On This Day…

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1619 – René Descartes has the dream that inspires his “Meditations on First Philosophy”

1674 – Dutch formally cede New Netherlands (New York) to the English

1871 –  According to his journal, explorer Henry Stanley greeted David Livingstone, the fellow explorer in search of the source of the Nile River, with the famous words “Dr. Livingstone, I presume?”

1885 – German engineer Gottlieb Daimler unveils the world’s first motorcycle

1918 – Western Union Cable Office in North Sydney, Nova Scotia receives a top-secret coded message from Europe stating on November 11, 1918 all fighting would cease on land, sea and in the air

1989 – Germans begin demolishing the Berlin Wall

2001 – After 15 years of negotiations, China’s membership in the World Trade Organization was approved, and the following day Taiwan’s membership was approved.

2001 – An agreement is reached at talks in Marrakech, Morocco, on rules for implementation of the Kyoto climate change treaty

2012 – The final US presidential election results are declared after Barack Obama wins Florida to defeat Mitt Romney 332-206 in Electoral College votes

2014 – Ethel Kennedy is awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom

2019 – Bolivian labour leader Evo Morales, the first indigenous president of Bolivia, resigned under pressure after monitors claimed that the election—for his fourth term in office—had irregularities, a claim later challenged.

2019 – Death toll in demonstrations in Iraq reaches 319, with 15,000 injured since Oct 1 according to Iraqi human rights organization

2020 – Word of the year is “Lockdown” according to Collins English Dictionary

Births & Deaths:

1938 – Turkish reformer Kemal Atatürk, the founder and first president (1923–38) of the Republic of Turkey, died in Istanbul.

1982 – Soviet statesman and Communist Party leader Leonid Brezhnev died in Moscow after presiding as the leader of the Soviet Union for more than 18 years.

2007 – American novelist and journalist Norman Mailer—who was best known for using a form of journalism (called New Journalism) that combines the imaginative subjectivity of literature with the more objective qualities of journalism—died in New York.

2015 – German politician and publisher Helmut Schmidt—who, as chancellor of West Germany (1974–82), was one of the most respected and influential of western Europe’s leaders—died at age 96.

Film & TV:

1969 – “Sesame Street” premieres on PBS TV

1990 – The American comedy Home Alone, written by John Hughes and starring Macaulay Culkin, had its world premiere; a huge hit, it spawned a number of sequels and became a TV staple during the Christmas holidays.

2010 – Alan Menken, famous Disney composer, receives the 2,442nd star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

2017 – BBC removes drama from Christmas line-up after one of its stars, Ed Westwick, accused of rape by two women


1991 – South Africa’s 1st cricket international since 1970 – one-day v India

Via Britannica / On This Day

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