Today in History
987 – Hugh Capet is crowned King of France, the first of the Capetian dynasty that would rule France until the French Revolution in 1792.
1754 – French and Indian War: George Washington surrenders Fort Necessity to French forces.
1775 – American Revolutionary War: George Washington takes command of the Continental Army at Cambridge, Massachusetts.
1844 – The last pair of great auks is killed.
1884 – Dow Jones & Company publishes its first stock average.
1886 – Karl Benz officially unveils the Benz Patent-Motorwagen, the first purpose-built automobile.
1886 – The New-York Tribune becomes the first newspaper to use a linotype machine, eliminating typesetting by hand.
1938 – World speed record for a steam locomotive is set in England, by the Mallard, which reaches a speed of 125.88 miles per hour (202.58 km/h).
1952 – The SS United States sets sail on her maiden voyage to Southampton. During the voyage, the ship takes the Blue Riband away from the RMS Queen Mary.
1969 – Space Race: The biggest explosion in the history of rocketry occurs when the Soviet N-1 rocket explodes and subsequently destroys its launchpad.
1979 – President Jimmy Carter signs the first directive for secret aid to the opponents of the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul.
1988 – US Navy warship USS Vincennes shoots down Iran Air Flight 655 over the Persian Gulf, killing all 290 people aboard.
321 – Valentinian I, Roman emperor (d. 375)
1423 – Louis XI of France (d. 1483)
1883 – Franz Kafka, Czech-Austrian author (d. 1924)
1937 – Tom Stoppard, Czech-English playwright and screenwriter
1959 – Ian Maxtone-Graham, American screenwriter and producer
896 – Dong Chang, Chinese warlord
1642 – Marie de’ Medici, French queen consort and regent (b. 1573)
1863 – Little Crow, American tribal leader (b. 1810)
1881 – Hasan Tahsini, Albanian astronomer, mathematician, and philosopher (b. 1811)
1954 – Reginald Marsh, French-American painter, illustrator, and academic (b. 1898)
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