On This Day…

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1586 – Sir Thomas Herriot introduces potatoes to England from Colombia

1854 – Eureka Stockade: In what is claimed by many to be the birth of Australian democracy, more than 20 goldminers at Ballarat, Victoria, are killed by state troopers in an uprising over mining licences

1967 – 1st human heart transplant performed in South Africa by Dr Christiaan Barnard on Louis Washkansky

1984 – Bhopal disaster: Union Carbide pesticide plant leak 45 tons of methyl isocyanate and other toxic compounds in Bhopal, India, kills 2,259 (official figure) – other estimates as high as 16,000 (including later deaths) and over half a million injured

1989 – Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev and US President George H. W. Bush, declare the Cold War over

1991 – White House Chief of Staff John Sununu resigns

2007 – Devastating winter storms cause Chehalis River to flood many cities in Lewis County, Washington, closing 20-mile portion of Interstate 5 for several days, resulting in at least eight deaths and billions of dollars of damage

2017 – First pizza party in space held by astronauts of the International Space Station

2018 – David Attenborough warns collapse of civilisation and the natural world on the horizon at UN climate summit in Poland

2019 – Kamala Harris ends her campaign to be the Democratic candidate for president

2019 – World leaders discussing US President Donald Trump in unflattering terms at NATO reception caught on camera and goes viral

2019 – 70th anniversary of NATO marked by gathering in London of world leaders and reception by Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace

2020 – “I actually believe they’re going to be the most difficult time in the public health history of this nation,” warns Dr. Robert Redfield, head of US CDC about the months ahead with COVID-19

Births & Deaths:

1895 – Anna Freud, a founder of child psychoanalysis and one of its foremost practitioners, was born in Vienna.

2000 – Gwendolyn Brooks, a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet who spoke of and to the everyday struggles and triumphs of African Americans, died in Chicago.

Film & TV:

1947 – Tennessee Williams’s A Streetcar Named Desire premiered on Broadway, starring Jessica Tandy, Kim Hunter, and Marlon Brando; the latter two appeared in the 1951 film adaptation.


1908 – Edward Elgar’s 1st Symphony in A performed by the Hallé Orchestra conducted by Hans Richter, premieres in Manchester, England

2019 – Spotify say Drake the most streamed star of the 2010s with 28 billion streams, Ed Sheeran’s “Shape Of You” most streamed track with 2.4 billion streams


1961 – Dutchman Anton Geesink becomes 1st non-Japanese judo world champion

2018 – Ballon d’Or: Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modrić wins; first time since 2007 that either Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo doesn’t win award; Norwegian striker Ada Hegerberg is inaugural women’s winner

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