1796 – In a 32-page handwritten farewell address, printed in Philadelphia’s American Daily Advertiser, President George Washington urged Americans to avoid excessive political party spirit and geographical distinctions. In foreign affairs, he warned against long-term alliances with other nations.
1863 – The two-day Battle of Chickamauga began in the northwestern section of Georgia. The battle was the most significant Union defeat in the Western Theater of the Civil War and involved the second highest number of casualties (a combined 4,000 deaths) in the war following the Battle of Gettysburg.
1864 – The Battle of Opequon, more commonly known as the Third Battle of Winchester, was fought in Winchester, Virginia. The overwhelming Union victory helped win re-election for Abraham Lincoln.
Among the Confederate dead was Col. George S. Patton, Sr. His grandson, George S. Patton, Jr., would become one of the most famous U.S. generals of World War II.
1881 – Eighty days after Charles J. Guiteau. a failed office seeker, shot him in Washington, D.C., President James A. Garfield died of complications from his wounds.
1952 – The United States barred actor/comedian Charlie Chaplin from re-entering the country after he had left on a trip to England. The action followed years of government harassment of Chaplin; with accusations he openly displayed a pro-communist political stance, which Chaplin strongly denied.
By 1972, the political climate in the U.S. had changed. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences offered Chaplin an Honorary Award, which Chaplin was initially hesitant about accepting, but he decided to return to the U.S. for the first time in 20 years. The visit attracted a large amount of press coverage, and at the Academy Awards gala he was given a twelve-minute standing ovation, the longest in the Academy’s history.
1957 – The United States detonated a 1.7 kiloton nuclear weapon in an underground tunnel at the Nevada Test Site (NTS), a 1,375 square mile research center located 65 miles north of Las Vegas. The test, known as Rainier, was the first fully contained underground detonation and produced no radioactive fallout.
1955 – After a decade of rule, Argentine President Juan Domingo Peron was deposed in a military coup.
1959 – Nikita Khruschev, the leader of the U.S.S.R., was a little upset. In fact, he got quite angry. And who could blame him. He wasn’t allowed to ride down the Matterhorn, see Tinkerbell or Mickey or anything else at Disneyland. Security – or lack thereof – prevented him from visiting the Southern California amusement park. He did, however, get to visit a movie set.
1985 – The first of two killer earthquakes hit Mexico City. The first, 8.1 on the Richter scale, was followed the next day by one measuring 7.5. The quakes crumbled buildings (damages were estimated at more than one billion dollars) and killed almost 10,000 people.
1990 – Goodfellas, a Martin Scorcese film following the rise and fall of Lucchese crime family associate Henry Hill and his friends over a period from 1955 to 1980, premiered at the 47th Venice International Film Festival.
The film would garner six Academy Award nominations, with Joe Pesci winning the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his breathtaking – and extremely vicious – performance as Tommy DeVito.
1991 – Ötzi, the Iceman, was found by a German tourist, Helmut Simon, on the Similaun Glacier in the Tirolean Ötztal Alps, on the Italian-Austrian border. The body was that of a man aged 25 to 35 who had been about 5 feet 2 inches tall and had weighed about 110 pounds. He is the oldest mummified human body ever found intact – some 5000 years old.
Ötzi’s frozen mummy preserves a fine collection of Copper Age tattoos. Numbering over 50 in total, they cover him from head to foot. These weren’t produced using a needle, but by making fine cuts in the skin and then rubbing in charcoal. The result was a series of lines and crosses mostly located on parts of the body that are prone to injury or pain, such as the joints and along the back. This has led some researchers to believe that the tattoos marked acupuncture points.
1995 – The Washington Post published a 35,000-word manifesto written by the Unabomber, who since the late 1970s had eluded authorities while carrying out a series of bombings across the United States that killed 3 people and injured another 23.
After reading the manifesto, David Kaczynski realized the writing style was similar to that of his brother, Theodore Kaczynski, and notified the F.B.I. On April 3, 1996, Ted Kaczynski was arrested at his isolated cabin near Lincoln, Montana, where investigators found evidence linking him to the Unabomber crimes.
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