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.

2006 – UK Terrorism Act 2006 becomes law.

2012 – Spanish Government cuts 27 billion Euros from its budget in a tough austerity measure

2013 – Uhuru Kenyatta is declared the rightful winner of the Kenyan presidential election by the Supreme Court

2017 – Ex-South Korean president Park Geun-hye arrested in corruption investigation

2019 – Zuzana Caputova elected President of Slovakia, the country’s first female head of state

2019 – Pope Francis arrives in Rabat, Morocco, on his first-ever visit to the Magreb region of Northern Africa

2019 – Swedish gamer and YouTuber PewDiePie overtaken by Indian channel T-Series as YouTube channel with most subscribers (both on 92 million)

2020 – Russian city Moscow begins a city-wide lockdown after 4 hours notice due to COVID-19

2020 – International Olympic Committee announces postponed 2020 Summer Olympic Games will be held July 23-August 8 in 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic

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.

Film:

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

Music:

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

Via Britannica / On This Day