This Day in History

Archived Facts

1994

The president of Rwanda dies after his plane is shot down, sparking the Rwandan genocide.

1991

The UN Security Council adopts Resolution 681, also known as the Gulf War Truce.

1917

U.S. President Woodrow Wilson asks Congress to declare war on Germany.

1945

U.S. troops land in Okinawa, launching the largest amphibious assault in the Pacific arena of World War II.

1889

The Eiffel Tower opens in Paris.

1867

U.S. Secretary of State William H. Seward signs a treaty purchasing present-day Alaska from Russia for $7 million.

1912

First Lady Helen Taft and Viscountess Chinda, the wife of Japan's ambassador, plant the first of thousands of iconic cherry trees Japan would give to Washington, DC.

2000

Vladimir Putin is first elected president of Russia.

1911

A fire kills 145 workers at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in New York, spurring calls for worker protection laws.

1989

The Exxon Valdez supertanker runs aground on a reef in Alaska's Prince William Sound, causing one of the worst oil spills in U.S. history.

1919

Benito Mussolini founds Fascist Party in Italy.

1852

Harriet Beecher Stowe's anti-slavery novel Uncle Tom's Cabin is published.

2003

PLO leader Mahmoud Abbas accepts position of Palestinian Prime Minister.

1962

France and the National Liberation Front sign peace agreement to end the seven-year Algerian War.

1969

Israel elects Golda Meir as its first female prime minister.

1984

Mozambique and South Africa sign the Nkomati Accord, a non-aggression agreement.

1979

A coup ousts Grenada Prime Minister Sir Eric Gairy, giving power to the New Jewel Party leader Maurice Bishop.

2002

Department of Homeland Security chief Tom Ridges releases a color-coded terror-alert system.

1990

Lithuania declares independence from the Soviet Union.