On this day

In 1789, King Louis XVI removed from office his finance minister, Jacques Necker, a reformist politician of the Ancien Régime. Necker's dismissal ignited the storming of the Bastille.

In 1804, Aaron Burr, the sitting Vice President of the United States, mortally wounded Alexander Hamilton during their famous duel of honor.

In 1888, the German Catholic jurist and philosopher Carl Schmitt was born in Plettenberg, Westphalia, Germany. A brilliant authoritarian as well as an anti-modern reactionary by temperament, Schmitt quickly abandoned the Weimar Republic and modern constitutionalism in general when he chose to support the Nazis when they came to power. Because of this, he is remembered as the "Kronjurist des Dritten Reiches" ("Crown jurist of the Third Reich") and as the author of numerous astute but flawed critiques of modern political theory and practice, a tainted legacy equaled only by his contemporary, the philosopher Martin Heidegger.

In 1937, the composer George Gershwin died in Hollywood, California. Gershwin died from a brain tumor; he was thirty-eight years old at the time of his death.

In 1940, Marshal Henri Philippe Pétain became head of state of the collaborationist and authoritarian Vichy government in France.

In 1947, the SS Exodus began its journey from France to Mandate Palestine. The ship carried Jewish Holocaust survivors and other Jewish refugees.

In 1960, Benin, Burkina Faso and Niger gained their independence.

In 1971, the government of Chile, led by the socialist Salvador Allende, nationalized its copper mines.

In 1977, President Jimmy Carter posthumously awarded Martin Luther King the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

In 1989, the actor and director Lawrence Olivier died in Steyning, West Sussex, England.

In 1995, the United States and Vietnam established full diplomatic relations.

No comments: