A Historical Day

(1606) English conspirator Guy Fawkes foils own execution

1606 Guy Fawkes, head of The Gunpowder Plot to blow up the English parliament in London’s Westminster Palace, leaps off a ladder to his death moments before his planned hanging.


(1945) US Army Private Eddie Slovik executed for desertion

1945 In the first execution of an American soldier for desertion since the Civil War, and the only one in the whole of WWII, Private Eddie Slovik of the 28th Infantry Division dies by firing squad.


(1949) First daytime network TV soap opera debuts

1949 ‘These Are My Children’ is broadcast live on Chicago’s NBC station. It’s the first in what becomes an institution of daytime drama serials that will begin dying out in the 21st century.


(1953) Catastrophic European flood kills thousands

1953 Roiling out of the North Sea, a storm bearing 100-mph winds and flooding rain devastates the Netherlands, destroying 50,000 buildings, leaving 300,000 homeless, and killing more than 1,500.

A Historical Day

(1649) England’s King Charles I executed on charge of treason

1649 Controversial from his reign’s start, King Charles clashed frequently with the English parliament, leading to two civil wars, Oliver Cromwell’s rise, and finally to his own beheading.


(1948) Mahatma Gandhi assassinated

1948 Gandhi, India’s political and spiritual leader whose use of nonviolent civil disobedience led to his country’s independence from British colonial rule, is slain in New Delhi by a Hindu extremist.


(1968) The Tet Offensive begins with surprise attacks

1968 Viet Cong and North Vietnamese forces break the holiday truce, launching a widespread military campaign against US and South Vietnamese targets that is among the largest of the Vietnam War.


(1972) Northern Ireland suffers ‘Bloody Sunday’

1972 British soldiers fire on unarmed Catholic civil rights protestors during a Derry, Northern Ireland, march, killing 14 and wounding 17. The incident ratchets up tension and strife during The Troubles.