On This Day…

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962 – Byzantine-Arab Wars: Under the future Emperor Nicephorus Phocas, Byzantine troops storm the city of Aleppo, recovering the tattered tunic of John the Baptist

1688 – King James II, the last Roman Catholic British monarch flees to France from William of Orange

1783 – US General George Washington resigns his military commission as Commander-in-Chief of the Army to Congress

1888 – Vincent van Gogh cuts off his left ear with a razor, after argument with fellow painter Paul Gauguin, and sends to a prostitute for safe keeping

1920 – Government of Ireland Act / Home Rule Act passed partitioning Ireland

1954 – The first human kidney transplant is performed by Dr. Joseph E. Murray at Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts

1968 – Eighty-two crewmen of the USS Pueblo were released after being held in captivity for 11 months by North Korea, which claimed the U.S. Navy intelligence ship had crossed into its waters.

1995 – Aleksander Kwaśniewski, formerly an apparatchik of Poland’s ruling communist party, was sworn in as the country’s president this day in 1995, having narrowly defeated Lech Wałęsa, Poland’s first postcommunist president.

2001 – Argentina announced the suspension of payments on its external debt—the biggest debt default in history to date.

2004 – Macquarie Island in the Southern Ocean is hit by an 8.1 magnitude earthquake.

2005 – Azerbaijan Airlines Flight 217 from Baku, Azerbaijan, to Aktau, Kazakhstan crashes shortly after takeoff killing 23 people.

2012 – 200 civilians are killed by Syrian government warplanes in Helfaya, Syria

2012 – The Seleka rebel coalition takes over Bambari, the third largest town in the Central African Republic

2013 – Russian weapons designer Mikhail Kalashnikov—who invented the AK-47 (automatic Kalashnikov Model 1947), an assault rifle that became one of the most successful and ubiquitous firearms of the modern era—died in Izhevsk, Russia.

2016 – United Nations Security Council adopts a landmark resolution demanding a halt to all Israeli settlement in Palestinian territory occupied since 1967. Resolution 2334 was moved by New Zealand, Malaysia, Senegal and Venezuela and passed 14-0 with a US abstention.

Births & Deaths:

1929 – American jazz trumpeter and vocalist Chet Baker, who was noted for the plaintive, fragile tone of both his playing and his singing, was born.

Film & TV:

1928 – NBC sets up a permanent, coast-to-coast radio network

1951 – National Football League Championship, LA Memorial Coliseum: Los Angeles Rams beat Cleveland Browns, 24-17; first coast-to-coast televised NFL title game

Music:

1893 – Opera “Hansel und Gretel” by Engelbert Humperdinck and his sister Adelheid Wette premieres in Weimar, conducted by Richard Strauss

Sport:

1951 – National Football League Championship, LA Memorial Coliseum: Los Angeles Rams beat Cleveland Browns, 24-17; first coast-to-coast televised NFL title game

Via Britannica / On This Day

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