[The Monument of the Hand was erected in the Cretan prefecture of Chania to remember those who died when the car ferry SS Heraklion sank off Falkonera en route from the port of Souda to Piraeus near Athens.]
1609 - The reading room at the Biblioteca Ambrosiana opened its doors in Milan; after Oxford University's Bodleian Library - which first opened its doors in November 1602 - it was the second public library in Europe.
1660 - Margaret Hughes became the first actress to appear on an English public stage when she assayed the role of Desdemona in a production of Shakespeare's play Othello by Thomas Killigrew's new King's Company at their theatre, Gibbon's Tennis Court, in London's Vere Street.
1854 - Pope Pius IX proclaimed the Roman Catholic dogma of Immaculate Conception, which holds that the Virgin Mary was born free of original sin.
1869 - Timothy Eaton founded the T. Eaton Co. Limited at 178 Yonge Street in Toronto, which would eventually run the tony Eaton's department store chain throughout Canada before his heirs ran it into the ground in August 1999.
1886 - The American Federation of Labor was established in Columbus, Ohio.
1889 - The Royal Netherlands Football Association was founded.
1904 - Denmark's Konservativ Ungdom (Young Conservatives) was founded by Carl F. Herman von Rosen; still in existence today, not only is it that country's oldest political youth organization it's believed to be one of the oldest in the world.
1907 - King Gustaf V acceded to the Swedish throne following the death of his father, Oscar II.
1914 - Near the beginning of World War I the German Kaiserliche Marine under the command of Admiral Graf Maximilian von Spee was engaged by Britain's Royal Navy under Doveton Sturdee in the Battle of the Falkland Islands.
1941 - The US Congress declared war on the Empire of Japan following the latter's bombing of Pearl Harbor the previous day.
1953 - Dwight D. Eisenhower gave his Atoms for Peace speech at the UN General Assembly.
1966 - The Greek ship SS Heraklion sank during a storm in the Aegean Sea, killing over 200.
1974 - A plebiscite in Greece abolished that country's monarchy for the second and final time since it had been established in 1832.
1982 - Activist Norman Mayer threatened to blow up the Washington Monument, before being killed by United States Park Police; future White House Press Secretary George Stephanopoulos - then an intern at the nearby Carnegie Endowment for International Peace - made his first appearance on Nightline that evening to discuss the incident.
1987 - Melbourne was rocked by news of the Queen Street Massacre, a shooting spree by Frank Vitkovic which killed 8 and injured five - but not Con Margelis, the one he was gunning for - at the Queen Street offices of the Australia Post; after finally being disarmed by Frank Carmody, Vitkovic jumped eleven stories to his death. The involvement of Australia's Church of Scientology in this incident has never been satisfactorily investigated...
1993 - The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was signed into law by US President Bill Clinton.
1995 - Philip Lawrence, headmaster of St. George's Roman Catholic School in North London's Maida Vale district, was murdered by Learco Chindamo of the mostly Filipino local street gang Wo Shing Wo; Lawrence had come to the aid of one of his pupils, William Njoh, who was seriously injured in the attack.
2004 - Darrell Abbott - known professionally as Dimebag Darrell, lead singer and founding member of such heavy metal stalwarts Pantera and Damageplan - was shot and killed by deranged fan Nathan Gale on stage at Columbus, Ohio's Alrosa Villa while performing with Damageplan. The band's drum technician, John 'Kat' Brooks, and tour manager, Chris Paluska, were injured in the fray, while their head of security, Jeff 'Mayhem' Thompson, Alrosa Villa employee Erin Halk, and audience member Nathan Bray (who'd been performing CPR on Abbott) were all killed; as for the shooter, he was handily despatched by Officer James D. Niggemeyer (shown, at right). The entire story is told in Chris Armold's 2007 book A Vulgar Display of Power: Courage and Carnage at the Alrosa Villa.
2008 - Kirsty Williams was elected leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, making her the first female leader of a political party in Wales.
share on: facebook