This Day in History


  • 2009 Died: Pina Bausch, German dancer, choreographer, and director. Her unique style, a blend of movement, sound and prominent stage sets made her a leading influence in the field of modern dance. Her Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch performs internationally.
  • 2002 Died: Chico Xavier, Brazilian medium and author, known for his 450 books, most of which were written using a psychography.
  • 2001 Died: Chet Atkins, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and producer, believed to be a creator of a smoother country music style, known as the Nashville sound.
  • 1985 Born: Michael Phelps, American swimmer, the most decorated Olympian of all time. He won with a total of 22 medals, 18 of them are gold medals, that is the all-time record for Olympic gold medals.
  • 1985 39 American hostages from the hijacked TWA Flight 847 en route from Cairo to San Diego were freed in Beirut after being held for 17 days.
  • 1975 Born: Ralf Schumacher, German race car driver, the younger brother of seven-time Formula One World Champion Michael Schumacher.
  • 1971 The entire crew of the Soviet Soyuz 11 spacecraft was killed when when the crew capsule depressurized during preparations for reentry into the Earth atmosphere.
  • 1968 Born: Phil Anselmo, American singer-songwriter and producer, best knows as the former lead singer of the heavy metal band Pantera.
  • 1966 Died: Giuseppe Farina, Italian race car driver, the first ever Formula One World Champion. He also stands out in the history of Grand Prix motor racing for his much-copied “straight-arm” driving style.
  • 1966 Born: Mike Tyson, American boxer and actor. He is a former undisputed heavyweight champion of the world and holds the record as the youngest boxer to win the WBC, WBA and IBF heavyweight titles.
  • 1963 Born: Rupert Graves, English actor, best known for role as Inspector Lestrade in the BBC television series Sherlock.
  • 1963 7 police officers new Palermo were killed in a explosion of a car bomb, intended for mafia boss Salvatore Greco.
  • 1961 Died: Lee de Forest, American inventor. He patented over 180 inventions, among them was the audion tube, the fist electrical device, that could amplify a weak electrical signal and make it stronger.
  • 1956 A Trans World Airlines Super Constellation collided with a United Airlines DC-7 above the Grand Canyon in Arizona. The planes crashed, killing all 128 people on board of both airliners.
  • 1950 Born: Leonard Whiting, English actor, a Golden Globe Award of New Star of the Year winner. He’s best known for role as Romeo in the 1968 Zeffirelli film version of Romeo and Juliet. This role brought him the award.
  • 1949 Born: Andy Scott, Welsh singer-songwriter, guitarist, and producer. He is best known for being the lead guitarist and vocalist of British rock band Sweet.
  • 1942 Born: Robert Ballard, American lieutenant and oceanographer, most noted for his work in underwater archeology. He discovered the wrecks of the RMS Titanic, the battleship Bismarck and the aircraft carrier USS Yorktown.
  • 1937 The very first emergency telephone number in the world was introduced in London, it was 999. Today the same number is used in many countries around the world.
  • 1934 Adolf Hitler’s political rivals in Germany were murdered. This event became known as the Night of the Long Knives, sometimes called Operation Hummingbird. After the operation Hitler was established as the supreme judge of the German people.
  • 1926 Born: Paul Berg, American biochemist and academic, Nobel Prize in Chemistry laureate for fundamental studies of the biochemistry of nucleic acids, with particular regard to recombinant DNA.
  • 1922 U.S. Secretary of State Charles Evans Hughes and Dominican Ambassador Francisco J. Peynado signed the Hughes-Peynado agreement, thus ending the United States occupation of the Dominican Republic.
  • 1919 Died: John William Strutt, 3rd Baron Rayleigh, English physicist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate for discovery of argon. His another great achievement was discovery of the phenomenon known as Rayleigh scattering, that can be used to explain why the sky is blue.
  • 1917 Died: Antonio de La Gándara, French painter, one of the most talented artists of the Belle Epoque. He was one of the favorite artists of the Paris elite and he portrayed poet Charles Leconte de Lisle, Paul Verlaine, Sarah Bernhardt, Romaine Brooks, Jean Moreas, Winnaretta Singer, and Virginie Amélie Avegno Gautreau.
  • 1911 Born: Czesław Miłosz, Polish poet and author. He was awarded with Nobel Prize in Literature in 1980, that was one of the major achievements in his career.
  • 1908 The Tunugska event occurred in Siberia, Russia. The event was caused by an asteroid or comet, that exploded at altitude of 5-10 kilometers. Although no traces of space body were found, it’s still believed that the explosion was caused by a comet.
  • 1905 Albert Einstein published the article On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies, in which he introduced the special theory of relativity.
  • 1882 Died: Alberto Henschel, German-Brazilian photographer and businessman, known for making pictorial representations of Rio de Janeiro as a landscaper photographer. He was allowed to make pictures of every-day life of the Brazilian monarchy during the reign of Pedro II.
  • 1859 Charles Blondin, French tightrope walker, crossed the Niagara Gorge on a tightrope 1,100 ft long, 3.25 inch in diameter and 160 ft above water near location of modern Rainbow Bridge.
  • 1857 Died: Alcide d’Orbigny, French zoologist and paleontologist, remembered today for this major contributions in many areas, including palaeontology, zoology, geology, archeology and anthropology.
  • 1660 Died: William Oughtred, English minister and mathematician, inventor of the slide rule. He is also credited with introduction of symbol × for multiplication and the abbreviations of sin and cos.
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