This Day in History

Archived Facts

2017

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

2003

U.S. forces launch an invasion of Iraq after President George W. Bush asserts that Saddam Hussein poses a grave threat to the United States.

1992

A referendum in South Africa open only to white voters finds majority support for ending apartheid.

2014

Residents of Crimea vote in favor of annexation by Russia, an outcome many states refuse to recognize.

2011

Pro-democracy uprisings in Damascus and Aleppo catalyze the Syrian civil war.

1995

Norman Thagard becomes the first American to ride to space on board a Russian launch vehicle.

2013

Jorge Mario Bergoglio is elected as the first Jesuit pope of the Roman Catholic Church, taking the name Francis.

1952

Fulgencio Batista seizes power in Cuba by staging a bloodless coup and canceling presidential elections.

1961

The Soviet Union launches the Sputnik 9 spacecraft with a dog as passenger, the first mission to safely send an animal into orbit.

1957

The Suez Canal reopens five months after the invasion of Egypt by France, Israel, and the United Kingdom.

1936

Hitler sends his military into Germany’s demilitarized western border in violation of the Treaty of Versailles.

1957

Ghana gains independence from the United Kingdom.

1945

U.S. and Filipino troops recapture Manila from the Imperial Japanese Army, ending three years of occupation.

1956

Morocco declares independence, ending decades of its status as a French protectorate.

1961

President John F. Kennedy signs an executive order establishing the Peace Corps.

1972

President Richard Nixon, visiting China, signs the Shanghai Communiqué, pledging to normalize diplomatic ties.

2002

A Muslim mob in the Indian state of Gujarat attacks Hindu pilgrims, sparking violence that killed hundreds.

2008

Cuba's National Assembly elects Raul Castro president.

1999

Turkey charges Kurdish nationalist leader Abdullah Ocalan with treason and separatism.