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2020 – US President Donald Trump orders about 700 troops withdrawn from Somalia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