This Day in History

Archived Facts

1979

Abel Muzorewa becomes prime minister of Zimbabwe-Rhodesia, ending ninety years of white-minority rule.

2001

A U.S. court convicts four supporters of Osama Bin Laden of being part of a global conspiracy targeting U.S. citizens.

1998

Pakistan conducts underground nuclear tests in response to Indian nuclear tests two weeks earlier.

1941

British forces sink German battleship Bismarck, killing 2,300 people

1972

The United States and Soviet Union sign the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.

1881

Clara Barton founds American Red Cross to provide emergency assistance and disaster relief.

1902

The Republic of Cuba gains formal independence from the United States.

1967

The United States, Soviet Union, and UK adopt a treaty banning nuclear weapons in space.

1993

The Maastricht Treaty is ratified, creating the European Union.

1957

The UK tests its first hydrogen bomb.

1955

Eight Communist European states sign the Warsaw Pact, a defense treaty consolidating Soviet influence over Central and Eastern Europe.

2008

An estimated seventy thousand people are killed after an earthquake strikes Sichuan, China.

1997

World chess champion Garry Kasparov loses match to IBM computer Deep Blue, marking the first time a computer defeats a champion player.

1980

WHO announces eradication of smallpox.

1954

Vietnamese Communist and nationalist forces defeat the French in the Battle of Dien Bien Phu, leading to France's withdrawal from its former colony.

1882

President Chester A. Arthur signs the Chinese Exclusion Act, denying would-be migrants entry to the United States and excluding U.S. residents from gaining citizenship.

1960

Alan Shephard becomes the first U.S. astronaut to travel in space.