This Day in History

  • 2012 At least 93 people were killed and over 300 injured in a series of simultaneous suicide car bombings and shootings that occurred in Iraq.
  • 2010 The Japanese unmanned spacecraft Hayabusa returned to Earth, carrying samples of the asteroid 25143 Itokawa. Its mission lasted over 7 years.
  • 2010 Died: Jimmy Dean, American singer, actor, television host and businessmen best known as the founder of the food company Jimmy Dean Foods.
  • 2002 Two South Korean schoolgirls were struck and killed by a United States Army armored vehicle-launched bridge (the Yangju highway incident).
  • 1998 Died: Reg Smythe, British cartoonist primarily remembered for creating the popular Andy Capp comic strip that was launched in 1967.
  • 1987 Died: Geraldine Page, American actress of stage and screen who won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in The Trip to Bountiful.
  • 1986 Died: Benny Goodman, American jazz and swing musician, songwriter, clarinetist and bandleader who is considered to be the “King of Swing”.
  • 1986 Born: Kat Dennings (stage name of Katherine Litwack), American actress best known for her role as Max Black in the sitcom 2 Broke Girls.
  • 1986 Born: Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, also known as the Olsen twins, American actresses and fashion designers who frequently star together.
  • 1983 The American space probe Pioneer 10 crossed the orbit of Neptune, becoming the the first man-made object to leave the central Solar System.
  • 1982 Died: Khalid bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, the fourth King of Saudi Arabia who ruled the country from 1975 until his death due to a heart attack.
  • 1981 Born: Chris Evans, American actor best known for his superhero roles as Johnny Storm in Fantastic Four and Captain America in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
  • 1975 Born: Jeff Davis, American writer and producer best known as the creator, executive producer and head writer of MTV series Teen Wolf.
  • 1972 Died: Georg von Békésy, Hungarian biophysicist who was awarded the 1961 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his research of the cochlea.
  • 1966 The United States Supreme Court ruled in Miranda v. Arizona suspects must be informed of their rights before being questioned (Miranda warning).
  • 1966 Born: Grigori Perelman, Russian mathematician who proved the Poincaré conjecture and was awarded the 2006 Fields Medal but declined to accept it.
  • 1965 Died: Martin Buber, Austrian-born Israeli Jewish existentialist philosopher best known for creating the so-called philosophy of dialogue.
  • 1955 A group of Soviet geologists discovered diamond-bearing deposits in Mirny, Eastern Siberia, Russia. The Mir mine was the first diamond mine in the USSR.
  • 1951 Born: Stellan Skarsgård, Swedish actor. He is particularly associated with director Lars von Trier and has appeared in six of his movies.
  • 1944 The Battle of Bloody Gulch was fought during the Second World War between American and German forces. It resulted in the US victory.
  • 1944 Germany launched the first V-1 flying bomb at London. At the peak of the attack, more than one hundred V-1s a day were fired at England.
  • 1943 Born: Malcolm McDowell, English actor whose career spans more than four decades. He is known for his boisterous and sometimes villainous roles.
  • 1938 Died: Charles Édouard Guillaume, Swiss physicist who was awarded the 1920 Nobel Prize in Physics for his discovery of anomalies in nickel-steel alloys.
  • 1930 Died: Henry Segrave, American racer who set 3 land speed records and the water speed record. He was the first person to hold both records simultaneously.
  • 1911 Born: Luis Walter Alvarez, American experimental physicist, inventor and professor who was awarded the 1968 Nobel Prize in Physics.
  • 1886 The Great Vancouver Fire destroyed most of the newly incorporated city of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. It began as a brush fire.
  • 1865 Born: William Butler Yeats, Irish poet who was awarded the 1923 Nobel Prize in Literature. He completed his greatest works after receiving the award.
  • 1831 Born: James Clerk Maxwell, Scottish mathematical physicist who is best known for formulating the classical theory of electromagnetic radiation.
  • 1645 Died: Miyamoto Musashi, expert Japanese swordsman and rōnin. He is the author of The Book of Five Rings, a text on kenjutsu and martial arts.
  • 1525 Martin Luther married Katharina von Bora against the celibacy rule decreed by the Roman Catholic Church for priests and nuns.

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