This Day in History


  • 2012 A Fokker 27 that belonged to the Indonesian Air Force crashed into a housing complex in the city of Jakarta, killing 11 people (4 on the ground).
  • 2004 SpaceShipOne became the first spaceplane to complete a manned private spaceflight. It was developed and flown by Mojave Aerospace Ventures.
  • 2001 Died: John Lee Hooker, American blues singer, songwriter and musician. One of his best known songs is One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer.
  • 1990 Died: Cedric Belfrage, English journalist, writer, film critic, and political activist best known as a co-founder of the radical newspaper The National Guardian.
  • 1985 Born: Lana Del Rey (stage name of Elizabeth Woolridge Grant), American singer-songwriter who rose to international prominence in 2011.
  • 1982 John Hinckley, Jr. was found not guilty by reason of insanity for attempting to assassinate United States President Ronald Reagan in 1981.
  • 1978 The musical Evita by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice opened at the Prince Edward Theater in London. The title role was played by Elaine Paige.
  • 1970 Died: Sukarno, Indonesian revolutionary, politician and statesman who served as the first President of Indonesia from 1945 until his ousting in 1967.
  • 1965 Born: Lana Wachowski (born Laurence Wachowski), American film director, screenwriter and producer who works in tandem with her younger brother Andy.
  • 1964 Three Mississippi civil rights workers were murdered in Neshoba County by members of the local White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.
  • 1964 Born: David Morrissey, English actor of stage and screen, film director, film producer and screenwriter. His career spans over 30 years.
  • 1954 Died: Gideon Sundback, Swedish-American electrical engineer who is primarily remembered for his work in the development of the zipper.
  • 1953 Born: Benazir Bhutto, Pakistani politician who served as Prime Minister from 1988 to 1990 and from 1993 to 1996. She earned the unofficial title “Iron Lady”.
  • 1948 Born: Andrzej Sapkowski, Polish novelist best known for his The Witcher Saga, a series of fantasy short stories and novels about Geralt of Rivia.
  • 1945 The Battle of Okinawa between the Allied forces and Japan ended during the Pacific War of World War II. It resulted in the Allied victory.
  • 1944 Born: Tony Scott, British film director and producer, the younger brother of Ridley Scott. One of his most successful films is Top Gun.
  • 1935 Born: Françoise Sagan, French novelist, playwright and screenwriter. Her best known novel is Bonjour Tristesse (Hello Sadness) published in 1954.
  • 1914 Died: Bertha von Suttner, Austrian novelist and pacifist who became the first woman to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, receiving it in 1905.
  • 1908 Died: Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Russian composer whose best known works include Capriccio Espagnol and the Great Russian Easter Overture.
  • 1905 Born: Jean-Paul Sartre, French philosopher, novelist, dramatist, literary critic and political activist. He was awarded the 1964 Nobel Prize in Literature but refused it.
  • 1903 Born: Al Hirschfeld, American caricaturist primarily remembered for his black and white portraits of Broadway stars and celebrities.
  • 1898 The United States captured Guam from the Kingdom of Spain during the Spanish-American War. The capture of Guam was a bloodless event.
  • 1876 Died: Antonio López de Santa Anna, Mexican politician and general who served as the eighth President of Mexico. He was called “the Napoleon of the West”.
  • 1850 Born: Daniel Carter Beard, American illustrator, author and social reformer best known as founding pioneer of the Boy Scouts of America.
  • 1813 The Battle of Vitoria was fought during the Peninsular War. The French army was defeated by the Allied forces (British, Portuguese and Spanish army).
  • 1749 The town of Halifax was founded in Nova Scotia, Canada. This marked the beginning of Father Le Loutre’s War, which lasted until 1755.
  • 1734 In Montreal, Marie-Joseph Angélique, a Portuguese-born black slave, was executed for setting the fire that destroyed much of the city.
  • 1621 Died: Kryštof Harant, Czech nobleman, traveler, humanist, soldier, writer and composer. He took an active part in the revolt of Protestants.
  • 1582 Died: Oda Nobunaga, powerful samurai daimyo and warlord of Japan who initiated the unification of Japan in the late 16th century. He committed seppuku.
  • 1527 Died: Niccolò Machiavelli, Florentine politician, diplomat, humanist, philosopher, historian and writer during the Renaissance. He was the founder of political ethics.
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