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1980–Mount St. Helens erupts in Washington state, killing 60 people. It spews ash and smoke 63,000 feet into the air. Heavy ash covers the ground to the immediate northwest, and small particles are carried to the Atlantic coast. Just before it blew, a 5.2 quake was felt at Yakima and in many parts of Washington and Oregon.



332–Constantine the Great announces free distributions of food to the citizens in Constantinople.

526–Pope John I, (523-526), dies.

1048–Omar Khayyám, Persian mathematician, poet, and philosopher, is born in Nishapur, Khorasan, Iran. He is widely considered to be one of the most influential scientists of all time. He wrote numerous treatises on mechanics, geography, mineralogy, and astrology. He is best known for the English translation of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam.

1096–During the First Crusade, around 800 Jews are massacred in Worms, Germany.

1152–Henry II of England marries Eleanor of Aquitaine.

1160–Erik IX Helgi, King of Sweden, dies.

1186–Konstantin of Rostov is born in Russia.

1268–The Principality of Antioch, a crusader state, falls to the Mamluk Sultan Baibars in the Siege of Antioch.

1291–The Fall of Acre, is the end of Crusader presence in the Holy Land. This resulted in the loss of the Crusader-controlled city of Acre to the Muslims. It is considered one of the most important battles of the period. Although the crusading movement continued for several more centuries, the capture of the city marked the end of further crusades to the Levant. When Acre fell, the Crusaders lost their last major stronghold of the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem.

1450–Sejong the Great of Joseon, Ruler of Korea, dies at age 53.

1499–Alonso de Ojeda sets sail from Cádiz on his voyage to what is now Venezuela.

1536–Anne Boleyn, the second wife of King Henry VIII of England, is beheaded after being convicted of adultery.

1565–The Great Siege of Malta begins, in which Ottoman forces attempt and fail to conquer Malta.

1565–The Royal Audiencia of Concepción is created by a decree of Philip II of Spain.

1593–Playwright Thomas Kyd's accusations of heresy lead to an arrest warrant for Christopher Marlowe. No reason was given for it, though it was thought to be connected to allegations of blasphemy: a manuscript believed to have been written by Marlowe was said to contain "vile heretical conceipts."

1631–In Dorchester, Massachusetts, John Winthrop takes the oath of office and becomes the first Governor of Massachusetts.

1642–Montreal, Canada, is founded.

1643–Delegates from four New England colonies meet in Boston, Massachusetts, to form a confederation.

1652–Rhode Island passes the first law in North America making slavery illegal.

1756–The Seven Years' War begins when Great Britain declares war on France.

1763–Fire destroys a large part of Montreal, Canada.

1783–The First United Empire Loyalists reach Parrtown (later called Saint John, New Brunswick), Canada, after leaving the United States.

1803–The United Kingdom revokes the Treaty of Amiens and declares war on France.

1804–The French Senate proclaims Napoleon Bonaparte Emperor of France.

1808–Baptist minister, Elijah Craig, dies. He is an important figure in the invention of bourbon whiskey. He ran a paper mill and started a distillery in Kentucky in 1789. Supposedly, he was the first to use new charred oak barrels to age corn whiskey, which is a key step in making bourbon.

1812–John Bellingham is found guilty and sentenced to death by hanging for the assassination of British Prime Minister, Spencer Perceval.

1829–Maria Josepha Amalia of Saxony dies of fevers at Royal Palace, Aranjuez, Spain, at age 25.

1830–Edwin Budding, of England, signs an agreement for the manufacture of his invention, the lawn mower.

1843–The Disruption in Edinburgh of the Free Church of Scotland from the Church of Scotland.

1848–The opening takes place of the first German National Assembly (Nationalversammlung) in Frankfurt, Germany.

1860–Abraham Lincoln wins the Republican Party presidential nomination over William H. Seward, who later becomes the United States Secretary of State.

1868–Nicholas II Alexandrovich, last Tsar of Russia (1894-1917), is born.

1872–Mathematician and philosopher, Bertrand Russell, is born Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell in Trellech, Monmouthshire, England. He was the grandson of the Victorian Prime Minister, Sir John Russell. Russell led the British "revolt against idealism" in the early 20th century and is considered one of the founders of analytic philosophy. At various points in his life he considered himself a liberal, a socialist, and a pacifist. In 1950, Russell was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "in recognition of his varied and significant writings in which he champions humanitarian ideals and freedom of thought."

1876–Wyatt Earp starts work in Dodge City, Kansas, under Marshal Larry Deger.

1880–The 6th Kentucky Derby: George Lewis, riding Fonso, wins in 2:37.

1883–Architect, Walter Gropius, who developed the Bauhaus School of Art, is born in Berlin, Germany. The Bauhaus style was based on simplicity, economy, and aesthetic beauty, attempting to join art with architecture and design. Gropius and his Bauhaus colleagues came under fire by the Nazis for producing "degenerate art," causing him to flee Germany under pretext during the 1930s. The home he would subsequently build for his family in Lincoln, Massachusetts, now known as the “Gropius House,” would be instrumental in bringing International Modernism to America. Gropius was a professor of architecture at Harvard University for 15 years.

1896–The U.S. Supreme Court rules in Plessy vs. Ferguson that the "separate but equal" doctrine is constitutional.

1896–A mass panic on Khodynka Field in Moscow, Russia, during the festivities of the coronation of Russian Tsar Nicholas II, results in the deaths of 1,389 people.

1897–The novel, Dracula, by Irish author, Bram Stoker, is published.

1897–Film director, Frank Capra, is born Francesco Rosario Capra in Bisacquino, Sicily, Kingdom of Italy. He moved with his family to California when he was just 6 years old. He got into the movie business working as a prop man, a film editor, and a gag writer, then he started directing pictures. His films include Lady for a Day, It Happened One Night, Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, Lost Horizon, You Can’t Take It with You, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Meet John Doe, Arsenic and Old Lace, It’s a Wonderful Life, State of the Union, A Hold in the Head, and Pocketful of Miracles.

1900–The United Kingdom proclaims a protectorate over Tonga.

1906–French chef, Louis Bignon, dies at age 89. He was also an agriculturist and restaurateur. His Cafe Riche became the most famous in Paris, France, and was known worldwide. He invested in farms and vineyards and was awarded the Legion of Honor for his agricultural work.

1910–The passage of the Earth through the tail of Halley's Comet causes near-panic around the world.

1911–Blues singer, Big Joe Turner, is born in Kansas City, Missouri. His shouting blues, inspired rock singers like Elvis Presley and Little Richard. In 1954, he topped the charts with Shake, Rattle and Roll.

1911–Austrian composer, Gustav Mahler, dies at age 50.

1912–The first Indian film, Shree Pundalik by Dadasaheb Torne, is released in Bombay, India.

1912–Film director, Richard Brooks, is born Reuben Sax in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His films include Crisis, The Light Touch, Take the High Ground!, The Last Time I Saw Paris, Blackboard Jungle, The Catered Affair, Something of Value, The Brothers Karamazov, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Elmer Gantry, Sweet Bird of Youth, Lord Jim, In Cold Blood, The Happy Ending, and Looking For Mr Goodbar. He was married to actress, Jean Simmons.

1912–Singer, Perry Como, is born Pierino Ronald Como in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania. Como was one of the most popular entertainers of the 1950s and had his own TV program, The Perry Como Show, for several seasons. His hit songs include Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo (The Magic Song), Catch a Falling Star, Don't Let the Stars Get in Your Eyes, Dream Along with Me (I'm on My Way to a Star), Hot Diggity (Dog Ziggity Boom), Magic Moments, It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas, and It’s Impossible.

1914–Fashion designer, Pierre A. Balmain, is born in France. He was known for the 1940's "New Look."

1917–U.S. Congress passes the Selective Service Act, which calls up soldiers to fight in World War I.

1919–Prima ballerina, Dame Margot Fonteyn, is born Margaret Evelyn Hookham in Reigate, Surrey, England. She is widely regarded as one of the greatest classical ballet dancers of all time. She spent her entire career as a dancer with The Royal Ballet.

1920–Pope John Paul II (1978-2005), is born Karol Wojtyla in Wadowice, Republic of Poland.

1922–Actor, Bill Macy, is born in Revere, Massachusetts. He is best known for the role of Walter on the TV series Maude.

1924–Actress, Priscilla Pointer, is born. She is the mother of actress, Amy Irving.

1926–Evangelist, Aimee Semple McPherson, disappears while visiting the beach in Venice, California.

1927–Forty-five people are killed by bombs planted by a disgruntled school-board member in Michigan.

1927–After being founded for 20 years, the Government of the Republic of China approves Tongji University to be among the first national universities of the Republic of China.

1927–Grauman's Chinese Theater opens in Hollywood, California.

1928–Actor, Pernell Roberts, is born Pernell Elven Roberts, Jr. in Waycross, Georgia. He is best known for the role of Adam Cartwright on the TV Western series Bonanza. He also starred in the series Trapper John, M.D. He appeared in the films Desire Under the Elms, The Sheepman, Ride Lonesome, Four Rode Out, and The Magic of Lassie.

1929–The 55th Kentucky Derby: Linus McAtee, riding Clyde Van Dusen, wins in 2:10.

1930–Astronaut, Don Leslie Lind, is born in Midvale, Utah.

1933–President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signs an act creating the Tennessee Valley Authority. It would call for dams to be built to harness the Mississippi River. The movie, Wild River, tells the story of the struggle to remove families from their land, which would be flooded to facilitate the construction.

1933–The first Major League All-Star Game is announced for July 6th at Comiskey Park. It will be played as part of the Chicago World's Fair.

1934–The U.S. Congress approves the "Lindbergh Act," making kidnapping a capital offense.

1934–Trans World Airlines (TWA) begins commercial service.

1934–Actor, Dwayne Hickman, is born in Los Angeles, California. He is best known for the role of Dobie Gillis on the 1950s TV series The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis.

1935–T.E. Lawrence, better known as Lawrence of Arabia, dies in England from injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident.

1939–Glen Hardin, of Buddy Holly and the Crickets, is born in Texas.

1941–Actress, Diane McBain, is born in Cleveland, Ohio. She appeared in the films Marnie and Straight Jacket.

1945–William Joseph Simmons, Ku Klux Klan leader, dies in Atlanta, Georgia, at age 65. He was actually the founder of the second Ku Klux Klan on Thanksgiving night 1915

1946–Baseball player, Reggie Jackson, is born.

1948–The First Legislative Yuan of the Republic of China officially convenes in Nanking.

1948–Country singer, Joe Bonsall, of The Oak Ridge Boys, is born in Philadelphia.

1949–The Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America incorporates.

1949–Keyboardist, Rick Wakeman, of Yes, is born in London, England.

1951–The United Nations moves its headquarters to New York City.

1951–Actor, James Stephens, is born in Mount Kisko, New York. He starred in the TV series The Paper Chase.

1952–Professor W.F. Libby says Stonehedge dates back to BC 1848.

1952–Country singer, George Strait, is born in Pearsall, Texas.

1955–Operation Passage to Freedom ends. It was the evacuation of 310,000 Vietnamese civilians, soldiers, and non-Vietnamese members of the French Army from communist North Vietnam to South Vietnam, following the end of the First Indochina War.

1956–A Swiss team makes the first ascent of Lhotse, the fourth highest mountain in the world at 27,940 feet. Part of the Mt. Everest massif, Lhotse is connected to the latter peak via the South Col. Lhotse means “South Peak” in Tibetan.

1958–An F-104 Starfighter sets a world speed record of 1,404.19 mph.

1963–The Beatles begin their third tour of Britain at the Adelphi Cinema in Buckinghamshire, England, opening for Roy Orbison. Within a few days, due to the expansion of "Beatlemania," they will be headlining.

1963–Singer-songwriter, Jackie DeShannon, makes her television debut on CBS-TV’s The Jackie Gleason Show. She sings Rock-A-Bye Your Baby and Just in Time.

1964–Forty hidden microphones are discovered in the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, Russia.

1965–Israeli spy, Eli Cohen, is executed by hanging in Damascus, Syria.

1965–Writer, Gene Roddenberry, suggests 16 names (including Kirk) for the Captain on the TV series Star Trek.

1967–A chart topper: Silence is Golden by The Tremeloes.

1967–A press release announces that The Beatles have been selected to represent the United Kingdom for the first-ever global-wide satellite broadcast. The Beatles have reportedly agreed to be shown in the studio recording a song written especially for the occasion. The broadcast is scheduled for June 25th. John Lennon’s song, All You Need is Love, is selected as the right song for the event.

1967–Actor, Andy Clyde, dies in Los Angeles, California, at age 75. He is best known for the roles of farmer Cully Wilson in the TV series Lassie, and the neighbor George MacMichael on the sitcom The Real McCoys.

1968–Tiny Tim's Tiptoe Through the Tulips is released.

1969–Apollo 10 is launched.

1970–Comedienne, Tina Fey, of Saturday Night Live, is born in Upper Darby Township, Pennsylvania.

1971–The Stanley Cup: The Montreal Canadiens beat the Chicago Blackhawks, 4 games to 3.

1974–New Delhi announces that India has conducted a successful test of an atomic device, thereby joining the United States, the USSR, Great Britain, France, and China as a nuclear nation.

1974–A chart topper: The Streak by Ray Stevens.

1977–Menachem Begin becomes the Prime Minister of Israel.

1978–The Buddy Holly Story, a film starring Gary Busey as Holly, has its world premiere in Dallas, Texas. The movie will be a critical and commercial success and Busey will receive an Oscar nomination for his performance.

1980–Students in Gwangju, South Korea, begin demonstrations calling for democratic reforms.

1980–Mount St. Helens erupts in Washington state, killing 60 people. It spews ash and smoke 63,000 feet into the air. Heavy ash covers the ground to the immediate northwest, and small particles are carried to the Atlantic coast. Just before it blew, a 5.2 quake was felt at Yakima and in many parts of Washington and Oregon.

1981–Actor, Arthur O'Connell, dies of Alzheimer's disease in Los Angeles, California, at age 73. He appeared in the films Picnic, The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit, Bus Stop, April Love, Gidget, Anatomy of a Murder, Operation Petticoat, Cimarron, Follow That Dream, 7 Faces of Dr. Lao, Kissin’ Cousins, The Great Race, The Monkey’s Uncle, Fantastic Voyage, The Reluctant Astronaut, The Power, and The Poseidon Adventure.

1981–Playwright, William Saroyan, dies at age 72.

1982–Unification Church founder, Reverend Sun Myung Moon, is convicted of tax evasion.

1983–The U.S. Senate revises immigration laws, giving millions of illegal aliens legal status under an amnesty program.

1983–In Ireland, the government launches a crackdown, with the leading Dublin pirate Radio Nova being put off the air.

1988–Voice actor, Daws Butler, dies at age 71. He provided the voices for the cartoon characters “Yogi Bear” and “Huckleberry Hound.”

1990–The largest art robbery in history takes place at the Isabella Stewart Garnder Museum in Boston, Massachusetts. Twelve paintings, valued at $100 million are stolen.

1990–Actress, Jill Ireland, dies of cancer in Malibu, California, at age 54. She appeared in the films Twice Round the Daffodils, Twinky, Cold Sweat, The Valachi Papers, The Mechanic, Hard Times, Breakheart Pass, From Noon till Three, and Death Wish II.

1991–France conducts a nuclear test at Muruora Island.

1991–Northern Somalia declares independence from the rest of Somalia as the Republic of Somaliland, but is not recognized by the international community.

1992–The U.S. Supreme Court rules that states cannot force mentally unstable criminal defendants to take anti-psychotic drugs.

1992–Comedian, Skip Stephenson, dies of a heart attack at age 52.

1994–Isreali troops end their retreat from the Gaza Strip after occupating it, giving the area to the Palestine to govern.

1994–The U.S. Food and Drug Administration declares the first genetically engineered tomato, the “Flavr Savr,” is safe for human consumption. It is not a commercial success and production ends in 1997.

1994–Pop star, Michael Jackson, and Lisa Marie Presley (Elvis’ daughter) are married in the Dominican Republic in a private ceremony. They manage to keep their wedding secret for two months.

1995–Russian actor, Alexander Gudonov, dies at age 45. He appeared in the film Witness.

1995–Actress, Elizabeth Montgomery, dies of cancer in Los Angeles, California, at age 62. She is best known for the role of as Samantha Stevens on the TV sitcom Bewitched. She appeared in the TV movies Mrs. Sundance, A Case of Rape, The Legend of Lizzie Bordon, Belle Star, and Sins of the Mother.

1998–The U.S. Justice Department and 20 state Attorneys General sue Microsoft, charging it with illegally thwarting competition to protect and extend its monopoly on computer software.

1998–Sean Lennon’s first solo album, Into The Sun, is released. Sean is the son of John Lennon.

2001–Hong Kong orders that more than one million chickens and other poultry be killed to halt the spread of another bird flu epidemic.

2005–A second photo from the Hubble Space Telescope confirms that Pluto has two additional moons, Nix and Hydra.

2006–Singer, Freddie Garrity, of Freddie and the Dreamers, dies. The popular British Invasion group had big hits with I’m Telling You Now and Do the Freddie.

2007–Singer, Amy Winehouse, marries former video production assistant, Blake Fielder-Civil, in Miami, Florida.

2009–The LTTE are defeated by the Sri Lankan government, ending almost 26 years of fighting between the two sides.

2011–Twenty-two people are killed when Sol Líneas Aéreas Flight 5428 crashes in southern Argentina.

2012–Indian religious leader, Jai Gurudev, dies in Mathura, India, at age 116 (unconfirmed). After his death, his assets were estimated at 120 billion Indian Rupees (approximately $2.15 billion), including 250 luxury cars.

2012–Bicycle designer, Alan Oakley, dies of cancer at age 85. He worked for the Raleigh Bicycle Company. As Raleigh's chief designer, he designed the company's best selling Chopper bicycle. He drew the design for the Chopper on an envelope as he traveled home from America in 1967, inspired to replicate the design of Peter Fonda's motorbike in the film Easy Rider.

2013–A significant outbreak of tornado activity begins in the Midwestern and Great Plains states, lasting through April 21st. The four days of severe weather would produce numerous funnels. The most severe of the events would occur on May 20th, when a funnel swept through Moore, Oklahoma, killing 24 people and destroying thousands of structures. In the end, the storm system had traversed the United States in 11 days, causing at least 60 tornadoes and record breaking rainfall in North Dakota, New York, and Vermont.

2013–Actor, Steve Forrest, dies at age 87. He appeared in the film Mommie Dearest.

2014–Singer, Jerry Vale, dies of natural causes at his home in Palm Desert, California, at age 83.

2014–Cinematographer, Gordon Willis, dies of cancer in North Falmouth, Massachusetts, at age 82. His films include The Landlord, Klute, The Godfather I, II & III, The Paper Chase, The Parallax View, All the President’s Men, Annie Hall, Interiors, Manhattan, Pennies from Heaven, The Purple Rose of Cairo, Presumed Innocent, and Malice.

2015–At least 78 people die in landslides caused by heavy rain in Salgar, Colombia.

2016–China stages joint war games featuring mock beach landing, helicopter assaults, and tank battles along its east coast.

2016–Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, meets in Silocon Valley, California, with a group of about 20 prominent American conservatives, over allegations that the company censors conservative content. Among the invited guests are Dana Parino, S.E. Cupp, Tucker Carlson, Glenn Beck, and Barry Barrett, a representative for 2016 presidential candidate, Donald Trump.

2016–A 6.7 earthquake hits near Muisne, Ecuador.

2016–More than 150 people are feared dead by two landslides triggered by more than three days of heavy rain in central Sri Lanka.


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