[Telstar is the name given to a series of satellites, but this is the original.]
1840 - The Province of Canada was created with passage of the Act of Union, uniting Canada West (or Upper Canada, ie Ontario) and Canada East (Lower Canada aka Quebec). This was an important first step toward Confederation, as it proved almost immediately that Quebec and Ontario are unable to get along; still, it's that rambunctious adversarialism which gives the country much of its zing to this day...
1881 - The Federation Internationale de Gymnastique - the world's oldest extant international sporting federation - was founded as the European Federation of Gymnastics with just three members: France, Belgium, and the Netherlands.
1903 - The Ford Motor Company sold its first car, a Model A, to Dr. Ernest Pfenning of Chicago.
1942 - Adolf Hitler instigated Operation Edelweiss in an effort to seize oil fields of Baku during the Soviet-German War.
1952 - The Free Officers Movement under Muhammad Naguib and Gamal Abdel Nasser staged a military coup, launching the Egyptian Revolution which would eventually force Egypt's King Farouk to abdicate.
1956 - The Loi Cadre was enacted by the French Republic as the first step towards decolonizing that country's overseas possessions; among the innovations made possible by the law was the Francophonie - a community of French-speaking countries throughout the world which was itself modeled on the Commonwealth of Nations.
1962 - Telstar relayed the first live trans-Atlantic television signal.
1967 - The 12th Street Riot - one of the worst riots in US history - began in a predominantly black inner city district of Detroit; over the course of the next five days 43 people were killed, 342 injured and 1,400 buildings burned.
1968 - The Glenville Shootout - a violent gun battle between a black militant organization led by Ahmed Evans and police in Cleveland, Ohio - sparked a five day riot.
1970 - Qaboos ibn Sa’id became Sultan of Oman after overthrowing his father, Sa’id ibn Taimur.
1972 - The United States launched Landsat 1, the first satellite in the Landsat Program, which is dedicated to obtaining information about the Earth and its resources; the latest, Landsat 7, was launched in April 1999, although another is scheduled for 2012. Among Landsat's achievements was the discovery of a tiny*, uninhabited island off of the east coast of Canada in 1976 which now bears the name Landsat Island - to date the only island on the planet to be discovered by satellite. Due to overheating, Landsat 1 was switched off in January 1978.
*Located northeast of Labrador and permanently covered by pack ice the discovery of the 25 m by 45 m (1,125 m²) island on the edge of the continental shelf increased the size of the world's second largest country by 68 km².
1983 - The Sri Lankan Civil War began with the killing of 13 soldiers by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam; in the subsequent government-organised pogrom - dubbed Black July - about 1,000 Tamils were slaughtered, while some 400,000 others fled to neighbouring Tamil Nadu state in India and many others found refuge in Europe and Canada.
1984 - Vanessa Williams became the first Miss America to resign when she surrendered her crown after nude photos of her appeared in Penthouse magazine.
1986 - His Royal Highness The Duke of York married Sarah Ferguson at Westminster Abbey.
1988 - General Ne Win, effective ruler of Burma since 1962, resigned as chairman of the Burma Socialist Programme Party amid pro-democracy protests known as the Four Eights Uprising.
1995 - Comet Hale-Bopp was discovered; it became visible to the naked eye nearly a year later, and in March 1997 achieved a grisly fame for its role in the mass suicide of the San Diego-based Heaven's Gate cult.
1997 - Andrew Cunanan - whose July 15th murder of Gianni Versace sparked a widespread manhunt - was discovered dead in a houseboat at a marina near Miami.
1999 - Morocco's King Mohammed VI was crowned following the death of his father, Hassan II.
2009 - Mark Buehrle of the Chicago White Sox became only the 18th pitcher to throw a perfect game in the history of Major League Baseball, helping his teammates to defeat the Tampa Bay Rays 5-0.
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