1789 – William Wilberforce makes his first major speech on abolition in the UK House of Commons, reasoning the slave trade morally reprehensible and an issue of natural justice
1926 – Aboard the semirigid airship Norge, Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen, American scientist Lincoln Ellsworth, and Italian engineer Umberto Nobile made the first undisputed flight over the North Pole.
1937 – King George VI of the United Kingdom was crowned following the abdication of Edward VIII.
1940 – Nazi blitzkrieg and conquest of France begins with the crossing of the Muese River
1943 – Axis forces in North Africa surrender
1949 – The Soviet Union lifted its blockade of Berlin.
2002 – Former US President Jimmy Carter arrives in Cuba for a five-day visit with Fidel Castro becoming first President of the United States, in or out of office, to visit the island since Castro’s 1959 revolution.
2008 – Wenchuan earthquake, measuring 7.8 in magnitude occurs in Sichuan, China, killing over 87,000, injuring 374,643 and leaving homeless between 4.8 million and 11 million people
Births & Deaths:
1820 – English nurse Florence Nightingale, who founded trained nursing as a profession for women, was born in Florence, Italy; International Nurses Day is celebrated on her birthday.
1875 – 1st recorded shutout in pro baseball, Chicago 1, St Louis 0
1967 – “Are You Experienced” album by the Jimi Hendrix Experience first released – one of the most influential debut albums ever
TV & Film:
1994 – “Pulp Fiction”, directed by Quentin Tarantino and starring John Travolta, Uma Thurman and Samuel L. Jackson premieres at the Cannes Film Festival (Palme d’Or 1994)
Via Britannica / On This Day