A Historical Day

(1565) Rio de Janeiro is founded
1565 Sixty-five years after the Portuguese first explored the area, a city is founded on Guanabara Bay in the southeast Captaincy Colonies of Brazil. It will go on to be one of the most populated cities in the Americas. .
(1692) First suspects accused in Salem witch hunt
Magistrates in the colonial Massachusetts village of Salem charge Sarah Good, Sarah Osborne, and Tituba with witchcraft. Before the hysteria ends, more than 150 will be accused and 19 executed.. 1692
(1950) Atomic spy Klaus Fuchs convicted in Britain
1950 One of Britain’s top nuclear scientists is found guilty of spying for the Soviet Union, including passing them atomic bomb secrets from his time with the Manhattan Project at Los Alamos, New Mexico. .
(1961) President Kennedy establishes Peace Corps
US President John F. Kennedy sends out a call to young Americans to travel to foreign lands, especially poor and developing nations, to offer humanitarian assistance. By the early 21st century, more than 200,000 will have volunteered for the Peace Corps and served in 140 countries.. 1961

A Historical Day

(1940) McDaniel is the first African American Oscar winner
1940 Hattie McDaniel wins the Best Supporting Actress trophy for her portrayal of Mammy in ‘Gone with the Wind,’ becoming the first African American Academy Award winner. .
(1968) Jocelyn Bell Burnell announces discovery of pulsar
Cambridge postgraduate astrophysics student, Jocelyn Bell Burnell, reports that she’s discovered the first pulsating star, or ‘pulsar.’ The 1974 Nobel Prize for this discovery will go to her thesis supervisor, Antony Hewish, and his colleague Martin Ryle.. 1968
(1984) Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau resigns
1984 Pierre Trudeau tells the Canadian House of Commons he’s stepping down after 15 years as PM, leaving behind a legacy of personal charisma, political liberalism, and a push for national unity..
(1996) Bosnian War’s siege of Sarajevo is over
After four years of assaults from artillery, tanks, and snipers, the longest modern-day siege of a capital city comes to an end. The siege of Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, cost the lives of nearly 14,000 people, including 5,434 civilians. . 1996

A Historical Day

(1525) The last Aztec emperor is executed
1525 Having survived years of war, the Spanish conquest of his empire, torture, and seeming accord with conquistador Hernán Cortés and his army, Aztec emperor Cuauhtémoc is executed by order of Cortés..
(1953) Watson and Crick reveal DNA discovery
Cambridge University scientists James Watson and Francis Crick announce that they’ve uncovered the double-helix structure of the DNA molecule, helping to unlock the genetic code of humans and other living things.. 1953
(1983) ‘M*A*S*H’ finale airs to record-smashing ratings
1983 Nearly 106 million viewers, or 77 percent of the American TV-watching public, tune in to the last episode of the beloved series ‘M*A*S*H.’ After 11 seasons, the television show about a US Army medical unit serving in the Korean War lasted longer than the war itself..
(1993) Branch Davidian standoff in Waco begins
When agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives serve warrants at the Branch Davidian compound outside of Waco, Texas, a gunfight erupts, killing four agents and six members of the fringe Christian group. The resulting siege will last 51 days. . 1993

A Historical Day

(1902) Australian lieutenants in Boer War executed
1902 Australian lieutenants Harry ‘The Breaker’ Morant and Peter Handcock are executed for war crimes during the Second Boer War. Later, court records will disappear and lead to suspicion of a British cover-up..
(1964) Italy requests help to keep Pisa’s tower from toppling
A cathedral’s 791-year-old bell tower in the Italian city of Pisa, always a little askew, is now in real danger of collapsing completely. Italy puts out a call for a straight solution. . 1964
(1973) The occupation of Wounded Knee begins
1973 Sparked by a combination of tribal corruption and the US government’s mishandling of treaties, members of the American Indian Movement, and about 200 Oglala Lakota seize and occupy Wounded Knee, South Dakota. Law enforcement agencies will cordon off the area, and the occupation will last until May..
(2002) Hindu pilgrims die in burning train
A train returning from the disputed holy site of Ayodhya erupts in flames outside Godhra station in Uttar Pradesh, India, killing 56 Hindu pilgrims. A six-year investigation into the incident will conclude that the fire was started deliberately by a Muslim mob, though decisive evidence will prove elusive.. 2002

A Historical Day

(1815) Napoleon escapes Elba exile
1815 Having spent 300 days of exile on an island off the coast of Italy, Napoleon Bonaparte escapes. After future conquests fail he will again be exiled, but this time to the remote South Atlantic. .
(1929) Grand Teton National Park is created in Wyoming
Environmentalists have been trying to preserve the striking mountainous region around the Teton Range since the late 19th century, and today President Coolidge establishes Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park. Its total area will eventually expand to over 300,000 acres.. 1929
(1965) First troops from South Korea land in Vietnam
1965 South Korea sends its first troops to Saigon as part of US President Lyndon Johnson’s effort to build an international coalition of fighting forces in Vietnam. More than 300,000 South Koreans will serve in the war by 1973. .
(1993) Bomb explodes at World Trade Center
An immense explosion rocks the underground parking garage located between the twin towers of New York City’s World Trade Center. The blast will kill six and wound more than 1,000.. 1993