This Day in History July 9th


  • 2014 Died: Eileen Ford (née Otte), American businesswoman and model agency executive best known as a co-founder of Ford Models.
  • 2005 Died: Yevgeny Grishin, Soviet speedskater. He won four Golden Olympic medals and was the first to break the 40 second barrier on the 500 m.
  • 2002 Died: Rod Steiger, American actor best known for his Academy Award-winning performance in the 1967 mystery film In the Heat of the Night.
  • 1986 The New Zealand Parliament passed the Homosexual Law Reform Act that legalized consensual sex between men aged 16 and older.
  • 1985 Died: Charlotte, Grand Duchess of Luxembourg, who reigned from 1919 to 1964. In 1964, she abdicated in favour of her son Jean.
  • 1981 Nintendo released the arcade game Donkey Kong. It was the first video game featuring Mario, who now serves as the company’s mascot.
  • 1971 Born: Marc Andreessen, American software engineer, entrepreneur and investor who co-founded Netscape Communications Corporation.
  • 1967 Died: Fatima Jinnah, Pakistani dental surgeon, stateswoman and biographer who is regarded as one of the leading founders of Pakistan.
  • 1964 Born: Courtney Love (born Harrison), American singer, songwriter, musician, actress and visual artist. She is the widow of Kurt Cobain.
  • 1962 The United States conducted Starfish Prime, a high-altitude nuclear test. A Thor rocket was launched from Johnston Island in the Pacific Ocean.
  • 1959 Born: Kevin Nash, American professional wrestler and actor. He is one of the three founding members of the New World Order (nWo).
  • 1958 A 7.8 megatsunami occurred in the Lituya Bay area, Alaska. Three people were killed on Khantaak Island and two were caught by a wave in the bay.
  • 1956 Born: Tom Hanks, American actor and filmmaker known for his roles in Philadelphia, Forrest Gump, Saving Private Ryan, You’ve Got Mail and others.
  • 1950 Born: Viktor Yanukovych, Ukrainian politician and statesman who served as the President of Ukraine from 2010 until his ousting in 2014.
  • 1946 Born: Bon Scott, Scottish-born Australian musician, singer and songwriter best known as the lead singer and lyricist of the hard rock band AC/DC.
  • 1943 During World War II, Allied forces began the invasion of Sicily, codenamed Operation Husky. It began the Italian Campaign of WWII.
  • 1934 Born: Michael Graves, American architect. His best known works include the Portland Building, the Denver Public Library, the Walt Disney World Swan.
  • 1932 Died: King C. Gillette, American businessman known for inventing a best selling version of the safety razor and founding the Gillette Company.
  • 1926 Born: Ben Roy Mottelson, American-born Danish physicist who was awarded the 1975 Nobel Prize in Physics, sharing it with two other scientists.
  • 1922 American swimmer Johnny Weissmuller broke Duke Kahanamoku’s world record in the 100-meter freestyle, swimming it in 58.6 seconds.
  • 1880 Died: Paul Broca, French physician, surgeon, anatomist, and anthropologist who is known for his contribution to physical anthropology.
  • 1877 The inaugural Wimbledon Championship began at the All England Croquet and Lawn Tennis Club (AEC<C) in Wimbledon, London.
  • 1856 Died: Amedeo Avogadro, Italian scientist who is best known for his contributions to molecular theory, first and foremost Avogadro’s law.
  • 1850 Died: Báb (Siyyid `Alí Muḥammad Shírází), one of three central figures of the Bahá’í Faith and the founder of the religious movement Bábism.
  • 1850 Died: Zachary Taylor, American army officer and statesman who served as the 12th President of the United States from 1849 until his death.
  • 1834 Born: Jan Neruda, Czech journalist, poet and writer who is considered to be one of the most prominent representatives of Czech Realism.
  • 1789 The National Constituent Assembly was formed during the early stages of the French Revolution. It was dissolved on September 30, 1791.
  • 1764 Born: Ann Radcliffe (née Ward), English author, pioneer of the Gothic novel. One of her best known works is The Romance of the Forest.
  • 1540 King Henry VIII annulled the marriage to his fourth wife Anne of Cleves. Anne was thereafter referred to as the King’s Beloved Sister.
  • 1357 According to legend, Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV laid the cornerstone of the Charles Bridge in Prague. Construction ended in 1402.

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