Today is the 131st day of 2021. There are 234 days left in the year.
2000: With the birth of a baby girl named Astha – “Faith” in Hindi – India’s population officially hits one billion.
1507: France annexes Genoa in Italy.
1745: French under Marshal Saxe defeat English at Fontenoy and conquer Austrian Netherlands.
1812: Britain’s Tory Premier Spencer Perceval is assassinated by a mad man in the House of Commons.
1824: British forces take Rangoon in Burma – now Myanmar – during the first Anglo-Burmese war.
1860: The Expedition of the Thousand under Giuseppe Garibaldi lands in Sicily to overthrow the Bourbon kingdom and ultimately create modern Italy.
1927: The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences – best known for the Academy Award (Oscars) – was founded during a banquet at the Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles.
1943: US forces land at Attu in Aleutian Islands in World War II. It is the first American territory regained from Japan.
1944: Allied forces launch a major offensive in central Italy.
1947: The B F Goodrich Co of Akron, Ohio, announces the development of a tubeless tire.
1949: Israel is admitted to United Nations; Siam changes its name to Thailand.
1971: The ancient temples at Angkor Wat are damaged by artillery fire in fighting between Cambodian Government and communist forces.
1973: Lower House of West German legislature ratifies treaty establishing formal relations between the two halves of divided Germany.
1975: Laos Premier Souvanna Phouma concedes communist victory in his country.
1981: Reggae icon, the legendary Robert Nesta “Bob” Marley, dies in a Miami hospital at age 36.
1985: More than 50 people die when a flash fire sweeps a packed soccer stadium in Bradford, England.
1987: Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi’s Government imposes direct federal control of Punjab State due to violence by Sikh separatists.
1988: Guatemalan army says it quashed military coup attempt on President Vinicio Cerezo’s civilian Government.
1993: Fire in a Thailand doll factory kills at least 188.
1994: Southern forces fire a Scud missile into the northern capital of San’a, Yemen, killing 25 people.
1995: A global conference at the United Nations decides to extend the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty indefinitely.
1996: A tornado rips through northern Bangladesh, killing more than 600 villagers and injuring at least 34,000.
1997: The Deep Blue IBM computer becomes the first to defeat the world chess champion, winning a six-game match against Garry Kasparov in New York.
1998: India conducts three underground nuclear tests, the country’s first since 1974 and the world’s first since 1996.
1999: North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) bombards a wide swath of Yugoslavia, saying it does not believe Slobodan Milosevic has begun withdrawing his forces from Kosovo.
2001: A Dutch court convicts seven men in the deaths of 58 Chinese migrants who suffocated in a truck container while seeking a better life in Britain.
2005: South American and Arab leaders endorse a declaration calling for free trade rules that benefit the poor and closer political and economic ties between the two far-flung regions at the end of a two-day summit held in Brazil.
2006: Thousands of riot police in Cairo break up pro-reform protests, chasing and roughing up demonstrators who gathered to support two Egyptian judges facing disciplinary action after they blew the whistle on election fraud.
2007: North and South Korea adopt a military agreement enabling the first train crossing of their heavily armed border in more than half a century.
2008: Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa hails his party’s election victory in the country’s tense Eastern Province as a mandate to push ahead with his war against Tamil Tiger rebels in the north.
2009: Pope Benedict XVI confronts the dark history of his native Germany on the first day of his trip to Israel, shaking the hands of six Holocaust survivors.
2010: Conservative leader David Cameron becomes Britain’s youngest prime minister in almost 200 years after Gordon Brown stepped down and ended 13 years of Labour Government.
2011: Embattled Libyan ruler Moammar Gadhafi makes a television appearance, the first since his son was killed in NATO air strike.
2013: Former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif declares victory after an election marred by violence.
2014: Ninety per cent of voters in a key industrial region in eastern Ukraine come out in favour of sovereignty, pro-Russian insurgents say.
Baron Munchhausen, German storyteller (1720-1797); Irving Berlin, US songwriter (1888-1989); Paul Nash, British artist (1889-1946); Salvador Dali, Spanish artist (1904-1989); Richard P Feynman, US physicist (1918-1988); Natasha Richardson, actress (1963-2009); Mort Sahl, US comedian (1927- ); Mark Herndon, drummer with country group Alabama (1955- ); Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan (1933- ); Rapper Ace Hood (1988- ); Syringa Marshall-Burnett, Jamaican nurse, educator, and politician (1935- )
– AP & Observer