This Day in History


  • 2012 Died: Rodney King, American construction worker who became nationally known after being beaten by LAPD officers in March 1991.
  • 2008 Died: Tsutomu Miyazaki, Japanese serial killer, cannibal and necrophile who killed four girls between ages four and seven in 1988-1989.
  • 2007 Died: Gianfranco Ferré, Italian fashion designer who is often referred to as the “architect of fashion”. White shirts were his signature items.
  • 2001 Died: Donald J. Cram, American chemist who was awarded the 1987 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, sharing it with two other scientists.
  • 1996 Died: Thomas Kuhn, American physicist, historian, and philosopher of science whose best known work is The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.
  • 1987 The last definite known individual of dusky seaside sparrow died. The subspecies was officially declared extinct in December 1990.
  • 1985 STS-51-G Space Shuttle Discovery launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida. Sultan Salman Al Saud of Saudi Arabia was on board as a payload specialist.
  • 1982 Born: Arthur Darvill, English actor and musician best known for his roles as Rory Williams in Doctor Who and Reverend Paul Coates in Broadchurch.
  • 1980 Born: Venus Williams, American professional tennis planer who has been ranked World No. 1 in singles by the WTA on three separate occasions.
  • 1972 Five White House operatives were arrested inside the Democratic National Committee office. This arrest resulted in the so-called Watergate scandal.
  • 1966 Born: Tory Burch, American fashion designer, business woman, and philanthropist. She launched her own fashion label in 2004.
  • 1953 In East Berlin, a popular uprising against the government of the German Democratic Republic was violently suppressed by the police and Soviet troops.
  • 1943 Born: Barry Manilow (born Barry Alan Pincus), American singer-songwriter and record producer whose best known redordings include Mandy and Copacabana.
  • 1942 Born: Mohamed ElBaradei, Egyptian law scholar, diplomat and politician who was awarded the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize jointly with the IAEA.
  • 1940 The British Cunard liner RMS Lancastria was sunk during the Second World War. It is considered to be Britain’s worst maritime disaster.
  • 1940 Died: Arthur Harden, British biochemist who was awarded the 1929 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, sharing it with Hans von Euler-Chelpin.
  • 1939 French criminal Eugen Weidmann became the last person to be publicly executed by guillotine in France. Private executions continued until 1977.
  • 1933 Four law enforcement officers and a criminal fugitive were murdered in a shootout at the Union Station railroad depot in Kansas City, Missouri.
  • 1929 Born: Tigran Petrosian, Soviet Armenian Chess Grandmaster and World Chess Champion from 1963 to 1969. He was nicknamed Iron Tigran.
  • 1920 Born: François Jacob, French biologist who was awarded the 1965 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, sharing it with André Lwoff and Jacques Monod.
  • 1898 The United States Navy Hospital Corps was established by President William McKinley. Hospital corpsmen are enlisted medical specialists of the US Navy.
  • 1898 Died: Edward Burne-Jones, British artist and designer primarily associated with the medievalist strand of the Pre-Raphaelite movement.
  • 1898 Born: M. C. Escher, Dutch graphic artist known for his woodcuts, lithographs, and mezzotints. His best known works include Relativity and Drawing Hands.
  • 1885 The Statue of Liberty arrived in New York Harbor. 2,000 people lined the docks to welcome the French steamer Isère that carried the statue.
  • 1882 Born: Igor Stravinsky, Russian (and later French and American) composer, pianist and conductor. His music is notable for its innovativeness and stylistic diversity.
  • 1858 Died: Rani Lakshmibai, the queen of the Jhansi State in India. She was one of the leading figures of India’s First War for Independence.
  • 1818 Born: Charles Gounod, French composer best known for his Ave Maria, based on a work by Bach, and his operas Faust and Roméo et Juliette.
  • 1719 Died: Joseph Addison, English poet, essayist, playwright and politician. He is primarily remembered as co-founder of The Spectator magazine.
  • 1696 Died: John III Sobieski, King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania. His reign was marked by stabilization of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.
  • 1579 English explorer Francis Drake landed on the coast of California. He claimed the lend for the English Crown and named it Nova Albion.
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