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On This Day…

Reading Time: 3 minutes

284 – Roman soldier Diocletian proclaimed Emperor by the army

762 – Bögü, Khan of the Uyghurs, conquers Lo-Yang, capital of the Chinese Empire

1695 – Zumbi, the last King of the Quilombo dos Palmares in early Brazil and ex-slave, is executed and decapitated, his head displayed on a pike to dispel any legends of his immortality

1815 – Second Treaty of Paris: France and her allies agree France will pay indemnities after Battle of Waterloo, ending the Napoleonic Wars

1910 – Francisco Madero launched a failed revolt that nonetheless sparked the Mexican Revolution by inspiring hope in such leaders as Pancho Villa and Emiliano Zapata, who then mobilized their ragged armies.

1969 – Native American activists began an occupation of Alcatraz Island, protesting what they saw as the U.S. government’s ongoing economic, social, and political neglect of Native Americans; they were forced off the island in June 1971.

1986 – World Health Organization announces first global effort to combat AIDS

1992 – Queen Elizabeth’s home Windsor Castle catches fire

1995 – Princess Diana admits she cheated on Prince Charles in a TV interview

1997 – Iraq’s Revolution Command Council formally endorses an agreement, arranged by Russia, that enables UN weapons inspection teams to resume operations in Iraq

1998 – Court in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan declares accused terrorist Osama bin Laden “a man without a sin” in regard to the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania

1998 – American tobacco companies signed an agreement with the governments of 46 U.S. states to settle the states’ claims for reimbursement of Medicaid funds they had expended to treat smoking-related illnesses, the settlement costing the tobacco manufacturers $206 billion beyond the $40 billion they had agreed to pay four other states in 1997.

2001 – US President George W. Bush dedicates the US Department of Justice headquarters the Robert F. Kennedy Justice Building, on what would have been his 76th birthday

2014 -Nearly 5 million illegal migrants in the US have the threat of deportation deferred, after President Barack Obama announces sweeping immigration changes

2015 – American civil defense analyst Jonathan Jay Pollard was released from prison, having served 30 years for selling classified information to Israel.

2017 – German Chancellor Angela Merkel announces that coalition talks to form a government have collapsed

2018 – More than 40 religious scholars killed, at event to mark birth of prophet Mohammed, by a suicide bomber near the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan

2019 – Oxford Dictionaries word of the year is “climate emergency”

2019 – Britain’s Prince Andrew announces he is stepping back from public duties after outcry from disastrous interview on his friendship with Jeffry Epstein

Births & Deaths:

1975 – Francisco Franco, ruler of Spain since his overthrow of the democratic government in 1939, died at age 82.

1993 – Winnie Mandela’s driver and bodyguard murdered in Johannesburg

2006 – American filmmaker Robert Altman—an unconventional and independent director whose works emphasized character and atmosphere over plot in exploring themes of innocence, corruption, and survival—died at age 81.

Film & TV:

1983 – 100 million watch ABC TV movie “The Day After” about nuclear war

2002 – “Die Another Day”, 20th James Bond film released, directed by Lee Tamahori, starring Pierce Brosnan and Halle Berry


1805 – Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Fidelio”, his only opera, premieres in Vienna


1902 – Geo Lefevre and Henri Desgrange create Tour de France bicycle race

Via Britannica / On This Day

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