1260 – Chartres Cathedral is dedicated in the presence of King Louis IX of France. Constructed between 1194 and 1250, Chartres is the last of at least five which have occupied the site since the 4th century. The majority of the original stained glass windows survive intact, while the architecture has seen only minor changes since the early 13th century. Flying buttresses around the exterior allowed the window sizes to increase significantly. The west end is dominated by two contrasting spires – a 105-metre (349 ft) plain pyramid completed around 1160 and a 113-metre (377 ft) early 16th-century Flamboyant spire on top of an older tower. Equally notable are the three great façades, each adorned with hundreds of sculpted figures illustrating key theological themes and narratives.
1861 – The first transcontinental telegraph line across the United States is completed, spelling the end for the 18-month-old Pony Express.
1901 – Annie Edson Taylor becomes the first person to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel.
1911 – Orville Wright remains in the air nine minutes and 45 seconds in a Wright Glider at Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina.
1926 – Harry Houdini’s last performance takes place at the Garrick Theatre in Detroit.
1929 – “Black Thursday” stock market crash on the New York Stock Exchange.
1931 – The George Washington Bridge opens to public traffic.
1945 – Founding of the United Nations.
1946 – A camera on board the V-2 No. 13 rocket takes the first photograph of earth from outer space.
1947 – Famed animator Walt Disney testifies before the House Un-American Activities Committee, naming Disney employees he believes to be communists. Click here to read his testimony naming names.
Walter Elias “Walt” Disney was an American entrepreneur, animator, voice actor and film producer. A pioneer of the American animation industry, he introduced several developments in the production of cartoons.
1949 – The cornerstone of the United Nations Headquarters is laid.
1954 – Dwight D. Eisenhower pledges United States support to South Vietnam.
1960 – Nedelin catastrophe: An R-16 ballistic missile explodes on the launch pad at the Soviet Union’s Baikonur Cosmodrome space facility, killing over 100. Among the dead is Field Marshal Mitrofan Nedelin, whose death is reported to have occurred in a plane crash.
1990 – Italian prime minister Giulio Andreotti reveals to the Italian parliament the existence of Gladio, the Italian “stay-behind” clandestine paramilitary NATO army, which was implicated in false flag terrorist attacks implicating communists and anarchists as part of the strategy of tension from the late 1960s to early 1980s.
2002 – Police arrest spree killers John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo, ending the Beltway sniper attacks in the area around Washington, D.C.
2003 – Concorde makes its last commercial flight.
2008 – “Bloody Friday” saw many of the world’s stock exchanges experience the worst declines in their history, with drops of around 10% in most indices.
2014 – The China National Space Administration launches an experimental lunar mission, Chang’e 5-T1, which will loop behind the Moon and return to Earth.
1891 – Rafael Trujillo, Dominican soldier and politician, 36th President of the Dominican Republic (d. 1961)
1936 – Bill Wyman, English singer-songwriter, bass player, and producer (The Rolling Stones and Bill Wyman’s Rhythm Kings)
1939 – F. Murray Abraham, American actor
1260 – Qutuz, Egyptian sultan
1725 – Alessandro Scarlatti, Italian composer and educator (b. 1660)
1852 – Daniel Webster, American lawyer and politician, 14th United States Secretary of State (b. 1782)
1935 – Dutch Schultz, American mob boss (b. 1902)
1944 – Louis Renault, French engineer and businessman, co-founded the Renault Company (b. 1877)
1971 – Jo Siffert, Swiss race car driver and motorcycle racer (b. 1936)
1972 – Jackie Robinson, American baseball player and sportscaster (b. 1919)
1979 – Carlo Abarth, Italian automobile designer and founded of Abarth
1991 – Gene Roddenberry, American captain, screenwriter, and producer, created Star Trek (b. 1921)
2005 – Rosa Parks, American activist (b. 1913)