On This Day…

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240 BC – 1st recorded perihelion passage of Halley’s Comet.
1856– Russia signs the Treaty of Paris, ending the Crimean War.
1867 – Alaska Purchase: US buys Alaska from Russia for $7,200,000 ($109 million in 2018), roughly 2 cents an acre.
1870– 15th Amendment to the US constitution is adopted, guarantees right to vote regardless of race.
1959– Dalai Lama flees China and is granted political asylum in India.
1972 – Northern Ireland’s Government and Parliament dissolved by the British Government and ‘direct rule’ from Westminster is introduced.
1981 – Barely two months after his inauguration as the 40th president of the United States, Ronald Reagan was shot and seriously wounded by would-be assassin John W. Hinckley, Jr.
2003 – A law banning cigarette smoking in all places of employment, including restaurants and bars, went into effect in New York City. 

Births & Deaths: 
1853 – Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh, one of the greatest Post-Impressionists, known for works that convey not only keen observations of nature but the anguish of a mental illness, was born.
1914 – American blues vocalist and harmonica virtuoso Sonny Boy Williamson was born in Jackson, Tennessee.
1945 – British rock musician Eric Clapton, a highly influential guitarist who performed with such groups as the Yardbirds and Cream before embarking on a successful solo career, was born.
1968 – French Canadian pop singer Céline Dion, who was known for her vocal prowess and her passionate showmanship, was born.
2002 – Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, who was queen consort of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland (1936–52), died in her sleep at Windsor Castle at age 101. 

1981– “Chariots of Fire” directed by Hugh Hudson and starring Ben Cross and Ian Charleson premieres at a Royal Command Film Performance. 

1970Miles Davis’s influential double album “Bitches Brew” released. 

Via Britannica / On This Day 

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