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On this day in history

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1667: John Milton publishes Paradise Lost, an epic poem about the fall of Adam and Eve.
1741: Danish navigator Vitus Jonas Bering, commissioned by Peter the Great of Russia to find land connecting Asia and North America, discovers America.
1913: 700 feet above Buc, France, parachutist Adolphe Pegoud becomes the first person to jump from an airplane and land safely.
1940: After a previous machine gun attack failed, exiled Russian Leon Trotsky is assassinated in Mexico City, with an alpine ax to the back of the head.
1940: Radar is used for the first time, by the British during the Battle of Britain. Also on this day, in a radio broadcast, Winston Churchill makes his famous homage to the Royal Air Force: "Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few."
1941: Adolf Hitler authorizes the development of the V-2 missile.
1953: USSR publicly acknowledges it tested a hydrogen bomb eight days earlier.
1960: USSR recovers 2 dogs, Belka and Strelka, the first animals to be launched into orbit and returned alive (Sputnik 5).
1961: East Germany begins erecting a wall along western border to replace barbed wire put up Aug. 13; U.S. 1st Battle Group, 18th Infantry Division arrives in West Berlin.
1968: Some 650,000 Warsaw Pact troops invade Czechoslovakia to quell reformers there.
1971: The Cambodian military launches a series of operations against the Khmer Rouge.
1974: U.S. Vice President Gerald Ford, who had replaced Spiro Agnew, assumes the Office of the President after Richard Nixon resigns.
1978: NASA launches Viking 1; with Viking 2, launched a few days later, provided high-resolution mapping of Mars, revolutionizing existing views of the planets.
1990: Iraq moves Western hostages to military installations to use them as human shields against air attacks by a U.S.-led multinational coalition.
1991: After an attempted coup in the Soviet Union, Estonia declares independence from the USSR.
1993: Secret negotiations in Norway lead to agreement on the Oslo Peace Accords, an attempt to resolve the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
1998: U.S. launches cruise missile attacks against alleged al-Qaida camps in Afghanistan and a suspected chemical plant in Sudan in retaliation for the Aug. 7 bombings of American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.
1998: The Supreme Court of Canada rules Quebec cannot legally secede from Canada without the federal government's approval.
2002: A group of Iraqis opposed to the regime of Saddam Hussein seize the Iraqi Embassy in Berlin; after five hours they release their hostages and surrender.



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