On This Day…

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1240 – Mongols under Batu Khan occupy and destroy Kiev; out of 50,000 people in the city only 2,000 survive

1865 – 13th Amendment of the United States Constitution is ratified, abolishing slavery

1921 – Anglo-Irish Treaty signed; Ireland receives dominion status; partition creates Northern Ireland

1933 – In what was considered a landmark ruling, a U.S. federal judge held that James Joyce’s Ulysses was not obscene, thus allowing for greater freedoms in literary works.

1957 – Indonesia begins nationalizing Dutch possessions

1958 – US lunar probe Pioneer 3 reaches 107,269 km, falls back

1964 – President Antonio Segni of Italy resigns

1973 – Gerald R. Ford was sworn in as vice president of the United States, succeeding Spiro T. Agnew, who had resigned.

1977 – South Africa grants Bophuthatswana independence

1983 – A bomb planted on a bus in Jerusalem explodes, kills 6 Israelis

1987 – 3 satanist Missouri teenagers bludgeon comrade to death for “fun”

1988 – Nelson Mandela is transferred to Victor Vester Prison, Capetown

1990 – Saddam Hussein announces release of all foreign hostages

1992 – The Babri Masjid (“Mosque of Bābur”) in Ayodhya was destroyed by Hindu fundamentalists, leading to Hindu-Muslim riots throughout India.

1995 – Michael Jackson collapses while rehearsing for an HBO special

1998 – Hugo Chávez is elected President of Venezuela

2006 – NASA reveals photographs taken by Mars Global Surveyor suggesting the presence of liquid water on Mars

2012 – A 243 million year old Nyasasaurus fossil is discovered in Tanzania

2013 – Pope Francis gives his ascent to a proposal to create a permanent post on the Pontifical Commission on cases of sin and sexual abuse of minors

2017 – US President Donald Trump officially recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, announcing plans to move US embassy there

2018 – Luxembourg is the first country to make all public transport free

2018 – Oldest-known plague sample found in 4,900-year-old remains of 20-year old woman in Gökhem, southern Sweden published in “Cell”

2019 – Saudi state-owned oil company Saudi Aramco raises a record $25.6 billion in its first public share offering, makes it the world’s most valuable company at $1.7 trillion

2020 – Japanese space capsule Hayabusa-2 lands safely back on earth in Australia, carrying first significant rock samples from an asteroid, the Ryugu

2020 – US President Donald Trump orders about 700 troops withdrawn from Somalia

Film & TV:

2002 – “Adaptation” directed by Spike Jonze, starring Nicolas Cage and Meryl Streep premieres


1969 – 300,000 attend Altamont free concert in California, featuring The Rolling Stones. Marred by violence and four deaths.


1992 – San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Jerry Rice catches NFL record 101st touchdown in a 27-3 win over Miami Dolphins at Candlestick Park

Via Britannica / On This Day

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