This Day in History
1520: Portuguese mariner Ferdinand Magellan finds the westward route to Asia from Europe by rounding South America and entering the Pacific.
1912: Albanian patriots led by Ismail Qemal proclaim the country's independence.
1916: During World War I, the first German airplane raid on London takes place.
1943: The Tehran Conference begins in Iran, with Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, and Joseph Stalin discussing plans for the Allied invasion of Europe.
1960: Mauritania becomes independent.
1964: The unmanned Mariner 4 mission to Mars is launched from Cape Kennedy.
1995: Pres. Bill Clinton signs a measure repealing the federal 55-mph speed limit.
1995: British Prime Min. John Major and Irish Prime Min. John Bruton announce an agreement aimed at restarting talks on the future of Northern Ireland.
2000: After three months of the latest Palestinian intifada, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak dissolves the government and calls for new elections.
2001: Enron Corp., the largest U.S. energy trading company, collapses after smaller rival Dynegy backs out of a planned merger; employees and investors will lose billions of dollars as a result. The collapse is the first in a series of huge corporate scandals.
2002: 10 Kenyans and 3 Israelis are killed as three suicide bombers attack an Israeli-owned hotel near Mombasa, minutes after assailants with shoulder-fired missiles narrowly miss an Israeli jumbo-jet leaving the Mombasa airport.
2005: The government of Canadian Prime Min. Paul Martin is ousted by a no-confidence vote in the House of Commons.
1633: Jean Baptiste Lully, composer who established opera in France (Florence, Italy; died 1687)
1757: William Blake, poet/artist/philosopher (London, England; died 1827)
1820: Friedrich Engels, collaborator with Karl Marx in developing the Communist ideology (Germany; died 1895)
1908: Claude Lévi-Strauss, social anthropologist (Brussels, Belgium)
1929: Berry Gordy, founder of Motown (Detroit, MI)
1931: Hope Lange, actress (Redding Ridge, CT; died 2003)
1938: Gary Hart, senator and presidential aspirant (Ottawa, KS)
1943: Randy Newman, singer/songwriter (Los Angeles, CA)
1949: Paul Shaffer, Late Night With David Letterman bandleader (Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada)
1950: Ed Harris, actor (Englewood, NJ)
1952: S. Epatha Merkerson, actress (Saginaw, MI)
1959: Judd Nelson, actor (Portland, ME)