|Samuri Board Mongol Ship|
in Hakata Bay 1281
1281 The fleet of Qubilai Khan is destroyed by a typhoon while approaching Japan.
1323 Treaty of Nöteborg between Sweden and Novgorod (Russia) regulates the border for the first time.
|Cathedral of Otranto|
1480 Battle of Otranto, Ottoman troops behead 800 Christians for refusing to convert to Islam. The remains of many of the 800 - all men - remain in the Cathedral of Otranto.
1499 First engagement of the Battle of Zonchio between Venetian and Ottoman fleets.
1687 Charles of Lorraine defeats the Ottomans at the Battle of Mohács.
|original Singer Sewing Machine 1851|
1851 Isaac Singer is granted a patent for his commercial sewing machine. The patent model and the 1854 patent model are in the collections of the Smithsonian, and this photos is from the Smithsonian. Singer did not invent the sewing machine, he made improvements to the inventions of other people - as did a number of sewing machine inventors of his era. What is more interesting than the invention itself of the sewing mahcine is the unprecedented pooling of patents by the group of these inventors as an alternative to sueing each other, that allowed them to market their inventions without litigation. That new approach to their respective patents and to doing business was more unique than any sewing machine or pattern. Singer made a fortune for his invention not only in commercial sewing, but by making a home-use model, which revolutionized home sewing in the United States. Sometimes it is better not to follow your 'bliss'; Singer fancied himself an actor, not an inventor. Included here because history is not only about who kills whom and other dramatic events.
1856 Birth of "Diamond Jim" Brady, American financier in the Gilded Age (d. 1917). Brady earned his nickname from his habit of collecting precious gemstones. He made his money in the railroad business, some of it more honestly, some less. He had a famously large appetite, and his autopsy revealed his stomach was six times normal size. Famous actress and chanteuse, the volutpuous Lillian Russell was 'associated' with him over a span of forty years, adding to his notoriety.
1877 Asaph Hall discovers Deimos, the smaller of the two moons of Mars.
1881 Birth of Cecil B. DeMille, American film director (d. 1959)
1883 The last quagga a sort of partially striped zebra like animal, dies at the Artis Magistra zoo in Amsterdam. They were one time a very abundant species. Some 20+ stuffed specimens exist worldwide, from which DNA has been extracted, in the hopes of eventually recreating the breed. At one time they existed in a number of zoos; Louis the XIV had one in his menagerie.
1886 Birth of Sir Keith Murdoch, Australian journalist and newspaper owner, father of Rupert Murdoch. (d. 1952)
|1898, the Rough Riders |
Atop San Juan Hill
1898 Armistice ends the Spanish-American War, formalized with the Treaty of Paris. The U.S. took temporary control of Cuba, and long term control of Puerto Rico in the Caribbean, as well as Guam and the Philippines in the Pacific. Teddy Roosevelt and his Rough Riders are reported charging up San Juan Hill. Spain declared war on the U.S. on April 23rd; the U.S. declared war on Spain on April 25th - backdating it to be effective as of April 21st.
1930 Birth of George Soros, Hungarian-American financier and political activist, bane of (some) conservatives.
1943 Alleged date of the first Philadelphia Experiment test on United States Navy ship USS Eldridge.
1944 Waffen SS troops massacre 560 people in Sant'Anna di Stazzema.
Alençon is liberated by General Leclerc, the first city in France to be liberated from the Nazis by French forces.
1952 The Night of the Murdered Poets – thirteen most prominent Jewish intellectuals are murdered in Moscow.
1953 Nuclear weapons testing: the Soviet atomic bomb project continues with the detonation of Joe 4, the first Soviet thermonuclear weapon.
1960 Echo I, the first communications satellite, was built in Northfield, Minnesota, and launched on this date. The Echo Project consisted of metallic satellite balloons that acted as as passive reflectors for microwave signals.
1964 South Africa is banned from the Olympic Games due to the country's racist apartheid policies.
Charlie Wilson, one of the Great Train Robbers escapes from Winson Green Prison in Birmingham, England.
1968 L. Ron Hubbard establishes 'Sea Org' Day for church of scientology members.
1976 Between 1,000-3,500 Palestinians killed in the Tel al-Zaatar massacre, one of the bloodiest events of the Lebanese Civil War
|Shuttle Enterprise test flight|
1977 The first free flight of the Space Shuttle Enterprise.
1981 The IBM Personal Computer is released.
1982 Mexico announces it is unable to pay its enormous external debt, marking the beginning of a debt crisis that spreads to all of Latin America and the Third World.
1992 Canada, Mexico, and the United States announce completion of negotiations for the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), a mere ten years after the Latin America /Third World debt crisis.
1998 Swiss banks agreed to pay $1.25 billion as restitution to Holocaust survivors to settle claims for their assets.
The California Supreme Court voided the nearly 4,000 same-sex marriages sanctioned in San Francisco earlier in the year.
2000 The Oscar class submarine K-141 Kursk of the Russian Navy explodes and sinks in the Barents Sea during a military exercise.
2004 New Jersey Gov. James McGreevey comes out publicly as a gay man.
2007 Bulk carrier M/V New Flame collides with newer double hulled oil tanker Torm Gertrud at the southernmost tip of Gibraltar, ending up partially submerged. Torm Gertrud is able to continue to port without any loss of oil. The New flame breaks into two pieces, involving complex salvage operations.