This Day in History


American actor Leonard Nimoy—who was best known for his portrayal of the stoic, cerebral Mr. Spock in the sci-fi TV and film franchise Star Trek—died at age 83.


American editor and author William F. Buckley, Jr.—who became an important intellectual influence in politics as the founder (1955) and editor in chief of the journal National Review, which he used as a forum for conservative views and ideas—died at age 82.


U.S. President George H.W. Bush ordered a cease-fire effective at midnight and declared victory in the Persian Gulf War, a conflict triggered by Iraq’s invasion and occupation of Kuwait in August 1990.


Two hundred members of the American Indian Movement forcefully took the reservation hamlet of Wounded Knee, South Dakota.


During a news broadcast, American journalist Walter Cronkite, who was considered “the most trusted man in America,” broke from his usual objectivity to predict that the Vietnam War could end only in a protracted stalemate; his commentary was credited with changing the U.S. public’s opinion of the conflict.


Saint Kitts and Nevis (with Anguilla) became an independent state associated with the United Kingdom.


The Twenty-second Amendment, which effectively limited to two the number of terms a U.S. president may serve, was ratified.


In Berlin the Reichstag (parliament) building caught fire, a key event in the establishment of Nazi dictatorship.


American actress Elizabeth Taylor—whose career, highlighted by award-winning portrayals of emotionally volatile characters, was often overshadowed by her highly publicized personal life—was born in London.


American novelist John Steinbeck—who was best known for The Grapes of Wrath (1939), which summed up the bitterness of the Great Depression decade and aroused widespread sympathy for the plight of migratory farmworkers—was born.


American lawyer and politician Hugo Black—who, as a Supreme Court justice, was known for his support of the doctrine of total incorporation—was born.


Paul Kruger, president of the South African Republic, signed a treaty in London that disavowed British authority over the Transvaal.


American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was born in Portland, Massachusetts (now in Maine).


At the Battle of Moore’s Creek Bridge, North Carolinian revolutionaries defeated loyalists during the American Revolution.

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