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What Happened On This Day

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  • 2014 Haitian politician Jean-Claude Duvalier (“Baby Doc”), who was president of Haiti from 1971 to 1986, died in Port-au-Prince while he was on trial for alleged human rights abuses.
  • 2000 Bulldozer Revolution in former Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
    President Slobodan Milosevic was overthrown after hundreds of thousands of protesters gathered in Belgrade to protest against recently held elections. While largely peaceful, the protesters burnt down the Parliament building. Milosevic resigned and stepped down from his office two days later.
  • 1989 The American racehorse Secretariat, who in 1973 won the U.S. Triple Crown (the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes, and the Belmont Stakes), was euthanized after contracting laminitis.
  • 1984 First Canadian to go into space
    Marc Garneau flew as the payload specialist on STS-41-G, the 6th flight of NASA’s Space Shuttle Challenger. The flight that launched on this day was also the first space mission to have 2 women - Sally Ride and Kathryn Sullivan.
  • 1978 Over 30 major nations ratify the Environmental Modification Convention which prohibits weather warfare that has widespread, long-lasting or severe effects
  • 1970 American singer Janis Joplin, who was known for her fierce and uninhibited musical style, died of an accidental overdose of heroin.
  • 1969 Monty Python’s Flying Circus makes its debut
    The British sketch comedy series lasted for a year on the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). The show was a commentary on daily life in Britain and had several recurring themes and characters played by Eric Idle, Graham Chapman John Cleese, Michael Palin, Terry Gilliam, and Terry Jones. The sketches are often thought to have had a strong influence on television comedy around the world.
  • 1962 James Bond makes his theatrical debut
    The fictional British spy with the code name 007 was featured on the big screen for the first time in Dr. No. Based on the 1958 Ian Fleming novel of the same name, the movie starred Sean Connery as James Bond.
  • 1947 First televised presidential speech in the United States
    Harry Truman, the 33rd President of the US, called on Americans to use less grain to help Europe which was still reeling from the effects of the Second World War. He asked people to avoid eating meat on Tuesdays and eggs and poultry on Thursdays, and to consume 1 less slice of bread every day.
  • 1895 American film comedian and director Buster Keaton, who was known for his deadpan expression and his imaginative and often elaborate visual comedy, was born.
  • 1864 Most of Calcutta destroyed by cyclone, approx 60,000 die
  • 1822 Rutherford B. Hayes, the 19th president of the United States (1877–81), who brought post-Civil War Reconstruction to an end in the South, was born.
  • 1813 Battle of Thames in Canada; Americans defeat British
  • 1789 French Revolution: Women of Paris march to Versailles in the March on Versailles to confront Louis XVI about his refusal to promulgate the decrees on the abolition of feudalism, demand bread, and have the King and his court moved to Paris
  • 1582 Gregorian calendar introduced in Italy and other Catholic countries
  • 1535 The first complete English Bible, the work of Miles Coverdale, came off the press either in Zürich (Switzerland) or in Cologne (Germany).
  • 1190 Richard I (the Lionheart), on his way to Jerusalem during the Third Crusade, invaded a hostile Sicily and took the key city of Messina.

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