Today in History
1590 – Alexander Farnese’s army forces Henry IV of France to lift the siege of Paris.
1666 – Great Fire of London ends: Ten thousand buildings, including Old St Paul’s Cathedral, are destroyed, but only six people are known to have died.
1698 – In an effort to Westernize his nobility, Tsar Peter I of Russia imposes a tax on beards for all men except the clergy and peasantry.
1793 – French Revolution: The French National Convention initiates the Reign of Terror.
1839 – The United Kingdom declares war on the Qing dynasty of China.
1877 – American Indian Wars: Oglala Sioux chief Crazy Horse is bayoneted by a United States soldier after resisting confinement in a guardhouse at Fort Robinson in Nebraska.
1905 – Russo-Japanese War: In New Hampshire, United States, the Treaty of Portsmouth, mediated by U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt, ends the war.
1921 – Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle party in San Francisco ends with the death of the young actress Virginia Rappe: One of the first scandals of the Hollywood community.
1945 – Iva Toguri D’Aquino, a Japanese American suspected of being wartime radio propagandist Tokyo Rose, is arrested in Yokohama.
1960 – Muhammad Ali (then known as Cassius Clay) wins the gold medal in the light heavyweight boxing competition at the Olympic Games in Rome.
1970 – Jochen Rindt becomes the only driver to posthumously win the Formula One World Drivers’ Championship (in 1970), after being killed in practice for the Italian Grand Prix.
1972 – Munich massacre: The Palestinian terrorist group “Black September” attacks and takes hostage 11 Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympic Games. Two die in the attack and nine are murdered the following day.
1975 – Sacramento, California: Lynette Fromme attempts to assassinate President Gerald Ford.
1980 – The Gotthard Road Tunnel opens in Switzerland as the world’s longest highway tunnel at 10.14 miles stretching from Güschenen to Airolo.
1984 – STS-41-D: The Space Shuttle Discovery lands after its maiden voyage.
1991 – The current international treaty defending indigenous peoples, Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention, 1989, comes into force.
1996 – Hurricane Fran makes landfall near Cape Fear, North Carolina as a Category 3 storm with 115 mph sustained winds. Fran caused over $3 billion in damage and killed 27 people
1187 – Louis VIII, king of France (d. 1226)
1638 – Louis XIV, king of France (d. 1715)
1818 – Edmund Kennedy, Australian explorer and surveyor (d. 1848)
1873 – Cornelius Vanderbilt III, American general and engineer (d. 1942)
1897 – Arthur Nielsen, American market analyst, founded ACNielsen (d. 1980)
1912 – John Cage, American composer and theorist (d. 1992)
1942 – Werner Herzog, German actor, director, producer, and screenwriter
1945 – Al Stewart, Scottish singer-songwriter and guitarist
1946 – Freddie Mercury, singer, songwriter, record producer, and lead vocalist of Queen and known for his four octave vocal range and his dazzling stage persona. He died in 1991.
1969 – Dweezil Zappa, American actor and musician
714 – Shang, emperor of the Tang Dynasty
1548 – Catherine Parr, Sixth and last Queen of Henry VIII (b. c. 1512)
1993 – Claude Renoir, French cinematographer (b. 1914)
1999 – Allen Funt, American director, producer, and screenwriter (b. 1914)
2016 – Phyllis Schlafly, American lawyer, writer, and activist (b. 1924)
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