The Dominion Post

Today in History


1626 – Dutch colonist Peter Minuit organises purchase of Manhattan Island from Native Americans for 60 guilders worth of goods.

1682 – Louis XIV of France formally moves his court to Versailles.

1757 – Prussia’s King Frederick II defeats Holy Roman Empire forces at Prague.

1869 – Colonial troops invade Urewera, killing five Tu¯ hoe, primarily to punish the iwi for supporting Te Kooti Rikirangi. 1889 – The World’s Fair, with newly built Eiffel Tower, opens in Paris. 1910 – Death of King Edward VII. 1919 – Death of US author Lyman Frank Baum, famous for Wonderful Wizard of Oz, above. 1937 – German dirigible Hindenburg explodes on landing at Lakehurst, New Jersey, killing 36. 1941 – Soviet dictator Josef Stalin formally becomes prime minister, succeeding VM Molotov.

1954 – Roger Bannister runs first four-minute mile (3min 59.4sec). 1960 – Britain’s Princess Margaret weds Antony Armstrong-Jones, a commoner. (They divorce in 1978.) 1994 – The Channel Tunnel opens between Britain and France.

1995 – Presidents, prime ministers, and kings from 54 nations attend a service of reconcilia­tion at St Paul’s Cathedral in London marking the 50th anniversar­y of VE Day.

2001 – John Paul II, visiting Syria, becomes first pope to enter a mosque; US businessma­n Dennis Tito ends the first paid space holiday as he returns to Earth. 2004 – Final episode of Friends airs in US.

2014 – Vatican discloses that over the past decade it has defrocked 848 priests who raped or molested children and sanctioned 2572; Rolf Harris goes on trial in London for indecent assault of four girls.

2017 – France bans unhealthil­y thin models, makes labels on digitally enhanced photos mandatory.


Maximilien Robespierr­e, French revolution­ary (1758-94); Sigmund Freud, Austrian psychologi­st (1856-1939); Rudolph Valentino, Italian actor (1895-1926); Orson Welles, US actor-director (1915-85); Cliff Whiting, NZ artist (1936-2017); Rubin ‘‘Hurricane’’ Carter, US boxer (1937-2014); Tony Blair, UK politician (1953-); Graham Brazier, NZ musician (1952-2015); George Clooney, US actor (1961-); Rob Fyfe, NZ businessma­n (1961-); James Shaw, NZ politician (1973-); Eric Murray, NZ rower (1982-); Archie Mountbatte­nWindsor, UK royal (2019-).

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