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Today in History

657 Battle of Siffin during the first Muslim civil war between Ali ibn Abi Talib and Muawiyah I beside Euphrates River

1519 Francisco Pizarro receives royal charter for the west coast of South America

1533 Francisco Pizarro orders the death of the last Sapa Inca Emperor, Atahualpa

1579 Francis Drake leaves San Francisco to cross Pacific Ocean

1609 English mathematician Thomas Harriot is the first person to draw a map of the Moon by looking through a telescope

1755 Giacomo Casanova is arrested in Venice for affront to religion and common decency and imprisoned in the Doge’s Palace

1775 US Continental Congress creates United States Post Office (U.S.P.O.) in Philadelphia under Benjamin Franklin

1788 New York becomes 11th state to ratify US constitution

1803 The Surrey Iron Railway, arguably the world’s first public railway, opens in south London

1835 1st sugar cane plantation started in Hawaii

1878 In California, poet and American West outlaw calling himself “Black Bart” makes his last clean getaway when he steals a safe box from a Wells Fargo stagecoach. The empty box found later with a taunting poem inside.

1903 1st automobile trip across the United States (San Francisco to New York) completed by Horatio Nelson Jackson and Sewall K. Crocker

1908 United States Attorney General Charles Joseph Bonaparte issues an order to immediately staff the Office of the Chief Examiner (later renamed the Federal Bureau of Investigation)

1917 J. Edgar Hoover gets job in US Department of Justice

1945 Declaration of Potsdam: US, Britain and China demand the unconditional surrender of Japan during WWII

1945 Japanese government disregards US ultimatum

1945 US cruiser Indianapolis reaches Tinian with atom bomb

1945 Physicist Raemer Schreiber and Lieutenant Colonel Peer de Silva depart Kirtland Army Air Field to transport the plutonium core for the Fat Man bomb (bombing of Nagasaki) to the island of Tinian where the bomb is assembled

1946 Aloha Airlines began service from Honolulu International Airport

1947 President Truman signs National Security Act (1947), establishing Department of Defense, CIA, National Security Council and Joint Chiefs of Staff

1948 President Harry Truman issues Executive Order No. 9981 to desegregate the US armed forces, directing “equality of treatment and opportunity” in the military

1953 Fidel Castro leads a failed attack on the Moncada Barracks, intended to spark a revolution in Cuba

1964 Teamsters President and US union leader Jimmy Hoffa convicted of fraud and conspiracy

1971 Apollo 15 launched (Scott and Irwin) to 4th manned landing on Moon

1972 Rockwell receives NASA contract to construct Space Shuttle

1981 New York Mayor Ed Koch is given the Heimlich maneuver in a Chinese restaurant

1983 US threatens action to preserve navigation in Persian Gulf

1990 US President George H. W. Bush signs Americans With Disabilities Act

1993 Mars Observer takes 1st photo of Mars, from 5 billion km

2005 Space Shuttle program: STS-114 Mission - Launch of Discovery, NASA’s first scheduled flight mission after the Columbia Disaster in 2003

2017 US President Donald Trump announces policy to ban transgender people from the military, overturning Obama era changes

2017 Great Britain announces it will ban gasoline and diesel cars by 2040

2018 Facebook has the single worst day of any public company on the stock market - losing 19% or $119 billion market value

Movies & TV

1896 Vitascope Hall, 1st permanent for-profit movie theatre, opens in New Orleans

1990 General Hospital records its 7,000th episode


1882 Richard Wagner’s opera “Parsifal” premieres in Bayreuth, Germany

2018 Sir Paul McCartney performs a secret gig at the Cavern Club in Liverpool, where the Beatles began


1933 Joe DiMaggio ends 61 game hitting streak in Pacific Coast League

1948 “Babe Ruth Story” premieres, Babe Ruth’s last public appearance

1969 Sharon Sites Adams, 39, becomes 1st lady to solo sail the Pacific

1970 Cincinnati Reds Johnny Bench hits 3 consecutive HRs off Philadelphia Phillies Steve Carlton

1984 Expos Pete Rose ties Ty Cobb with his 3,502nd single

1988 Mike Schmidt sets NL record appearing in 2,155 games at 3rd base, as Phillies & NY Mets end that game at 2:13 AM


1856 George Bernard Shaw, Irish dramatist (Pygmalion, Nobel Prize for Literature 1925), born in Dublin, Ireland (d. 1950)

1875 Carl Jung, Swiss Psychiatrist (founded analytic psychology), born in Kesswil, Switzerland (d. 1961)

1894 Aldous Huxley, English author (Brave New World, Island), born in Godalming, Surrey (d. 1963)

1895 Gracie Allen, American comedian and actress (Burns & Allen), born in San Francisco, California (d. 1964)

1909 Vivian Vance, American actress (Ethel Mertz-I Love Lucy), born in Cherryvale, Kansas (d. 1979)

1922 Jason Robards, American actor (A Thousand Clowns, Any Wednesday), born in Chicago, Illinois (d. 2000)

1928 Stanley Kubrick, American director (2001 A Space Odyssey, Dr Strangelove, Lolita), born in The Bronx NY (d. 1999)

1943 Mick Jagger, English rock vocalist (Rolling Stones), born in Dartford, Kent

1945 Helen Mirren [Ilyena Lydia Vasilievna Mironoff], English actress (The Queen, The Madness of King George), born in London, England

1956 Dorothy Hamill, American figure skater (Olympic gold 1976), born in Chicago, Illinois

1959 Kevin Spacey, American actor (American Beauty, House of Cards), born in South Orange, New Jersey

1964 Sandra Bullock, American actress (Speed, The Blind Side), born in Washington, D.C.


1863 Sam Houston, 1st President of Republic of Texas (1836-38, 1841-44) who helped bring Texas into the United States as a constituent state, dies at 70

1925 William Jennings Bryan, American orator and statesman known as “The Great Commoner”, dies at 65

1952 Eva Perón [Evita], Argentine First Lady (1946-52) actress, suffragette, unionist and humanitarian who was inspiration for A.L. Webber’s musical “Evita”, dies of cancer at 33

1984 George Gallup, American survey sampling pioneer and inventor of the Gallup poll, dies of a heart attack at 82

2015 Bobbi Kristina Brown, daughter of Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown, dies in a coma at 22

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