Today in History
AD 64 – The Great Fire of Rome causes widespread devastation and rages on for six days, destroying half of the city.
1545 – The Tudor warship Mary Rose sinks off Portsmouth; in 1982 the wreck is salvaged in one of the most complex and expensive projects in the history of maritime archaeology.
1553 – Lady Jane Grey is replaced by Mary I of England as Queen of England after only nine days on the throne.
1701 – Representatives of the Iroquois Confederacy sign the Nanfan Treaty, ceding a large territory north of the Ohio River to England.
1817 – Unsuccessful in his attempt to conquer the Kingdom of Hawaii for the Russian-American Company, Georg Anton Schäffer is forced to admit defeat and leave Kauai.
1843 – Brunel’s steamship the SS Great Britain is launched, becoming the first ocean-going craft with an iron hull and screw propeller
1845 – Great New York City Fire of 1845: The last great fire to affect Manhattan began early in the morning and was subdued that afternoon. The fire killed four firefighters, 26 civilians, and destroyed 345 buildings.
1900 – The first line of the Paris Métro opens for operation.
1943 – World War II: Rome is heavily bombed by more than 500 Allied aircraft, inflicting thousands of casualties.
1977 – The world’s first Global Positioning System (GPS) signal was transmitted from Navigation Technology Satellite 2 (NTS-2) and received at Rockwell Collins in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, at 12:41 a.m. Eastern time (ET).
1979 – The Sandinista rebels overthrow the government of the Somoza family in Nicaragua.
1981 – In a private meeting with President Ronald Reagan, French President François Mitterrand reveals the existence of the Farewell Dossier, a collection of documents showing the Soviet Union had been stealing American technological research and development.
1982 – In one of the first militant attacks by Hezbollah, David S. Dodge, president of the American University of Beirut, is kidnapped.
1983 – The first three-dimensional reconstruction of a human head in a CT is published.
810 – Muhammad al-Bukhari, Persian scholar (d. 870)
1800 – Juan José Flores, Venezuelan general and politician, First President of Ecuador (d. 1864)
1814 – Samuel Colt, founded the Colt’s Manufacturing Company (d. 1862)
1834 – Edgar Degas, French painter, sculptor, and illustrator (d. 1917)
In 1855 he met Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, whom Degas revered and whose advice he never forgot: “Draw lines, young man, and still more lines, both from life and from memory, and you will become a good artist.”
1865 – Charles Horace Mayo, American surgeon, founded the Mayo Clinic (d. 1939)
1860 – Lizzie Borden, was an American woman who was tried and acquitted in the 1892 axe murders of her father and stepmother in Fall River, Massachusetts. The case was a cause célèbre throughout the United States.
The case was memorialized in a popular skipping-rope rhyme:
Lizzie Borden took an axe
And gave her mother forty whacks.
When she saw what she had done,
She gave her father forty-one.
Folklore says that the rhyme was made up by an anonymous writer as a tune to sell newspapers. In reality, Lizzie’s stepmother suffered 18 or 19 blows; her father suffered 11 blows.
1249 – Jacopo Tiepolo, doge of Venice
1967 – Odell Shepard, American poet and politician, 66th Lieutenant Governor of Connecticut (b. 1884)
1982 – Hugh Everett III, American physicist and mathematician (b. 1930)
2004 – J. Gordon Edwards, American entomologist, mountaineer, and DDT advocate (b. 1919)
2009 – Frank McCourt, American author and educator (b. 1930)
2016 – Garry Marshall, American actor, director, and producer (b. 1934)
Sourced from various internet sites.
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