1755 – Lisbon earthquake kills more than 50,000 in Portugal
1814 – Congress of Vienna opens to re-draw the European political map after the defeat of France, in the Napoleonic Wars
1848 – WHSmith opens its 1st railway bookstall, at Euston Station in London
1894 – Vaccine for diphtheria announced by Dr Roux of Paris
1916 – Paul Miliukov delivers in the Russian State Duma the famous “stupidity or treason” speech, precipitating the downfall of the Boris Stürmer government
1952 – “Ivy Mike”, the first thermonuclear weapon to utilize the H-bomb design of Edward Teller and Stanislaw Ulam, is detonated in the Marshall Islands, Pacific Ocean
1974 – UN affirms independence of Cyprus
1977 – US President Jimmy Carter raises the minimum wage from $2.30 to $3.35 an hour, effective from 1st Jan 1981
1981 – Antigua and Barbuda achieved independence from the United Kingdom, with Vere Bird serving as the first prime minister.
1994 – The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) launched its Wind spacecraft on a mission that would include a “halo orbit” between the Sun and Earth to explore the space environment there.
1998 – The European Court of Human Rights is instituted.
2012 – Scientists detect evidence of light from the universe’s first stars, predicted to have formed 500 million years after the big bang
2012 – Google’s Gmail becomes the world’s most popular email service
2012 -22 people are killed and 111 injured after a fuel tanker explodes in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
2018 – Palau becomes the first country to ban sunscreen and its chemicals which bleach coral reefs
2018 – Google employees stage mass walkout to protest the company’s handling of sexual harassment
2020 – Super typhoon Goni makes landfall on Catanduanes island, Philippines, leaving at least 16 dead and 370,000 people displaced
Births & Deaths:
1999 – American professional gridiron football player Walter Payton, who was one of the game’s greatest running backs, died from bile duct cancer.
2006 – American novelist William Styron—known for his treatment of tragic themes and his rich classical prose style, highlighted in such works as Sophie’s Choice (1979)—died at age 81.
Film & TV:
1997 – “Titanic” directed by James Cameron, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet premieres at the Tokyo International Film Festival (Academy Awards Best Picture 1998)
1969 – The Beatles’ “Abbey Road” album goes #1 in US & stays #1 for 11 weeks
1950 – Celtics’ forward Chuck Cooper becomes first African American to play in the NBA in Boston’s 107-84 loss at Fort Wayne Pistons; future Hall of Famer Bob Cousy also debuts for Celtics
Via Britannica / On This Day