[A few hours after returning from her history-making space flight Laika died from stress and overheating, which fact wasn't made public for decades; while her presence in pop culture has long been felt, now not only does she appear in bas-relief on the Monument to the Conquerors of Space (built in 1964) at Russia's Memorial Museum of Cosmonautics, in November 1997 a plaque honouring Laika was unveiled at the Star City cosmodrome, and since April 2008 a statue of her has adorned the military facility near Moscow where she'd been prepared for her fatal adventure.]
1493 - Christopher Columbus first sighted the Caribbean island of Dominica.
1783 - John Austin, a highwayman, was the last person to be publicly hanged at London's Tyburn gallows.
1793 - French playwright, journalist and feminist Olympe de Gouges was guillotined during the Reign of Terror for criticizing the tyrannical regime of Maximilien Robespierre as well as daring to write Declaration of the Rights of Woman and the Female Citizen in response to the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen.
1817 - The Bank of Montreal, Canada's oldest chartered bank, opened in, of all places, Montreal.
1838 - The Times of India, the world's largest (in terms of circulation) English-language daily broadsheet, was founded as The Bombay Times and Journal of Commerce.
1868 - Ulysses S. Grant was elected 18th US President over Democrat Horatio Seymour.
1896 - William McKinley was elected 25th US President over Democrat William Jennings Bryan.
1908 - William Howard Taft was elected 27th US President over Democrat William Jennings Bryan.
1930 - The Detroit-Windsor Tunnel was opened to traffic.
1935 - Greece's King George II regained his throne following a plebiscite.
1936 - Franklin Delano Roosevelt was elected to a second term as US President over Republican Alf Landon.
1954 - Gojira - the first in the Godzilla series of films - was released in Japan.
1957 - The Soviet Union launched Sputnik 2; onboard was a dog named Laika, a 6 kg (13 lb) stray abducted from the streets of Moscow.
1964 - Lyndon Baines Johnson was elected 36th US President over Republican Barry Goldwater.
1970 - Salvador Allende was inaugurated as president of Chile.
1978 - Dominica gained its independence from the United Kingdom.
1979 - Five members of the Communist Workers Party - Sandi Smith, Dr. James Waller, Bill Sampson, Cesar Cause, and Dr. Michael Nathan - were shot dead and seven were wounded in 88 seconds by a group of Klansmen and neo-Nazis during a 'Death to the Klan' rally in what came to be known as the Greensboro massacre. One of the gravest miscarriages of justice in American history occurred without the presence of the police, who normally would have been present; of the 40 thugs involved only sixteen were arrested, only six of them were ever brought to trial and all were acquitted.
1986 - The Federated States of Micronesia gained its independence from the United States of America.
1992 - Bill Clinton was elected 42nd US President over Republican incumbent George H. W. Bush and third-party candidate Ross Perot.
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