This Day in History

Archived Facts

1961

U.S. Confederate forces begin firing on Fort Sumter, triggering the American Civil War.

1979

Tanzanian forces and Ugandan rebels overthrow Ugandan dictator Idi Amin, ending the Ugandan-Tanzanian War.

1990

Nepal’s King Birendra lifts a thirty-year ban on political parties, bringing an end to the absolute monarchy.

1980

The United States breaks diplomatic relations with Iran after more than sixty American diplomats are taken hostage.

1992

The Bosnian Serb Army besieges Sarajevo, and the Bosnian War erupts the following day.

1979

Iran is declared an Islamic republic after fifty-five years of rule under the Pahlavi dynasty.

1991

Soviet military commanders relinquish control over Warsaw Pact forces.

1981

John Hinckley, Jr., attempts to assassinate President Ronald Reagan in Washington, DC.

1974

NASA’s Mariner 10 probe becomes the first ever spacecraft to fly by Mercury.

1939

Francisco Franco’s forces capture Madrid, marking victory in the Spanish Civil War.

1994

The last U.S. troops depart Somalia, ending a troubled relief and security mission in which 42 U.S. soldiers died.

1989

The Exxon Valdez tanker spills more than ten million gallons of crude oil into Prince William Sound, Alaska, in the second-worst spill in U.S. history.

1919

Benito Mussolini founds the Fascist Party in Italy.

1916

Chinese general Yuan Shikai abandons his claim on the Chinese monarchy, and the Republic of China is restored.

1980

U.S. President Jimmy Carter announces a boycott of the Summer Olympics in Moscow as a reaction to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

1992

South Africans vote in a national referendum to end apartheid.

1992

A car bomb at the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires kills 29 and injures 242. The Islamic Jihad Organization, linked to Hezbollah and Iran, claims responsibility.