On this date in history…

If I may…


In AD 70, in the aftermath of the end of the Siege of Jerusalem, a Roman army under future Emperor Titus plundered the city.

In 1533, England’s Queen Elizabeth I was born in Greenwich.

In 1812, the Battle of Borodino took place as French troops clashed with Russian forces outside Moscow. (The battle, ultimately won by Russia, was commemorated by composer Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture.”)

In 1825, the Marquis de Lafayette, the French hero of the American Revolution, bade farewell to President John Quincy Adams at the White House.

In 1876, in Northfield, MN, Jesse James and the James-Younger Gang attempted to rob the town’s bank, but were driven off by armed citizens.

In 1909, producer/writer/director/actor Elia Kazan was born in Constantinople.

In 1921, in Atlantic City, NJ, the first Miss America Pageant, a two-day event, was held.

In 1927, American television pioneer Philo T. Farnsworth, age 21, succeeded in transmitting the image of a line through purely electronic means with a device called an “image dissector.”

In 1936, singer/songwriter/musician Buddy Holly was born in Lubbock, TX.

In 1937, actor John Philip Law was born in Hollywood. His later credits would include both the underplayed title character in “Diabolik”, and the overplayed Kalgon in “Space Mutiny”.

In 1940, during World War II, the German Luftwaffe began the Blitz, bombing London and other British cities for over 50 consecutive nights.

In 1945, Japanese forces on Wake Island, which they had held since December of 1941, surrendered to U.S. Marines.

In 1953, Nikita Khrushchev was elected first secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

In 1955, actress/singer Mira Furlan was born in Zagreb, PR Croatia, FPR Yugoslavia. Her diplomatic posting to Babylon 5 would come later.

In 1957, the original animated version of the NBC-TV peacock logo, used to denote programs “brought to you in living color,” made its debut at the beginning of “Your Hit Parade.”

In 1957, the song “You Send Me”, sung by Sam Cooke, was released by Keen Records.

In 1963, the National Professional Football Hall of Fame was dedicated in Canton, OH.

In 1964, the controversial “Daisy” commercial for President Lyndon Johnson’s election campaign, featuring a girl plucking flower petals followed by footage of a nuclear explosion, aired on NBC-TV.

In 1977, the Panama Canal treaties, calling for the U.S. to eventually turn over control of the waterway to Panama, were signed in Washington by President Jimmy Carter and Panamanian leader Omar Torrijos.

In 1978, musician/songwriter/actor Keith Moon died in Westminster, London, England at age 32.

In 1979, the ESPN cable network debuted with the first broadcast of “SportsCenter.

In 1984, the horror movie “Shark: Rosso nell’oceano” was released in Italy. Re-titled “Devil Fish”, it would be inflicted upon Mike & the ‘bots some years later.

In 1985, the animated series “Star Wars: Droids” and “Star Wars: Ewoks” premiered on ABC-TV.

In 1987, Erich Honecker became the first East German head of state to visit West Germany as he arrived for a five-day visit.

Also in 1987, on “Doctor Who”, part one of “Time and the Rani” was broadcast on BBC 1. It featured the first appearance of Sylvester McCoy as the Seventh Doctor (and also, briefly, as the Sixth Doctor).

In 1990, Kimberly Bergalis of Fort Pierce, FL came forward to identify herself as the young woman who had been infected with AIDS, allegedly by her late dentist. (Bergalis died the following year.)

In 1991, on “Mystery Science Theater 3000” the kaiju movie “Gamera vs. Guiron” was featured. It included the (sort of) Michael Feinstein version of Gamera’s theme song, and the lesson that, apparently, traffic accidents are bad.

In 1994, director/screenwriter Terrence Young died in Cannes at age 79. He directed three of the first four James Bond movies, and had considerable creative input on developing the character for film.

In 1996, rapper Tupac Shakur was shot and mortally wounded on the Las Vegas Strip; he died six days later.

In 1996, actress Bibi Besch, well-known to “Star Trek” fans for playing Dr. Carol Marcus in “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan”, died in Los Angeles at age 54.

In 1999, a 5.9 magnitude earthquake rocked Athens, rupturing a previously unknown fault, killing 143, injuring more than 500, and leaving 50,000 people homeless.

In 2008, the U.S. government took control of the two largest mortgage financing companies in the country, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

In 2012, Canada officially cut diplomatic ties with Iran by closing its embassy in Tehran and ordering the expulsion of Iranian diplomats from Ottawa, over nuclear plans and alleged rights abuses.

In 2017, Equifax announced that, due to a data breach at their firm, a cyber-crime identity theft event potentially impacting approximately 1451⁄2 million U.S. consumers had occurred.


On this date in history…

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