What happened on your birthday?

more events on December 7

  • 2008

    US Government assumes conservatorship of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the country’s two largest mortgage financing companies, during the subprime mortgage crisis.

  • 2007

    Barry Bonds of the San Francisco Giants breaks Hank Aaron’s record with his 756th home run. Bonds’ accomplishments were clouded by allegations of illegal steroid use and lying to a grand jury.

  • 2004

    Hurricane Ivan damages 90% of buildings on the island of Grenada; 39 die in the Category 5 storm.

  • 2003

    Catharina-Amalia, Princess of Orange, heiress apparent to the throne of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

  • A tornado in Kensal Green, North West London, damages about 150 properties.

  • California voters remove Democratic governor Gray Davis from office in the state’s first successful recall of a sitting governor (only the second successful recall of a governor in US history); a Republican candidate, bodybuilder/actor Arnold Schwarzenegger wins the election to replace Davis 17 days later.

  • 2001

    US invasion of Afghanistan in reaction to the terrorist attacks of 9/11 begins; it will become the longest war in US history.

  • 2000

    Election Day in the US ends with the winner between presidential candidates George W. Bush and Al Gore still undecided.

  • Hilary Rodham Clinton becomes the first First Lady (1993–2001) elected to public office in the US when she wins a US Senate seat.

  • 1999

    The Recording Industry Association of America files a copyright infringement suit against the file-sharing website Napster.

  • The impeachment trial of US President Bill Clinton opens in the US Senate.

  • 1996

    Fox News Channel begins broadcasting.

  • 1995

    Galileo spacecraft arrives at Jupiter after a 6-year journey.

  • 1994

    The world’s first internet radio broadcast originates from WXYC, the student radio station of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

  • The Organization of African Unity formally admits South Africa as its fifty-third member.

  • 1993

    The Great Flood of 1993 on the Mississippi and Missouri rivers ends, the worst US flood since 1927.

  • The Bosnian Army carries out a surprise attack on the village of Kravica in Srebrenica during the Bosnian War.

  • 1990

    Mary Robinson becomes the first woman elected President of the Republic of Ireland.

  • Operation Desert Shield begins as US troops deploy to Saudi Arabia to discourage Iraq’s Saddam Hussein from invading that country as he had Kuwait.

  • Safety concerns over structural problems force the Leaning Tower of Pisa to be closed to the public.

  • 1989

    Douglas Wilder wins Virginia’s gubernatorial election, becoming the first elected African American governor in the US; during Reconstruction Mississippi had an acting governor and Louisiana had an appointed governor who were black.

  • Prince Akihito is sworn in as Emperor of Japan, following the death of his father, Hirohito.

  • 1988

    Emily Browning, actress, singer, model; won AFI International Award for Best Actress as Violet Baudelaire in Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events.

  • Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat recognizes Israel’s right to exist.

  • An earthquake in Armenia kills an estimated 100,000 people.

  • Pilot and cosmonaut Abdul Ahad Mohmand, the first Afghan to travel to outer space, returns to earth after 9 days aboard the Soviet space station Mir.

  • 1987

    Presidents of five Central American nations sign a peace accord in Guatemala.

  • 1986

    Desmond Tutu becomes first black leader of the Church of the Province of Southern Africa (now the Anglican Church of South Africa).

  • 1985

    Four Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) hijackers seize the Italian cruise ship Achille Lauro and demand the release of 50 Palestinians held by Israel.

  • Japan launches its first interplanetary spacecraft, Sakigake, the first deep space probe launched by any nation other than the US or the USSR.

  • Vietnam seizes the Khmer National Liberation Front headquarters near the Thai border.

  • 1984

    Japan defeats the United States to win the Olympic Gold in baseball.

  • 1983

    A bomb explodes in the US Capitol’s Senate Chambers area, causing $250,000 damages but no one is harmed; a group calling itself the Armed Resistance Unit claimed the bomb was retaliation for US military involvement in Grenada and Lebanon.

  • Iran opens an invasion in the southeast of Iraq.

  • 1981

    The Reagan Administration predicts a record deficit in 1982 of $109 billion.

  • The Washington (D.C.) Star ceases publication after 128 years.

  • Sandra Day O’Connor becomes the first woman to serve on the Supreme Court.

  • Israeli F-16 fighter-bombers destroy Iraq’s only nuclear reactor.

  • 1980

    US President Jimmy Carter signs legislation providing $1.5 billion in loans to salvage Chrysler Corporation.

  • 1979

    ESPN, the Entertainment and Sports Programing Network, debuts.

  • Voyager 1 reaches Jupiter.

  • Pol Pot and his Khmer Rouge are overthrown when Vietnamese troops seize the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh.

  • 1978

    Secret police agent Francesco Gullino assassinates Bulgarian dissident Georgi Markov in London by firing a ricin pellet from a specially designed umbrella.

  • Ethiopia mounts a counter attack against Somalia.

  • 1977

    Panama and US sign Torrijos-Carter Treaties to transfer control of the Panama Canal from the US to Panama at the end of the 20th century.

  • 1976

    Hua Guofeng, premier of the People’s Republic of China, succeeds the late Mao Zedong as chairman of the Communist Party of China.

  • The US Viking 2 spacecraft goes into orbit around Mars.

  • 1975

    A uprising in Bangladesh kills Brig. Gen. Khaled Mosharraf and frees Maj. Gen. Ziaur Rahman, future president of the country, from house arrest.

  • Charlize Theron, model and Academy Award-winning actress (Monster).

  • Vietnamese troops take Phuoc Binh in new full-scale offensive.

  • 1973

    Congress overrides Pres. Richard M. Nixon’s veto of the War Powers Resolution that limited presidential power to wage ware without congressional approval.

  • A U.S. plane accidentally bombs a Cambodian village, killing 400 civilians.

  • 1972

    The crew of Apollo 17, the last manned mission to the moon, lifts off at Cape Canaveral, Florida.

  • President Richard Nixon is re-elected.

  • 1971

    Robin Finck, musician; guitarist with bands Guns N’ Roses and Nine Inch Nails.

  • Apollo 15 returns to Earth. The mission to the moon had marked the first use of the Lunar Roving Vehicle.

  • A thousand U.S. planes bomb Cambodia and Laos.

  • 1970

    Poland and West Germany sign a pact renouncing the use of force to settle disputes, recognizing the Oder-Neisse River as Poland’s western frontier, and acknowledging the transfer to Poland of 40,000 square miles of former German territory.

  • Jockey Bill Shoemaker earns 6,033rd win, breaking Johnny Longden’s record for most lifetime wins; Shoemaker’s record would stand for 29 years.

  • 1969

    The first U.S. units to withdraw from South Vietnam leave Saigon.

  • 1968

    In Operation Swift Saber, U.S. Marines sweep an area 10 miles northwest of Da Nang in South Vietnam.

  • The Battle of Saigon, begun on the day of the Tet Offensive, ends.

  • North Vietnamese use 11 Soviet-built light tanks to overrun the U.S. Special Forces camp at Lang Vei at the end of an 18-hour long siege.

  • 1967

    President Lyndon B. Johnson signs a bill establishing the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

  • In Cleveland, Ohio, Carl B. Stokes becomes the first African American elected mayor of a major American city.

  • 1966

    Jimmy Donal “Jimbo” Wales, co-founder of Wikipedia.

  • The United States loses seven planes over North Vietnam, the most in the war up to this point.

  • The U.S. Marine Corps launches Operation Hasting to drive the North Vietnamese Army back across the Demilitarized Zone in Vietnam.

  • 1965

    Pro Football Hall of Fame opens in Canton, Ohio.

  • President Lyndon B. Johnson authorizes the use of ground troops in combat operations.

  • U.S. jets hit Dong Hoi guerrilla base in reprisal for the Viet Cong raids.

  • 1964

    Congress overwhelmingly passes the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, allowing the president to use unlimited military force to prevent attacks on U.S. forces.

  • The British band The Beatles are greeted by 25,000 fans upon their arrival in the United States at JFK Airport.

  • 1963

    Patrick Kennedy, son of President and Mrs. John F. Kennedy; dies 39 hours later.

  • The Mona Lisa is put on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

  • 1960

    Leonid Brezhnev becomes president of the Soviet Union.

  • 1958

    Howard Johnson sets an aircraft altitude record in F-104.

  • 1957

    A fire in the Windscale plutonium production reactor (later called Sellafield) north of Liverpool, England, spreads radioactive iodine and polonium through the countryside and into the Irish Sea. Livestock in the immediate area were destroyed, along with 500,000 gallons of milk. At least 30, and possibly as many as 1,000, cancer deaths were subsequently linked to the accident.

  • Katie Couric, journalist, author; has hosted news and talk shows on all three major TV networks.

  • 1956

    Larry Bird, basketball player for the Boston Celtics.

  • UN General Assembly calls for France, Israel and the UK to immediately withdraw their troops from Egypt.

  • Michael Feinstein, singer, musician; archivist for Great American Songbook.

  • 1955

    Yo Yo Ma, cellist.

  • Marian Anderson becomes the first African American to sing at the Metropolitan Opera House.

  • 1954

    Integration of public schools begins in Washington D.C. and Maryland.

  • Louise Erdrich, American author.

  • French troops surrender to the Vietminh at Dien Bien Phu.

  • 1953

    Nikita Krushchev elected first secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

  • 1952

    Vladimir Putin, former prime minister and current (2013) president of Russia.

  • In Korea, Communist POWs at Koje-do riot against their American captors.

  • French forces in Indochina launch Operation Violette in an effort to push Viet Minh forces away from the town of Ba Vi.

  • 1951

    U.N. forces in Korea under General Matthew Ridgeway launch Operation Ripper, an offensive to straighten out the U.N. front lines against the Chinese.

  • 1950

    Alexa Canady, first female African-American neurosurgeon.

  • Margaret “Peggy” Noonan, author, The Wall Street Journal columnist; special assistant to President Ronald Reagan.

  • Julie Kavner, Emmy Award–winning actress (Rhoda, 1968) and voice actress (The Simpsons, 1992); best known as the voice of Marge Simpson in The Simpsons.

  • Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter (“Leaving Louisiana in the Broad Daylight,” “Ain’t Living Long Like This”) and author (Chinaberry Sidewalks) Rodney Crowell.

  • The United States recognizes Vietnam under the leadership of Emperor Bao Dai, not Ho Chi Minh who is recognized by the Soviets.

  • 1949

    Tom Waits, singer, songwriter (“Jersey Girl,” “Downtown Train”), musician, actor (Down by Law).

  • The A.F.L. and the C.I.O. organize a non-Communist international trade union.

  • East Germany, the German Democratic Republic, is formed.

  • Iva Toguri D’Aquino, better known as Tokyo Rose, is sentenced to 10 years in prison for treason.

  • Gloria Gaynor, Grammy Award–winning singer (“I Will Survive”).

  • 1948

    Kenny Loggins, singer, songwriter; half of Loggins and Messina duo.

  • 1947

    Johnny Bench, pro baseball catcher; twice named National League Most Valuable Player, he was dubbed the greatest catcher in baseball history by ESPN.

  • 1946

    The president of the United Mine Workers, John L. Lewis, orders all striking miners back to work.

  • 1945

    Germany signs an unconditional surrender, effectively ending World War II in Europe.

  • U.S. air ace Major Thomas B. McGuire, Jr. is killed in the Pacific.

  • 1944

    President Franklin D. Roosevelt is elected to a fourth term by defeating Thomas Dewey.

  • Prisoner uprising at Birkenau concentration camp.

  • German forces launch a major counter attack against U.S. forces near Mortain, France.

  • The Germans launch a second attack against the Allied beachead at Anzio, Italy. They hoped to push the Allies back into the sea.

  • The U.S. Air Force announces the production of the first jet-fighter, Bell P-59 Airacomet.

  • 1943

    Joni Mitchell, singer, songwriter.

  • British troops launch a limited offensive along the coast of Burma.

  • Beverley McLachlin, first woman to serve as Chief Justice of Canada.

  • Adolf Hitler makes the V-2 missile program a top priority in armament planning.

  • Peter Carey, Australian writer (Illywhacker, Oscar and Lucinda).

  • The last major German strongholds in North Africa–Tunis and Bizerte–fall to Allied forces.

  • 1942

    The U.S. Navy launches USS New Jersey, the largest battleship ever built.

  • The Red Army pushes back the German line northwest of Stalingrad.

  • Garrison Keillor, American humorist and writer, creator of the long-running PBS program A Prairie Home Companion.

  • The U.S. 1st Marine Division under General A. A. Vandegrift lands on the islands of Guadalcanal and Tulagi in the Solomon islands. This is the first American amphibious landing of the war.

  • The Japanese invade Attu and Kiska in the Aleutian Islands.

  • In the Battle of the Coral Sea, Japanese and American navies attack each other with carrier-launched warplanes. It is the first time in the history of naval warfare where two fleets fought without seeing each other.Two crucial battles in 1942 marked the turning point of the war in the Pacific.

  • Japanese troops land on New Guinea.

  • 1941

    Japanese planes raid Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, in a surprise attack, bringing the US into WWII.

  • Although a neutral country, the United States sends troops to occupy Iceland to keep it out of Germany’s hands.

  • German forces invade Greece and Yugoslavia.

  • 1940

    Tacoma Bridge in Washington State collapses.

  • Germany’s blitz against London begins during the Battle of Britain.

  • Ringo Starr, musician, one of the Beatles.

  • 1939

    Prince Michael of Greece and Denmark.

  • 1938

    The United States recognizes Nazi Germany’s conquest of Austria.

  • 1937

    The German Condor Legion arrives in Spain to assist Fransico Franco’s forces.

  • Merle Haggard, American country musician.

  • 1936

    Buddy Holly, singer, songwriter, rock ‘n roll pioneer.

  • The United States declares non-intervention in the Spanish Civil War.

  • Hitler sends German troops into the Rhineland, violating the Locarno Pact.

  • 1935

    Thomas Keneally, novelist, author of Schindler’s Ark, the basis for the film Schindler’s List.

  • Malcolm Campbell sets an auto speed record of 276.8 mph in Florida.

  • 1934

    Leroi Jones (Imamu Amiri Baraka), playwright.

  • In Washington, the U.S. Court of Appeals rules that the government can neither confiscate nor ban James Joyce’s novel Ulysses.

  • Six thousand pastors in Berlin defy the Nazis insisting that they will not be silenced.

  • 1933

    The film King Kong premieres in New York City.

  • The board game Monopoly is invented.

  • 1932

    Ellen Burstyn, actress; won Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role in Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore (1974); won Tony for Same Time, Next Year (1975).

  • Abebe Bikila, barefoot runner from Ethiopia, winner of the 1960 Olympic marathon.

  • Over 7,000 war veterans march on Washington, D.C., demanding their bonus pay for service in World War I.

  • Jenny Joseph, English poet and novelist (The Thinking Heart, The Inland Sea).

  • 1931

    A report indicates that Nazis would ensure “Nordic dominance” by sterilizing certain races.

  • Desmond Tutu, South African religious leader.

  • Amelia Earhart weds George Putnam in Connecticut.

  • 1930

    Sonny Rollins, saxophonist.

  • Jack Greene, country singer, musician; won Country Music Association Male Vocalist of the Year, Single of the Year, Album of the Year and Song of the Year for “There Goes My Everything” (1967).

  • 1929

    Benny Andersen, Danish writer, poet and jazz musician.

  • Andre Previn, pianist and conductor.

  • 1928

    Noam Chomsky, writer, linguist and political activist.

  • Norton David Zinder, biologist.

  • James Watson, co-discoverer of the structure of DNA.

  • The United States signs an arbitration treaty with France.

  • 1927

    Edwin Edwards, governor of Louisiana.

  • Christopher Stone becomes the first British ‘disc jockey’ when he plays records for the BBC.

  • Gerry Mulligan, jazz saxophonist.

  • A Texas law that bans Negroes from voting is ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.

  • 1926

    Joan Sutherland, opera singer.

  • Negro History Week, originated by Carter G. Woodson, is observed for the first time.

  • 1925

    Afrikaans is recognized as one of the official languages of South Africa, along with English and Dutch.

  • The Soviet Red Army occupies Outer Mongolia.

  • 1924

    Four planes leave Seattle on the first successful flight around the world.

  • 1922

    The Irish Republican Army cuts the cable link between the United States and Europe at Waterville landing station.

  • Jean-Pierre Rampal, flautist.

  • 1921

    Benito Mussolini declares himself to be leader of the National Fascist Party in Italy.

  • 1919

    Eva (Evita) Perón, first lady of Argentina.

  • 1918

    Spartacists call for a German revolution.

  • Billy Graham, evangelist.

  • Finland signs an alliance treaty with Germany.

  • The Germans move 75,000 troops from the Eastern Front to the Western Front.

  • 1917

    The United States declares war on Austria-Hungary with only one dissenting vote in Congress.

  • The Bolsheviks, led by Lenin, take power in Russia.

  • British General Sir Edmond Allenby breaks the Turkish defensive line in the Third Battle of Gaza.

  • Gwendolyn Brooks, African-American poet.

  • The United States declares war on Germany and enters World War I on Allied side.

  • The British steamer California is sunk off the coast of Ireland by a German U-boat.

  • 1916

    Jeannette Rankin (R-Montana) is elected the first congresswoman.

  • President Woodrow Wilson is re-elected, but the race is so close that all votes must be counted before an outcome can be determined, so the results are not known until November 11.

  • The U.S. Congress passes the Workman’s Compensation Act.

  • Persia forms an alliance with Britain and Russia.

  • 1915

    The German submarine U-20 torpedoes the passenger ship Lusitiania, sinking her in 21 minutes with 1,978 people on board.

  • Fieldmarshal Paul von Hindenburg moves on Russians at Masurian Lakes.

  • 1914

    James Alfred Van Allen, discovered and named the two radiation belts surrounding the Earth.

  • The first vessel passes through the Panama Canal.

  • 1913

    Albert Camus, French philosopher, novelist and dramatist.

  • In attempting to find ways to lower the cost of the automobile and make it more affordable to ordinary Americans, Henry Ford took note of the work of efficiency experts like Frederick Taylor, the "father of scientific management." The result was the assembly line that reduced the time it took to manufacture a car, from 12 hours to 93 minutes.

  • The Turks lose 5,000 men in a battle with the Bulgarian army in Gallipoli.

  • 1912

    French aviator Roland Garros sets an altitude record of 13,200 feet.

  • French aviator, Heri Seimet flies non-stop from London to Paris in three hours.

  • Charles Addams, cartoonist, creator of the Addams Family.

  • 1911

    Butterfly McQueen (Thelma McQueen), actress best known for her role as Scarlett O’Hara’s maid Prissy in Gone with the Wind (1939); won Daytime Emmy portraying Aunt Thelma, a fairy godmother in “The Seven Wishes of Joanna Peabody,” an ABC Afterschool Special.

  • 1909

    Elia Kazan, producer, screenwriter and director who won directing Oscars for Gentleman’s Agreement and On the Waterfront.

  • Peter Rodino, U.S. congressman, chairman of the Watergate hearings.

  • Virginia Apgar, American physician and medical researcher.

  • Edwin Herbert Land, inventor of the Polaroid Land Camera.

  • Americans Robert Peary and Matthew Henson become the first men to reach the North Pole.

  • 1908

    Anna Magnani, Italian actress.

  • 1907

    Helen MacInnes, writer.

  • Rolf Jacobsen, Norwegian poet.

  • 1906

    In North Carolina, a mob defies a court order and lynches three African Americans which becomes known as “The Lyerly Murders.”

  • Leroy “Satchel” Page, baseball pitcher.

  • Finland becomes the third country to give women the right to vote, decreeing universal suffrage for all citizens over 24, however, barring those persons who are supported by the state.

  • 1905

    W. Warrick Cardozo, physician, researcher of Sickle Cell Anemia.

  • Ulf Svante von Euler-Chelpin, Swedish physiologist.

  • 1904

    Ralph Bunche, U.S. diplomat and the first African-American Nobel Prize winner.

  • Reinhard Heydrich, German SS leader and architect of the “Final Solution.”

  • The Japanese bomb the Russian town of Vladivostok.

  • 1903

    Konrad Lorenz, pioneering zoologist.

  • Louis Leakey, anthropologist, archeologist and paleontologist; believed Africa was the cradle of mankind.

  • Professor Pierre Curie reveals the discovery of Polonium.

  • French Army Nationalists are revealed to have forged documents to guarantee a conviction for Alfred Dreyfus.

  • 1902

    Imperial Court of China returns to Peking. The Empress Dowager resumes her reign.

  • 1901

    Gary Cooper, film actor (High Noon, Friendly Persuasion).

  • New York stock exchange trading exceeds two million shares for the first time in history.

  • 1900

    Heinrich Himmler, head of the Nazi SS and organizer of extermination camps in Eastern Europe.

  • Heinrich Himmler, Nazi leader.

  • Taylor Caldwell, novelist.

  • The Boxer rebels cut the rail links between Peking and Tientsin in China.

  • 1899

    Elizabeth Bowen, British novelist and short story writer (The Death of the Heart).

  • 1896

    Stuart Davis, painter.

  • The Modern Olympics begin in Athens with eight nations participating.

  • 1895

    Sir Milton Margay, the first prime minister of Sierra Leone.

  • 1892

    The first heavyweight-title boxing match fought with gloves under Marquis of Queensbury rules ends when James J. Corbett knocks out John L. Sullivan in the 21st round.

  • Archibald MacLeish, American poet and statesman.

  • Josip Broz [Tito], leader of Yugoslavia during after World War II.

  • 1888

    Ernst Toch, composer and pianist.

  • Joyce Cary, Irish-born novelist (The Horse’s Mouth).

  • An incubator is used for the first time on a premature infant.

  • Theophilus Van Kannel of Philadelphia receives a patent for the revolving door.

  • 1887

    Marc Chagall, French painter and designer.

  • Helen Parkhurst, educator, developed a technique later known as the Dalton Plan.

  • 1885

    Nils Bohr, physicist whose model of atomic structure helped establish quantum theory.

  • Sinclair Lewis, novelist of satire and realism. (Arrowsmith, Elmer Gantry).

  • 1882

    American pugilist John L. Sullivan becomes the last of the bare-knuckle world heavyweight champions with his defeat of Patty Ryan in Mississippi City.

  • 1881

    Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday, two participants in Tombstone, Arizona’s, famous Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, are jailed as the hearings on what happened in the fight grow near.

  • 1877

    Indian chief Sitting Bull enters Canada with a trail of Indians after the Battle of Little Bighorn.

  • 1876

    Rutherford B. Hayes is elected 19th president of the United States.

  • The James-Younger gang botches an attempt to rob the First National Bank of Northfield, Minnesota.

  • Mata Hari, [Margaretha G. Macleod] who passed secrets to the Germans in World War I.

  • Alexander Graham Bell is granted a patent for the telephone.

  • 1875

    Maurice Ravel, composer (“Bolero”).

  • 1873

    Willa Cather, Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist (O Pioneers!, My Antonia).

  • 1872

    Piet Mondrian, Dutch abstract painter, leader of the movement known as “de Stijl.”

  • 1870

    French Minister of the Interior Leon Gambetta escapes besieged Paris by balloon, reaching the French provisional government in Tours.

  • Marcus Loew, film executive, consolidated studios to create MGM.

  • 1867

    Marie Curie, French chemist who researched radioactivity and discovered radium.

  • Laura Ingalls Wilder, author whose works were the basis for television’s Little House on the Prairie.

  • 1866

    Lincoln Joseph Steffens, journalist.

  • 1865

    At the Battle of Sailer’s Creek, a third of Lee‘s army is cut off by Union troops pursuing him to Appomattox.

  • Cheyenne and Sioux warriors attack Julesburg, Colo., in retaliation for the Sand Creek Massacre.

  • 1864

    Union General Phil Sheridan’s troops skirmish with the Confederates under Jubal Early outside Winchester, Virginia.

  • Union troops capture part of Confederate General Jubal Early‘s army at Moorefield, West Virginia.

  • The Battle of the Wilderness ends with heavy losses to both sides.

  • 1863

    Outlaw George Ives, an alleged member of an outlaw gang known as the “Innocents,” robs and then kills Nick Thiebalt in the Ruby Valley of what would become Montana.

  • Confederate General Robert E. Lee, in Hagerstown, Maryland, reports his defeat at Gettysburg to President Jefferson Davis.

  • Mexico City is captured by French troops.

  • 1862

    Confederate forces surprise an equal number of Union troops at the Battle of Prairie Grove, Arkansas.

  • Confederate troops strike Union troops at the Battle of Eltham’s Landing in Virginia.

  • Confederate forces attack General Ulysses S. Grant at Shiloh, Tennessee.

  • Confederate forces surprise the Union army at the Battle of Pea Ridge, in Arkansas, but the Union is victorious.

  • 1861

    USS Santiago de Cuba, under Commander Daniel B. Ridgely, halts the British schooner Eugenia Smith and captures J.W. Zacharie, a New Orleans merchant and Confederate purchasing agent.

  • Union General Ulysses S. Grant launches an unsuccessful raid on Belmont, Missouri.

  • 1860

    Edith Sitwell, poet.

  • Anna Marie Robertson (Grandma Moses), American folk painter who started her career at age 78, best known for her paintings of rural life.

  • Gustav Mahler, composer and conductor.

  • 1853

    Japan opens its ports to trade with the West after 250 years of isolation.

  • 1849

    James Whitcomb Riley, poet.

  • Edgar Allan Poe, aged 40, dies a tragic death in Baltimore. Never able to overcome his drinking habits, he was found in a delirious condition outside a saloon that was used as a voting place.

  • The Austrian Reichstag is dissolved.

  • 1848

    Paul Gaugin, French post-impressionist painter.

  • 1847

    The American Medical Association is formed in Philadelphia.

  • U.S. General Winfield Scott occupies Vera Cruz, Mexico.

  • 1846

    Zachary Taylor, one of the heroes of the Mexican War, is elected president.

  • 1845

    Louis III, last King of Bavaria.

  • 1840

    Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Russian composer.

  • 1838

    Soprano Jenny Lind (“the Swedish Nightingale”) makes her debut in Weber’s opera Der Freischultz.

  • 1837

    Sir James Murray, Scottish lexicographer and editor.

  • 1833

    Johannes Brahms, German composer.

  • 1830

    Joseph Smith and five others organize the Church of Latter-Day Saints in Seneca, New York.

  • 1824

    Beethoven’s “Ninth Symphony” premieres in Vienna.

  • 1818

    The first successful U.S. educational magazine, Academician, begins publication in New York City.

  • 1815

    After defeating Napoleon at Waterloo, the victorious Allies march into Paris.

  • 1814

    Andrew Jackson attacks and captures Pensacola, Florida, defeating the Spanish and driving out a British force.

  • Sir Walter Scott’s novel Waverley is published anonymously so as not to damage his reputation as a poet.

  • Granted sovereignty in the island of Elba and a pension from the French government, Napoleon Bonaparte abdicates at Fontainebleau. He is allowed to keep the title of emperor.

  • 1813

    The earliest known printed reference to the United States by the nickname “Uncle Sam” occurs in the Troy Post.

  • 1812

    On the road to Moscow, Napoleon wins a costly victory over the Russians at Borodino.

  • Robert Browning, English poet.

  • Charles Dickens, prolific English novelist whose stories reflected life in Victorian England. Some of his more famous works include Oliver Twist, A Christmas Carol and A Tale of Two Cities.

  • 1811

    Rebellious Indians in a conspiracy organized in defiance of the United States government by Tecumseh, Shawnee chief, are defeated during his absence in the Battle of the Wabash (or Tippecanoe) by William Henry Harrison, governor of Indiana Territory.

  • 1810

    Theodor Schwann, German physiologist.

  • 1809

    Aeronaut Jean Pierre Blanchard — the first person to make an aerial voyage in the New World — dies at the age of 56.

  • 1808

    James Madison is elected president in succession of Thomas Jefferson.

  • 1807

    Czar Alexander meets with Napoleon Bonaparte.

  • Responding to Napoleon Bonaparte‘s attempted blockade of the British Isles, the British blockade Continental Europe.

  • 1804

    John Deere, farm equipment manufacturer

  • 1800

    Congress divides the Northwest Territory into two parts. The western part will becomes the Indiana Territory and the eastern section remains the Northwest Territory.

  • Millard Fillmore, 13th President of the United States.

  • 1799

    In Palestine, Napoleon captures Jaffa and his men massacre more than 2,000 Albanian prisoners.

  • 1798

    Napoleon Bonaparte‘s army begins its march towards Cairo from Alexandria.

  • 1795

    Thomas Paine defends the principal of universal suffrage at the Constitutional Convention in Paris.

  • 1791

    Benjamin Rush, Richard Allen and Absalom Jones found the Non-denominational African Church.

  • 1789

    The First U.S. Congress begins regular sessions at Federal Hall in New York City.

  • 1787

    Delaware becomes the first state to ratify the Constitution of the United States.

  • 1786

    Sacagawea (also Sacajawea), American explorer.

  • 1785

    Frenchman Jean-Pierre Blanchard and American Dr. John Jeffries make the first crossing of the English Channel in a hydrogen balloon.

  • 1783

    The Siege of Gibraltar, which was pursued by the Spanish and the French since July 24, 1779, is finally lifted.

  • 1782

    General George Washington authorizes the award of the Purple Heart for soldiers wounded in combat.

  • 1778

    Shawnee Indians attack and lay siege to Boonesborough, Kentucky.

  • George Bryan “Beau” Brummell, English wit.

  • 1777

    American troops give up Fort Ticonderoga, on Lake Champlain, to the British.

  • 1775

    The United Colonies change their name to the United States.

  • 1774

    The British close the port of Boston to all commerce.

  • 1767

    Daniel Boone sights present-day Kentucky.

  • 1765

    Delegates from nine of the American colonies meet in New York to discuss the Stamp Act Crisis and colonial response to it.

  • 1763

    Indian chief Pontiac begins his attack on a British fort in present-day Detroit, Michigan.

  • 1752

    Joseph-Marie Jacquard, French inventor, textile industry pioneer.

  • 1746

    William Billings, composer.

  • 1745

    Etienne Montgolfier, French inventor who, with his brother, launched the first successful hot-air balloon.

  • 1742

    A Spanish force invading Georgia runs headlong into the colony’s British defenders. The battle decides the fate of a colony.

  • 1718

    Israel Putnam, American Revolutionary War hero.

  • 1712

    The Pennsylvania Assembly bans the importation of slaves.

  • 1707

    Stephen Hopkins, signer of the Declaration of Independence.

  • 1701

    England, Austria, and the Netherlands form an Alliance against France.

  • 1668

    The Netherlands, England and Sweden conclude an alliance directed against Louis XIV of France.

  • 1665

    The London Gazette, the oldest surviving journal, is first published.

  • 1654

    Louis XIV is crowned king of France.

  • 1630

    The town of Trimountaine in Massachusetts is renamed Boston. It became the state capital.

  • 1571

    In the last great clash of galleys, the Ottoman navy is defeated at Lepanto, Greece, by a Christian naval coalition under the overall command of Spain’s Don Juan de Austria.

  • At the Battle of Lepanto in the Mediterranean Sea, the Christian galley fleet destroys the Turkish galley fleet.

  • 1558

    The French, under the Duke of Guise, finally take the port of Calais from the English.

  • 1546

    The Peace of Ardes ends the war between France and England.

  • 1533

    Elizabeth I, Queen of England (1558-1603), led her country during the exploration of the New World and war with Spain.

  • 1525

    The German peasants’ revolt is crushed by the ruling class and church.

  • 1502

    Gregory XIII, Roman Catholic pope.

  • 1498

    Christopher Columbus leaves on his third voyage of exploration.

  • 1483

    Raphael (Raffaello Sanzio), Italian painter (Sistine Madonna).

  • 1477

    Sir Thomas More, English statesman and writer, famous for Utopia, later executed for refusing to accept Henry VIII as the head of the church.

  • 1429

    Joan of Arc breaks the English siege of Orleans.

  • 1327

    King Edward II of England is deposed.

  • 1274

    The Second Council of Lyons opens in France to regulate the election of the pope.

  • 1199

    English King Richard I is killed by an arrow at the Siege of the Castle of Chalus in France.

  • 983

    Otto III takes the throne after his father’s death in Italy. A power struggle between magnates ensues.

  • 558

    The dome of the church of St. Sophia in Constantinople collapses. Its immediate rebuilding is ordered by Justinian.

  • 457

    A Thracian officer by the name of Leo is proclaimed as emperor of the East by the army general, Aspar, on the death of the Emperor Marcian.

  • 322

    The Greek philosopher Aristotle dies.

  • 161

    On the death of Antoninus at Lorium, Marcus Aurelius becomes emperor.

  • 43

    Cicero, considered one of the greatest sons of Rome, is assassinated on the orders of Marcus Antonius.