845 – Paris is sacked by Viking raiders, probably under Ragnar Lodbrok, who collects a huge ransom in exchange for leaving.
1792 – King Gustav III of Sweden dies after being shot in the back at a midnight masquerade ball at Stockholm’s Royal Opera 13 days earlier. He is succeeded by Gustav IV Adolf.
1806 – Construction is authorized of the Great National Pike, better known as the Cumberland Road, becoming the first United States federal highway.
With all the talk of improving the nation’s highway and byways, let it be known that the 620 mile (1,000 kilometers) National Road was the first major highway built by the Federal government between 1811 and 1837.
Formerly a foot and wagon trail called Braddock Road which had been operated by the Ohio Company, it connected Cumberland, Maryland, the highest navigational limit point on the Potomac, and Fort Duquesne on the Ohio River where a military and trading post was and later became present day Pittsburgh.
Authorized by President Jefferson, this trail was expanded and became a path to the west by thousands of settlers. During a reconstruction project in the 1830s, it was the second highway surfaced with macadam, a process pioneered none other than Scotman John McAdam. By the 1840 and ’50s, funds slowed dramatically as railroads proven a more efficient means of moving people and goods.
1865 – American Civil War: Federal forces under Major General Philip Sheridan move to flank Confederate forces under Robert E. Lee as the Appomattox Campaign begins.
1867 – Queen Victoria gives Royal Assent to the British North America Act which establishes the Dominion of Canada on July 1.
1871 – Royal Albert Hall is opened by Queen Victoria.
1927 – Sunbeam 1000hp breaks the land speed record at Daytona Beach, Florida
1936 – Adolf Hitler receives 99% of the votes in a referendum to ratify Germany’s illegal remilitarization and reoccupation of the Rhineland,receiving 44.5 million votes out of 45.5 million registered voters.
1945 – World War II: The German 4th Army is almost destroyed by the Soviet Red Army.
1951 – Ethel and Julius Rosenberg are convicted of conspiracy to commit espionage.
1957 – The New York, Ontario and Western Railway makes its final run, the first major U.S. railroad to be abandoned in its entirety.
1961 – The Twenty-third Amendment to the United States Constitution is ratified, allowing residents of Washington, D.C., to vote in presidential elections.
1971 – My Lai Massacre: Lieutenant William Calley is convicted of premeditated murder and sentenced to life in prison. His sentence was reduced to 20 years upon appeal and then later to 10 years. He was paroled in 1974.
1974 – NASA’s Mariner 10 becomes the first space probe to fly by Mercury.
1974 – Terracotta Army was discovered in Shaanxi province, China.
1999 – The Dow Jones Industrial Average closes above the 10,000 mark (10,006.78) for the first time, during the height of the dot-com bubble.
2010 – Two suicide bombers hit the Moscow Metro system at the peak of the morning rush hour, killing 40.
2014 – The first same-sex marriages in England and Wales are performed.
1561 – Santorio Santorio, Italian biologist (d. 1636)
1629 – Alexis of Russia, Tsar of Russia (d. 1676)
1790 – John Tyler, American lawyer and politician, 10th President of the United States (d. 1862)
1867 – Cy Young, American baseball player and manager (d. 1955)
1891 – Alfred Neubauer, Austrian race car driver and manager (d. 1980)
1918 – Sam Walton, businessman, founded Walmart and Sam’s Club (d. 1992)
1945 – Walt Frazier, American basketball player and sportscaster
1961 – Amy Sedaris, American actress and comedian
87 BC – Emperor Wu of Han of China (b. 157 BC)
1368 – Emperor Go-Murakami of Japan (b. 1328)
1792 – Gustav III of Sweden (b. 1746)
1848 – John Jacob Astor, German-American businessman (b. 1763)
1891 – Georges Seurat, French painter (b. 1859)
2016 – Patty Duke, American actress (b. 1946)
2017 – Alexei Alexeyevich Abrikosov, Russian physicist (b. 1928)
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