This Day in History


  • 2013 NASA launched the Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph, a solar solar observation satellite, to investigate the physical conditions of the solar limb.
  • 2010 Same-sex marriage became legal in Iceland. Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir, then-Prime Minister, changed her civil union with Jónína Leósdóttir into a marriage.
  • 2008 Died: Michael Turner, American comic book artist known for his works on Fathom, Soulfire, Witchblade, Superman/Batman and various covers.
  • 2005 Died: Domino Harvey, English bounty hunter in the United States. She was notable for being one of the few women working in the field.
  • 2001 Died: Jack Lemmon, American filma and television actor and musician. He was an eight time Academy Award nominee with two wins.
  • 2001 Died: Tove Jansson, Swedish-speaking Finnish novelist, illustrator and painter best known as the author of the Moomin book series.
  • 1996 Died: Albert R. Broccoli, American film producer. He is most notable as the producer of the any of the James Bond films (from 1962 to 1989).
  • 1989 Born: Matthew Lewis, English film, television and stage actor best known for his roles as Neville Longbottom in the Harry Potter film series.
  • 1987 Born: Ed Westwick, English actor, model and musician best known for his roles as Chuck Bass in Gossip Girl and Tybalt in Romeo & Juliet (2013).
  • 1984 Born: Khloé Kardashian, American television personality, model, socialite and businesswoman, member of the Kardashian family.
  • 1982 Space Shuttle Columbia launched on its final mission, STS-4. The crew consisted of Thomas K. Mattingly II and Henry W. Hartsfield, Jr.
  • 1980 Aerolinee Itavia Flight 870 crashed into the Tyrrhenian Sea, killing all 81 people on board. It exploded mid-flight due to unknown reasons.
  • 1978 Air France Flight 139 was hijacked by PFLP-EO and redirected to Entebbe, Uganda. Hostages were rescued by Israeli commandos a week later.
  • 1975 Born: Tobey Maguire, American actor and film producer best known for his roles in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man films, Pleasantville and The Great Gatsby.
  • 1973 President of Uruguay Juan María Bordaberry dissolved Parliament, suspended the Constitution and established a dictatorship.
  • 1966 Born: J. J. Abrams, American director, producer, screenwriter, actor, and composer best known for rebooting the Star Trek franchise.
  • 1941 The Iași pogrom or Jassy pogrom took place in the Romanian city of Iaşi during World War II. At least 13,266 Jews were murdered during the pogrom.
  • 1941 Born: Krzysztof Kieślowski, Polish film director and screenwriter best known for The Three Colors trilogy and The Double Life of Véronique.
  • 1907 Died: Elizabeth Cabot Agassiz, American educator who co-founded Radcliffe College in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and served as its first president.
  • 1905 The crew of the Russian battleship Potemkin started a mutiny against their oppressive officers during the Russian Revolution of 1905.
  • 1899 Born: Juan Trippe, American airline entrepreneur best known as the founder of Pan American World Airways, commonly known as Pan Am.
  • 1869 Born: Hans Spemann, German embryologist who was awarded the 1935 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his discovery of embryonic induction.
  • 1844 Died: Joseph Smith, American religious leader primarily remembered as the founder of the Latter Day Saint movement (Mormonism).
  • 1838 Born: Paul Mauser, German weapon designer and industrialist. He often worked together with his elder brother Wilhelm Mauser.
  • 1831 Died: Sophie Germain, French mathematician, physicist and philosopher. She was the first woman to win a prize from the Paris Academy of Sciences.
  • 1773 Died: Mentewab, Empress consort of Ethiopia and regent of Ethiopia. He was a major political figure during the reigns of her son and grandson.
  • 1743 The Battle of Dettingen was fought during the War of the Austrian Succession. It was the last time that a British monarch personally led his troops.
  • 1574 Died: Giorgio Vasari, Italian painter, architect, historian and writer best known as the author of The Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects.
  • 1556 Thirteen people were burned at the stake for their Protestant beliefs at Stratford-le-Bow, England. They are known as the Stratford Martyrs.
  • 1462 Born: Louis XII, King of France from 1498 until his death on January 1, 1515. He was a popular king referred to as “Father of the People”.
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