Today in History
1540 The Society of Jesus, a religious order under Ignatius Loyola, is approved by the Pope.
1669 The island of Crete in the Mediterranean Sea falls to the Ottoman Turks after a 21-year siege.
1791 Jews in France are granted French citizenship.
1864 Confederate guerrilla Bloody Bill Anderson and his henchmen, including a teenage Jesse James, massacre 20 unarmed Union soldiers at Centralia, Missouri. The event becomes known as the Centralia Massacre.
1869 Wild Bill Hickok, sheriff of Hays City, Kan., shoots down Samuel Strawhim, a drunken teamster causing trouble.
1916 Constance of Greece declares war on Bulgaria.
1918 President Woodrow Wilson opens his fourth Liberty Loan campaign to support men and machines for World War I.
1920 Eight Chicago White Sox players are charged with fixing the 1919 World Series.
1939 Germany occupies Warsaw as Poland falls to Germany and the Soviet Union.
1942 Australian forces defeat the Japanese on New Guinea in the South Pacific.
1944 Thousands of British troops are killed as German forces rebuff their massive effort to capture the Arnhem Bridge across the Rhine River in Holland.
1950 U.S. Army and Marine troops liberate Seoul, South Korea.
1956 The U.S. Air Force Bell X-2, the world’s fastest and highest-flying plane, crashes, killing the test pilot.
1964 The Warren Commission, investigating the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, issues its report, stating its conclusion that Lee Harvey Oswald was the sole gunman.
1979 The US Congress approves the Department of Education as the 13th agency in the US Cabinet.
1983 The Sukhumi massacre takes place: Abkhaz separatist forces and their allies commit widespread atrocities against the civilian population in the USSR state of Georgia.
1996 The Taliban capture Afghanistan’s capital city, Kabul.
2003 The European Space Agency launches the SMART-1 satellite to orbit the moon.
2007 NASA launches the Dawn probe to explore and study the two largest objects of the asteroid belt, Vesta and Ceres.
2008 Zhai Zhigang becomes the first Chinese to walk in space; he was part of the Shenzhou 7 crew.
1722 Samuel Adams, American revolutionary patriot and statesman, helped to organize the Boston Tea Party.
1840 Alfred T. Mahan, navy admiral who wrote The Influence of Seapower on History and other books that encouraged world leaders to build larger navies.
1840 Thomas Nast, caricaturist, creator of the Democratic donkey and the Republican elephant.
1862 Louis Botha, commander-in-chief of the Boar Army against the British and first president of South Africa.
1898 Vincent Youmans, songwriter best known for musical scores such as No, No Nanette and Flying Down to Rio.
1917 Louis Auchincloss, novelist (Portrait in Brownstone, The Embezzler).
1924 Bud Powell, jazz pianist.
1927 Red Rodney, trumpeter.
1945 Stephanie Pogue, artist and art professor.
1947 Meat Loaf, singer, songwriter (Bat Out of Hell album trilogy), actor (The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Fight Club).
1948 Robin “The Jackal” Jackson, Northern Ireland loyalist, commander of Ulster Volunteer Force (1975-
1990s); allegedly responsible for a large number of deaths, perhaps more than 100.
1958 Shaun Cassidy, singer (“Da Doo Ron Ron”), actor, TV producer / creator, screenwriter (American Gothic).
1965 Peter MacKay, lawyer, politician; last leader of Progressive Conservative Party of Canada before it merged with the Canadian Alliance in 2003 to form the Conservative Party of Canada.