This Day in History


  • 2013 Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani became the eight Emir of Quatar, following the abdication of his father Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani.
  • 2009 Died: Michael Jackson, American singer, songwriter, dancer, actor and record producer known as the King of Pop. His album Thriller is the best-selling album of all time.
  • 1997 Died: Jacques Cousteau, French explorer and scientist who studied the sea. He is known for co-developing the Aqua-Lung and his documentaries.
  • 1995 Died: Ernest Walton, Irish physicist who was awarded the 1951 Nobel Prize in Physics, sharing it with his British colleague John Douglas Cockcroft.
  • 1988 Microsoft released its graphical operating system Windows 98 to retail. It was the second major release in the Windows 9x line of operating systems.
  • 1984 Died: Michel Foucault, French philosopher, philologist, social theorist and literary critic. One of his best known works is The History of Sexuality (1976).
  • 1978 The rainbow flag, also known as the gay pride flag or the LGBT pride flag, was flown for the first time in the San Francisco Gay Freedom Day Parade.
  • 1977 Died: Olave Baden-Powell, English wife of Robert Baden-Powell, the founder of Scouting and Girl Guides. She was 32 years younger than him.
  • 1975 Prime Minister of India Indira Gandhi declared a state of internal emergency across the country. It was withdrawn on March 21, 1977.
  • 1975 Born: Vladimir Kramnik, Russian chess grandmaster, undisputed World Chess Champion from 2006 to 2007 (after defeating Veselin Topalov).
  • 1963 Born: George Michael, English singer-songwriter, multiinstrumentalist and record producer who sold more than 100 million records worldwide.
  • 1960 Two U.S. National Security Agency cryptologists, William Hamilton Martin and Bernon F. Mitchell, left for Mexico and then defected to the USSR.
  • 1959 Died: Charles Starkweather, American teenaged spree killer who murdered 11 people in Wyoming and Nebraska during two months.
  • 1950 The Korean War began, when North Korea supported by Chine and the Soviet Union invaded South Korea. The war lasted for three years.
  • 1950 Born: George Orwell (pen name of Eric Arthur Blair), English novelist, journalist, essayist and critic whose best known work is the dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four.
  • 1948 Died: William C. Lee, American United States Army General who is frequently referred to as the “Father of the United States Airborne”.
  • 1947 The Diary of a Young Girl, better known as The Diary of Anne Frank, was first published by Contact Publishing in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
  • 1944 The Battle of Tali-Ihantala began during the Finnish-Soviet Continuation War, which occurred during the Word War II. It resulted in Finnish defensive victory.
  • 1928 Born: Alexei Abrikosov, Soviet and Russian theoretical physicist who was awarded the 2003 Nobel Prize in Physics, sharing it with two other scientists.
  • 1924 Born: Sidney Lumet, American film director, producer, screenwriter and actor. His best known works include 12 Angry Men and Dog Day Afternoon.
  • 1923 Born: Dorothy Gilman, American novelist best known for a series of spy-mystery novels about Mrs. Pollifax which consists of 14 books.
  • 1921 Born: Celia Franca, British ballerina who founded the National Ballet of Canada in 1951 and served as its artistic director for 24 years.
  • 1910 Igor Stravinsky’s ballet The Firebird was first performed in Paris Opera. It was written for Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes company.
  • 1907 Born: J. Hans D. Jensen, German nuclear physicist who was awarded the 1963 Nobel Prize in Physics, sharing it with Maria Goeppert-Mayer.
  • 1864 Born: Walther Nernst, German physicist who was awarded the 1920 Nobel Price in Chemistry for his work in thermochemistry.
  • 1852 Born: Antoni Gaudí, Spanish Catalan architect. Most of his works are located in the city of Barcelona, including his magnum opus, Sagrada Família.
  • 1822 Died: Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann, German Romantic author and composer. His is best known for his story The Nutcracker and the Mouse King.
  • 1533 Died: Mary Tudor, Queen consort of France from October 1514 to January 1515. Her husband Louis XII died soon after their wedding.
  • 1530 At the Diet of Augsburg, the Augsburg Confession (Augustana) was presented. It is the primary confession of faith of the Lutheran Church.
  • 1218 Died: Simon de Montfort the elder, French nobleman who took part in the Fourth Crusade and was a prominent leader of the Cathar Crusade.
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