This Day in History

  • 2014 Died: Gustave Tassell, American fashion designer whose refined clothes appealed to Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Princess Grace of Monaco.
  • 2013 Died: Iain Banks, Scottish science fiction author whose best known works include The Wasp Factory, The Culture series, Feersum Endjinn.
  • 2004 Died: Brian Williamson, Jamaican Gay rights activist best known for co-founding the Jamaican LGBT rights organization J-Flag in 1998.
  • 1994 Died: Jan Tinbergen, Dutch economist who was awarded the 1969 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, sharing it with Ragnar Frisch.
  • 1989 Died: George Wells Beadle, American geneticist who was awarded the 1958 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, sharing it with other scientists.
  • 1985 American academic Thomas Sutherland was kidnapped by Islamic Jihad members in Lebanon. He was held hostage for 2353 days.
  • 1981 Born: Natalie Portman, Israeli-born American actress known for her roles in Léon: The Professional, the Star Wars prequel trilogy, Black Swan etc.
  • 1979 A fire completely destroyed the ghost train amusement ride at Luna Park Sydney in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. 7 people were killed.
  • 1978 Born: Matthew Bellamy, English musician, singer-songwriter, composer, arranger and record producer best known as the lead vocalist of Muse.
  • 1974 Died: Miguel Ángel Asturias, Guatemalan poet, novelist, journalist and playwright who was awarded the 1967 Nobel Prize in Literature.
  • 1965 The Battle of Dong Xoai began. It was a major battle of the Vietnam War. The battle ended on June 13, resulting in the Viet Cong victory.
  • 1963 Born: Johnny Depp, renowned American actor, film producer, and musician best known for his roles in the films by Tim Burton and Gore Verbinski.
  • 1961 Born: Michael J. Fox, Canadian-American actor, author, producer, and activist best known for his role as Marty McFly in the Back to the Future trilogy.
  • 1959 USS George Washington (SSBN-598) was officially launched. She was lead ship of her class of nuclear ballistic missile submarines.
  • 1959 Died: Adolf Otto Reinhold Windaus, German chemist who was awarded the 1928 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his research of sterols.
  • 1958 Gatwick Airport officially opened. Queen Elizabeth II flew into Gatwick in a de Havilland Hero of the Queen’s Flight for the opening.
  • 1952 Born: Uzi Hitman, Israeli singer-songwriter, composer and television personality. His best known songs include Todah (Thank You) and Kan (There).
  • 1946 Died: Ananda Mahidol, King of Thailand from 1936 until his death. He was 9 years old when he became a king and 20 years old when he died.
  • 1934 Donald Duck made his first appearance in Walt Disney’s Silly Symphonies cartoon “The Wise Little Hen” based on the fairy tale The Little Red Hen.
  • 1928 Australian aviator Charles Kingsford Smith completed his Trans-Pacific flight from Oakland, California, United States to Brisbane, Qeensland, Australia.
  • 1891 Born: Cole Porter, American composer and songwriter who is widely considered to be one of the most successful Broadway composers.
  • 1875 Born: Henry Hallett Dale, English pharmacologist and physiologist who was co-awarded the 1936 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.
  • 1870 Died: Charles Dickens, English writer and social critic who is considered to be the greatest novelist of the Victorian era and the literary colossus of his age.
  • 1863 The Battle of Brandy Station (also known as the Battle of Fleetwood Hill) was fought during the American Civil War. Its result was inconclusive.
  • 1862 The Battle of Port Republic was fought in Virginia during the American Civil War. It resulted in the decisive victory of the Confederate Army.
  • 1843 Born: Bertha von Suttner, Austrian author and pacifist who was awarded the 1905 Nobel Peace Prize, becoming the second female Nobel laureate.
  • 1781 Born: George Stephenson, English mechanical engineer and civil engineer who built the world’s first public inter-city railway to use steam locomotives.
  • 1672 Born: Peter the Great (Peter I), Tsar of All Russia and later Emperor of All Russia. He led a cultural revolution that made Russia a major European power.
  • 746 Abu Muslim initiated an open revolt that resulted in the Abbasid Revolution. The Umayyad Caliphate was overthrown and replaced by the Abbasid Caliphate.
  • 68 Died: Nero, Roman Emperor from 54 to 68. He was the last emperor in the Julio-Claudian dynasty. During his reign, the Great Fire of Rome occurred.

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