On This Day…

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1401 – Turko-Mongol ruler Tamerlane (Timur) destroys Baghdad, killing 20,000

1790 – Russo-Swedish War: Second Battle of Svensksund – in the Baltic Sea, the Swedish Navy captures one third of the Russian fleet

1868 – Louisiana and South Carolina are the last states to ratify the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution, guaranteeing civil rights

1893 – Daniel Williams repairs the torn pericardium of a knife wound patient, James Cornish, without penicillin or blood transfusion

1917 – British battleship HMS Vanguard explodes at Scapa Flow (the result of an internal explosion of faulty cordite), killing 804

1971 – Henry Kissinger visits the People’s Republic of China to negotiate a detente between the US and China

1980 – 7 die in a stampede to see Pope John Paul II in Brazil

1991 – South Africa readmitted to Olympics

2000 – Police fired tear gas at fans during a World Cup qualifying soccer game between Zimbabwe and South Africa, setting off a stampede that killed twelve people in Harare, Zimbabwe

2002 – The African Union is established in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The first chairman is Thabo Mbeki, President of South Africa.

2015 – Chuck Blazer receives a lifetime ban from FIFA and all football related activity due to corruption

2017 – Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi proclaims victory over Islamic State forces in Mosul

2018 – Bright pink is the world’s oldest biological colour according to scientists, produced by tiny cyanobacteria in 1.1bn-year-old marine shale rock from Taoudeni basin, Mauritania

2019 – Northern Ireland MPs vote to extend same-sex marriage and make abortion legal to bring it in line with rest of UK

Film & TV:

2001 – “The Office” mockumentary created by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, starring Ricky Gervais and Martin Freeman premieres on BBC Two in the UK


1955 – Bill Haley & Comets’ “Rock Around the Clock” tops the billboards chart, one of the best-selling singles ever


1877 – First ever Wimbledon tennis championship begins – first official lawn tennis tournament – men’s singles only

Via Britannica / On This Day