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1995The oldest known musical instrument in the world is found in the Indrijca River Valley in Slovenia. The 45,000-year-old relic, a crude wind instrument, is a bear bone with four artificial holes along its length.
450Roman Emperor, Theodosius II, dies.
1057Pope Victor II dies.
1285Queen Keran of Armenia dies.
1364Troops of the Republic of Pisa and the Republic of Florence clash in the Battle of Cascina.
1450Roman Emperor, Theodosius II, dies in a riding accident, at age 49. He is mostly known for promulgating the Theodosian law code, and for the construction of the Theodosian Walls of Constantinople.
1540Thomas Cromwell is executed on charges of treason at the order of Henry VIII of England. The King marries his fifth wife, Catherine Howard, on the same day.
1571La Laguna encomienda, present-day Laguna province in the Philippines, is founded by the Spaniards as one of the oldest encomiendas (provinces) in the country.
1586The first potatoes arrive in England from Colombia.
1655Playwright, Cyrano de Bergerac, dies as a result of an accidental injury (or an unspecified disease) in Sannois, France, at age 36. There is the possibility that his death was a result of a botched assassination attempt as well as further damage to his health caused by a period of confinement in a private asylum. In fictional works about his life, he is featured with an overly large nose, which people would travel from miles around to see. Portraits suggest that he did have a big nose, though not nearly as large as usually described.
1741Italian composer, Antonio Vivaldi, dies of internal infection in Vienna, Austria, at age 63. Impoverished, he was buried in a simple grave in a burial ground that was owned by the public hospital fund.
1750Composer, Johann Sebastian Bach, dies from a combination of a stroke and pneumonia in Leipzig, Germany, at age 65. Bach was not widely recognized as a great composer until a revival of interest and performances of his music in the first half of the 19th century. He is now regarded as one of the greatest composers of all time.
1778The Constitution of the province of Cantabria is ratified at the Assembly Hall in Bárcena la Puente, Reocín, Spain.
1794During the French Revolution, Maximilien Robespierre and Louis Antoine de Saint-Just are executed by guillotine in Paris, France.
1802Author and playwright, Alexandre Dumas, is born Dumas Davy de la Pailleterie in Villers-Cotterêts, Aisne, France. His works have been translated into nearly 100 languages, and he is one of the most widely read French authors. Many of his historical novels of high adventure were originally published as serials, including The Count of Monte Cristo and The Three Musketeers.
1808Selim III, Caliph of Islam and Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, is assassinated by sword in Constantinople, at age 48. Mahmud II becomes Sultan of the Ottoman Empire and Caliph of Islam.
1814Poet, Percy Bysshe Shelley, already married to the former Harriet Westbrook, elopes to France with Mary Wollstonecraft (Godwin). Harriet's suicide in 1816 will free him to wed Mary.
1821José de San Martín declares the independence of Peru from Spain.
1835Édouard Mortier, duc de Trévise, dies. He was the 15th Prime Minister of France.
1844Italian King, Joseph Bonaparte, dies in Florence, Italy, at age 76. He was the elder brother of Napoleon Bonaparte, who made him King of Naples and Sicily (1806-1808), and later King of Spain (1808-1813, as José I).
1849Charles Albert of Sardinia (1831-1849) dies in Porto, Kingdom of Portugal, at age 50. He abdicated after his forces were defeated by the Imperial Austrian Army at the Battle of Novara, and died in exile soon thereafter.
1854The USS Constellation, the last all-sail warship built by the U.S. Navy, is commissioned.
1857Activist, Ballington Booth, is born. He co-founded Volunteers of America.
1864In the American Civil War, Confederate troops make a third unsuccessful attempt to drive Union forces from Atlanta, Georgia.
1866At the age of 18, Vinnie Ream becomes the first and youngest female artist to receive a commission from the U.S. government for a statue (of Abraham Lincoln).
1866Writer and artist, Beatrix Potter, is born in Kensington, London, England. She is best known for her children's books, which feature Peter Rabbit and other colorful animal characters. Her book earnings went to the purchase of Hill Top Farm, near Sawry in Lancashire, England. In the coming years, Potter purchased additional farms in the surrounding area in an effort to preserve the countryside. Upon her death, Potter donated her land holdings to the National Trust, and is credited with preserving much of the land which now makes up the Lake District National Park.
1868The 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is certified, establishing African American citizenship and guaranteeing due process of law.
1879Activist, Lucy Burns, is born. She co-founded the National Woman's Party.
1887Modern artist, Marcel Duchamp, is born Henri-Robert-Marcel Duchamp. His Nude Descending a Staircase shocked art patrons first in France, followed by the more liberal-minded audience at the Armory Show in New York City. Duchamps got his inspiration for the painting from the French engineer Marais' studies of motion. He would later become known for his visual commentary on the uniformity of mass-production, in the display of his ready-mades (shovels, brooms, etc.) as art, preceding Andy Warhol's similar artistic commentary by nearly half a century. Duchamp would then give up his art altogether, to spend the rest of his life playing chess.
1890Artist, Vincent Van Gogh, goes to a meadow to work on his painting Wheatfield with Crows. During the afternoon, he shoots himself in the chest with a revolver. He will walk home with the wound, finally succumbing to his injuries at 1:30 a.m. the next morning.
1896The city of Miami, Florida is incorporated.
1900The hamburger is created in Connecticut by Louis Lassing.
1901Singer-actor, Rudy Vallée, is born Hubert Prior Vallée in Island Pond, Vermont. He was one of the first modern pop stars of the teen idol type and was known for singing through a megaphone. He appeared in the films The Vagabond Lover, George Whites Scandals, The Palm Beach Story, Happy Go Lucky, The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer, I Remember Mama, The Beautiful Blonde from Bashful Bend, The Helen Morgan Story, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Live a Little Love a Little, and The Night They Raided Minsky's. He was married to actress, Jane Greer.
1907Inventor, Earl (Silas) Tupper, is born in Berlin, New Hampshire. He founded the Tupperware Corporation. Tupper created lightweight, non-breakable containers, cups, bowls, and plates. He later designed liquid-proof, airtight lids, inspired by the secure seals of paint cans. In the early 1950s, Tupperware "parties" soon became popular in homes: this was the beginning of "party-plan" marketing.
1914In the culmination of the July Crisis, Austria-Hungary declares war on Serbia, igniting World War I.
1914Carmen Dragon, conductor, composer, and arranger, is born in Antioch, California. He was the father of keyboardist, Darryl Dragon, of The Captain and Tennille.
1915The United States begins a 20-year occupation of Haiti.
1922Cceanographer and engineer, Jacques Piccard, is born.
1929Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, 37th First Lady of the United States, is born.
1932President Herbert Hoover orders the U.S. Army to forcibly evict the "Bonus Army" of World War I veterans gathered in Washington, D.C.
1933Diplomatic relations between the Soviet Union and Spain are established.
1934Actress, Marie Dressler, dies.
1935The first flight of the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress takes place.
1935Talk show host, Simon Dee, is born in England.
1936Jazz saxophonist, Jim Galloway, is born.
1938The Hawaii Clipper disappears between Guam and Manila, and is the first loss of an airliner in the trans-Pacific China Clipper service.
1939Judy Garland records Over the Rainbow for Decca Records. It will become the musical highlight of the classic film The Wizard of Oz.
1939Surgeon, William James Mayo, dies of stomach cancer in Rochester, Minnesota, at age 78. He is one of the seven founders of the Mayo Clinic.
1943The Royal Air Force bombs Hamburg, Germany, causing a firestorm that kills 42,000 German civilians.
1943Mike Bloomfield, of the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, is born Michael Bernard Bloomfield in Chicago, Illinois.
1943Richard (William) Wright, of Pink Floyd, is born in Hatch End, Middlesex, England. He performed on the majority of the group's albums, including The Piper at the Gates of Dawn, The Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here, and The Division Bell, as well as playing on all of their tours.
1945A B-25 bomber crashes into the 79th floor of the fog-shrouded Empire State Building in New York City. Fourteen people are killed and 26 other are injured.
1945Cartoonist, Jim Davis, is born. He created the Garfield comic strip.
1946Singer-songwriter, Jonathan Edwards, is born.
1946Actress, Linda Kelsey, is born.
1947Actress, Sally Struthers, is born. She is best known for the role of Gloria Stivic on the TV sitcom All in the Family.
1948The Metropolitan Police Flying Squad foils a bullion robbery in what became known as the "Battle of London Airport."
1948Gerald Casale, of Devo, is born.
1948Actress, Georgia Engel, is born. She is best known for the role of Georgette on the TV sitcom The Mary Tyler Moore Show.
1949Baseball player and sportscaster, Vida Blue, is born.
1949Steve (Peregrin) Took, of T.Rex, is born Stephen Ross Porter in Eltham, London, England. He was asked to leave the band in 1969, after several bizarre incidents that included giving himself a vicious beating onstage.
1952Thai Prince, Vajiralongkorn, is born.
1954Hugo Chávez, President of Venezuela, is born.
1954Steve Morse, of the bands Deep Purple and Kansas, is born.
1955The Union Mundial pro Interlingua is founded at the first Interlingua congress in Tours, France.
1957Heavy rain and a mudslide in Isahaya, Kyushu, Japan, kills 992 people.
1957Jerry Lee Lewis makes his national TV debut on The Steve Allen Show. The exposure helps sales of his single, Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On, jump from 30,000 copies to six million.
1958Esso Research Center releases a report concluding that listening to rock 'n' roll can prove expensive to car owners, as the beat usually leads them to jiggle the gas pedal and waste fuel.
1962Actress, Rachel Sweet, is born.
1964Actress, Lori Loughlin, is born.
1965President Lyndon Johnson announces he is increasing the number of American troops in South Vietnam from 75,000 to 125,000.
1965Peter and Gordon make a guest appearance on ABC-TVs Where the Action Is, singing their hit I Go to Pieces.
1965Rolling Stone, Charlie Watts, buys a 16th-century wooden mansion in Sussex, England. His father tells the press, "We can't understand why he prefers an old place like this to something modern."
1969Politician, Ramón Grau, dies. He was the sixth President of Cuba.
1969Songwriter, Frank Loesser, dies of lung cancer in New York, New York, at age 59. He is best known for the Broadway musicals The Most Happy Fella, Guys and Dolls, and How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying.
1970The film, Ned Kelly, starring Mick Jagger, opens in Australia. Reception is unkind. Halliwell's Film Guide says, "Obstinately unlikeable action picture with some kind of message which never becomes clear amid all the cleverness."
1973Nearly 600,000 people attend a rock festival at the Watkins Glen International Raceway in Watkins Glen, New York, at the southern tip of Seneca Lake.
1974Spetsgruppa A, Russia's elite special force, is formed.
1976A 7.8 to 8.2 earthquake flattens Tangshan, in the People's Republic of China, killing 242,769 people and injuring 164,851 others.
1984The XXIII Summer Olympic Games open in Los Angeles, California.
1985Actor, Grant Williams, dies of toxic poisoning at age 54. He is best known for the starring role in the science fiction film classic The Incredible Shrinking Man.
1987The surviving Beatles and their representatives sue Nike and Capitol Records over the use of the song Revolution in shoe commercials.
1993Andorra joins the United Nations.
1995Control of Jimi Hendrix's estate is passed on to his father, James Al Hendrix, who had fought a long legal battle for the rights to his son's likeness and music.
1996The remains of a prehistoric man are discovered near Kennewick, Washington.
1999Steven Tyler, of Aerosmith, tells The New York Daily News he's trying to prevent his ex-wife from printing naked photos of him in her new book.
2002Nine coal miners trapped in the flooded Quecreek Mine in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, are rescued after 77 hours underground.
2004Molecular biologist, Francis Crick, dies of colon cancer at the University of California-San Diego Thornton Hospital in La Jolla, California, at age 88. In 1953, he co-discovered the structure of human DNA with James Watson. Crick was an important theoretical molecular biologist and played a crucial role in research related to revealing the genetic code. His later research centered on theoretical neurobiology and attempts to advance the scientific study of human consciousness.
2005The Provisional Irish Republican Army calls an end to its 30-year-long armed campaign in Northern Ireland.
2008The historic Grand Pier in Weston-super-Mare, England, burns down for the second time in 80 years.
2009Minister, Reverend Ike, dies.
2010Airblue Flight 202 crashes into the Margalla Hills north of Islamabad, Pakistan, killing all 152 people aboard.
2013Actress, Eileen Brennan, dies of bladder cancer at her home in Burbank, California, at age 80. She appeared in the films Divorce American Style, The Last Picture Show, Scarecrow, The Sting, Daisy Miller, At Long Last Love, Hustle, Murder by Death, The Death of Richie, Private Benjamin, Clue, Stella, Texasville, and White Palace.
2014Eight days after he was profiled on CNN's The Hunt with John Walsh, Charles Modzir, a child molester and pornographer who had been on the run since June 25, 2012, is killed in a shoot out with police and U.S. Marshals in New York City's Greenwich Village. He had failed to show up at the San Diego County Courthouse in California for his sentencing in which he was convicted of molesting the son of a family friend while he was baby sitting.
2016North Korea says the United States has "crossed the red line in our showdown," after placing sanctions on its leader Kim Jong-un over human rights abuses, and considers the sanctions to be a "declaration of war" by the U.S.
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