize In Physiology or Medicine laureate for describing how reversible phosphorylation works as a switch to activate proteins and regulate various cellular processes.
  • 1918 The Battle of Belleau Wood: the U.S. Marine Corps suffered its worst single day’s casualties while attempting to recapture the wood at Château-Thierry.
  • 1912 The second largest volcanic of the 20th century: the eruption of Novarupta in Alaska began. The eruption lasted for 60 hours and about 13-15 cubic kilometers of ash were expelled.
  • 1901 Born: Sukarno, Indonesian politician, the 1st President of Indonesia serving in office from 1945 to 1967. Sukarno was the leader of Indonesia’s national movement during the Dutch colonial period and led county to the Dutch acknowledgment of Indonesian independence in 1949.
  • 1892 Born: Donald F. Duncan, Sr., American entrepreneur and inventor, founder of the Duncan Toys Company, primarily known for its yo-yo line.
  • 1889 The downtown of Seattle, Washington D.C., USA, was destroyed in fire. Due to the fire the streets were rebuild up to 22 feet above the original street level.
  • 1882 A cyclone in the Arabian Sea pushed huge waves into the harbor of Bombay, India, resulting in death of more than 100,000 inhabitants.
  • 1878 Died: Robert Stirling, Scottish clergyman and inventor, he invented the Stirling engine, which is a kind of an external combustion engine.
  • 1875 Born: Thomas Mann, German author and critic, Nobel Prize laureate. His epic novels and novellas are noted for their insight into the psychology of the artist and the intellectual.
  • 1868 Born: Robert Falcon Scott, English sailor and explorer. He led two expeditions tot the Antarctic regions: Discovery Expedition and the ill-fated Terra Nova Expedition.
  • 1850 Born: Karl Ferdinand Braun, German-American physicist, Nobel Prize laureate for contributions to the development of wireless telegraphy.
  • 1683 The Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, England, opened as the world’s first university museum.
  • 1599 Born: Diego Velázquez, Spanish painter, one of the most important painters of the Spanish Golden Age.

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