Today in History
1185 – Emperor Andronikos I Komnenos brutally put to death in Constantinople.
1609 – Henry Hudson begins his exploration of the Hudson River while aboard the Halve Maen.
1847 – Mexican-American War: the Battle of Chapultepec begins.
1857 – The SS Central America sinks about 160 miles east of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, drowning a total of 426 passengers and crew, including Captain William Lewis Herndon. The ship was carrying 13-15 tons of gold from the California Gold Rush.
1910 – Premiere performance of Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 in Munich (with a chorus of 852 singers and an orchestra of 171 players.
1933 – Leó Szilárd, waiting for a red light on Southampton Row in Bloomsbury, conceives the idea of the nuclear chain reaction.
1940 – Cave paintings are discovered in Lascaux, France.
1943 – World War II: Benito Mussolini is rescued from house arrest by German commando forces.
1953 – U.S. Senator and future President John Fitzgerald Kennedy marries Jacqueline Lee Bouvier at St. Mary’s Church in Newport, Rhode Island.
1958 – Jack Kilby demonstrates the first working integrated circuit while working at Texas Instruments.
1959 – The Soviet Union launches a large rocket, Lunik II, at the moon.
1962 – President Kennedy delivers his “We choose to go to the Moon” speech at Rice University.
1974 – Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia, ‘Messiah’ of the Rastafari movement, is deposed following a military coup by the Derg, ending a reign of 58 years.
1988 – Hurricane Gilbert devastates Jamaica; it turns towards Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula two days later, causing an estimated $5 billion in damage.
1992 – NASA launches Space Shuttle Endeavour on STS-47 which marked the 50th shuttle mission. On board are Mae Carol Jemison, the first African-American woman in space, Mamoru Mohri, the first Japanese citizen to fly in a US spaceship, and Mark Lee and Jan Davis, the first married couple in space.
1994 – Frank Eugene Corder fatally crashes a single-engine Cessna 150 into the White House’s south lawn, striking the West wing. There were no other casualties.
1492 – Lorenzo de’ Medici, Duke of Urbino (d. 1519)
1880 – H. L. Mencken, American journalist and critic (d. 1956)
1888 – Maurice Chevalier, French actor, singer, and dancer (d. 1972)
1891 – Arthur Hays Sulzberger, American publisher (d. 1968)
1892 – Alfred A. Knopf, Sr., founded Alfred A. Knopf Inc. (d. 1984)
1898 – Ben Shahn, Lithuanian-American painter and photographer (d. 1969)
1913 – Jesse Owens, American sprinter and long jumper (d. 1980)
1939 – Henry Waxman, American lawyer and politician
1362 – Pope Innocent VI (b. 1295)
1674 – Nicolaes Tulp, Dutch anatomist and politician (b. 1593)
1977 – Steve Biko, South African activist (b. 1946)
1977 – Robert Lowell, American poet (b. 1917)
1986 – Jacques Henri Lartigue, French painter and photographer (b. 1894)
2000 – Stanley Turrentine, saxophonist, composer, and bandleader (b. 1934
2003 – Johnny Cash, singer-songwriter, guitarist, and actor (b. 1932)
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