1974 NASA’s Mariner 10 spaceprobe made its first flyby of the planet Mercury at a range of 703 kilometres, the first spacecraft ever to do so.
1879 Eugene Onegin, an opera by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, had its premiere performance at the Maly Theatre in Moscow. It is is based on the novel in verse by Alexander Pushkin.
1871 The Royal Albert Hall, a concert, performance, and arts venue in the City of Westminster was officially opened.
1795 German composer and pianist Ludwig van Beethoven had his first public performance in Vienna.
1638 Swedish colonists, aboard the ships Kalmar Nyckel and Fogel Grip, landed at a spot along the Christina River at the present site of Old Swedes Church in Wilmington, Delaware. They named the area New Sweden, and it was the first white European colony in Delaware.
1910 French aviator Henri Fabre first flew Le Canard, the first seaplane in history to take off from water under its own power.
1892 Flemish physiologist Corneille Heymans was born in Ghent. He discovered how blood pressure and oxygen content of the blood are measured by the body and transmitted to the brain, an achievement for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1938. The lunar crater Heymans is named in his honor.
1802 German physician and astronomer Heinrich Wilhelm Matthäus Olbers discovered the asteroid 2 Pallas, the 2nd asteroid ever discovered by man.
1776 The Presidio of San Francisco was founded by Spanish explorer Juan Bautista de Anza.
1472 Italian Renaissance painter Fra Bartolomeo was born in Savignano di Prato.
1994 The Eurofighter Typhoon, a twin-engine canard-delta wing multirole aircraft, was flown for the first time.
1969 NASA launched the Mariner 7 unmanned spacecraft. The mission’s goals were to study the surface and atmosphere of Mars during close flybys.
1863 English car manufacturer Sir Frederick Henry Royce was born in Alwalton. Together with Charles Stewart Rolls, he founded the Rolls-Royce company in 1904.
1845 German physicist Wilhelm Röntgen was born in Lennep. In 1895 he first produced and detected electromagnetic radiation in a wavelength range today known as x-rays or Röntgen rays, an achievement that earned him the first Nobel Prize in Physics in 1901.
1958 The United States Army Ballistic Missile Agency launched Explorer 3, the 2nd American satellite to be launched into orbit.
1773 American mathematician Nathaniel Bowditch was born in Salem, Massachussetts. He is considered the father of modern maritime navigation, having published in 1802 an encyclopedia of navigation called The New American Practical Navigator which is still carried aboard all American naval ships.
1698 Czech scientist Václav Prokop Diviš was born in Helvíkovice, Bohemia. He invented one of the first lightning rods (independent of Benjamin Franklin) and constructed the first electrified musical instrument in history, the so-called Denis d’or.
1636 Utrecht University (Universiteit Utrecht in Dutch) was established. It is one of the oldest universities in the Netherlands and one of the largest in Europe.
1516 Swiss naturalist Conrad Gessner was born in Zurich. He is considered to be one of the fathers of modern zoology, having published in the 1550s an encyclopedic work of “an inventory of renaissance zoology” called Historiae animalium.
1958 The Avro Canada CF-105 Arrow, a Canadian delta-winged interceptor aircraft, was flown for the first time. The aircraft was capable of Mach 2 speeds and was able to achieve an altitude of over 50,000 feet.
1925 Scottish engineer and inventor John Logie Baird gave the first public demonstration of his television system at the Selfridges department store, Oxford Street, London.
1655 Dutch mathematician and astronomer Christiaan Huygens discovered Titan, Saturn’s largest moon, using a telescope he and his brother had built.
1538 German mathematician and astronomer Christopher Clavius was born in Bamberg, a town in Bavaria. He was the main architect of the modern Gregorian calendar and in his later life was probably the most respected astronomer in Europe. He was a contemporary of Galileo and the two men spent time together discussing the observations Galileo had made with his telescope, and their implications in regards to the structure of the solar system. The lunar crater Clavius is named in his honor.
1306 Robert the Bruce became King of Scotland. He is considered one of Scotland’s greatest Kings and one of the greatest guerrilla fighters of all time, having secured Scottish independence from England militarily at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314.