[Gilles Villeneuve was going 225 kph (140 mph) when he crashed his Ferrari into the back of Jochen Mass' March on this day in 1982; pulled from the catch fence where he'd landed - still strapped into his seat but without his helmet - by John Watson and Derek Warwick he was attended to by a doctor within 35 seconds, but was already cyanotic, his neck fatally fractured. Villeneuve was mourned extensively throughout Canada, nowhere more than in his native Quebec, for his competitive nature and engaging manner.]
1541 - Hernando de Soto became the first European to document reaching the Mississippi River, which he named it Río de Espíritu Santo.
1794 - Branded a traitor during the Reign of Terror by the Jacobin faction of the French Revolution, chemist Antoine Lavoisier (who was also a tax collector with the Ferme Générale) was tried, convicted, and guillotined in Paris all on one day for allegedly selling watered-down tobacco. He would eventually be exonerated, albeit 18 months too late...
1821 - During the Greek War of Independence 120 Greeks led by Odysseas Androutsos defeated a Turkish force of 9,000 under Omer Vryonis at Gravia during the Battle of the Gravia Inn.
1846 - During the first major offensive of the Mexican-American War, at the Battle of Palo Alto, Zachary Taylor defeated a Mexican force commanded by Mariano Arista north of the Rio Grande, some 8 km (5 miles) from modern-day Brownsville.
1877 - The first Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show opened at Gilmore's Gardens in New York City.
1886 - A carbonated beverage later called Coca-Cola was invented by a pharmacist named John Stith Pemberton.
1902 - 30,000 died in the town of Saint-Pierre after the eruption of Martinique's Mount Pelée.
1914 - Paramount Pictures was formed by the partnership of Adolph Zukor and brothers Daniel and Charles Frohman.
1919 - Edward George Honey first proposed the idea of a moment of silence to commemorate the end of World War I, which came to be known as Remembrance Day.
1933 - Mahatma Gandhi began a 21-day fast in support of the Dalit caste, previously called the Untouchables.
1945 - The Prague Uprising ended, which is today still celebrated as a national holiday in the Czech Republic.
1946 - Estonian school girls Aili Jõgi and Ageeda Paavel blew up a Soviet war memorial in Tallinn which preceded the Bronze Soldier.
1963 - On the orders of Catholic South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem soldiers opened fire on Buddhists defying a ban on the flying of the Buddhist flag on Vesak - a holiday celebrating the birth of Gautama Buddha - killing nine.
1970 - The Hard Hat Riot occurred at the corner of Wall Street and Broad Street in Manhattan's Financial District (as well as at nearby New York City Hall) when 200 construction workers with the AFL-CIO clashed with 1,000 demonstrators protesting the Kent State shootings, the American invasion of Cambodia, and the Vietnam War. After two hours of fighting 70 people were injured, including four police officers; six people were arrested.
1973 - A 71-day standoff between federal authorities and American Indian Movement members occupying the Pine Ridge Reservation at Wounded Knee, South Dakota, ended with the surrender of the militants; the Wounded Knee Incident has been immortalized in the song Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee, by Buffy Sainte-Marie.
1982 - Canadian Formula One racer Gilles Villeneuve died following a crash during a qualifying run at the Belgian Grand Prix.
1984 - The Soviet Union announced it would boycott the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles in retaliation for the US boycott of the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow.
1999 - Nancy Mace became the first woman to graduate from the US military college The Citadel, which she did despite the predictable barrage of male students acting out their insecurities.
2005 - The new Canadian War Museum opened in Ottawa, on the 60th anniversary of V-E Day.
share on: facebook