A Historical Day

(1793) France’s deposed King Louis XVI guillotined

1793 Four years after the revolution turned his gilded world upside down, King Louis XVI is the first French king to be executed, bringing more than a millennium of monarchical rule to an end.

(1950) Suspected Soviet spy Alger Hiss convicted of perjury

1950 Beyond the statute of limitations for treason, former US State Department official Alger Hiss is found guilty of the lesser charge of perjury for lying about his involvement in a Soviet spy ring.

(1976) The Concorde supersonic jet begins commercial flights

1976 With two scheduled routes, London-Bahrain and Paris-Rio, the Concorde begins ferrying commercial customers at 1,350 miles per hour, breaking the sound barrier and reducing transcontinental travel time by roughly half.

(1977) Carter pardons most Vietnam draft dodgers

1977 On his second day as president, Jimmy Carter honors a campaign promise to pardon Vietnam-era draft evaders, expunging their criminal records. Up to a million estimated AWOL veterans are excluded.