On this day

In 1693, the Benedictine monk Dom Pérignon was said to have invented champagne.

In 1792, Percy Bysshe Shelly, one of the world's great poets, was born in Field Place, Horsham, England.

In 1789, members of revolutionary France's Constituent Assembly took an oath pledging them to abolish Feudalism.

In 1901, jazz trumpeter and singer Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong was born in New Orleans, Louisiana.

In 1914, Germany invaded Belgium, which provoked Great Britain into declaring war on Germany and the United States into declaring its neutrality in the conflict.

In 1916, Liberia, once the destination of freed American slaves, declared war on Germany.

In 1920, the American journalist Helen Thomas was born in Winchester, Kentucky. A strong-willed questioner, Thomas made a path for other women to follow in her chosen profession.

In 1961, American President and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Barack Obama was born in Honolulu, Hawaii.

In 1964, three civil rights workers and voter registration activists were found dead in Mississippi. They had disappeared on June 21, 1964, abducted by a local police officer and subsequently murdered by a Ku Klux Klan death squad. Outrage over these murders contributed into the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Pub.L. 88-352, 78 Stat. 241, enacted July 2, 1964).

In 1964, North Vietnamese gunboats allegedly fired on an American destroyer in the Gulf of Tonkin. Another incident in the Tonkin Gulf was supposed to have occurred on August 2, 1964. Together, these 'attacks" motivated the United States Congress to pass the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution (Southeast Asia Resolution, P.L. 88-408). The Resolution was an enabling act which authorized President Lyndon Johnson to use American troops to contest Communist aggression in Southeast Asia. This troop usage did not require Congress to pass a Declaration of War. The American government's abuse of this delegated authority under Presidents Johnson and Nixon led to the passage of the War Powers Resolution of 1973 (50 U.S.C. 1541–1548).

In 1969, Henry Kissinger of the United States and Xuân Thuỷ of North Vietnam began their secret negotiations over the Vietnam War in Paris, France.

In 1987, the Federal Communications Commission rescinded the Fairness Doctrine that required radio and television stations to present controversial issues to the public and to make the presentation in a judicious manner. The doctrine was introduced in 1949.

In 2007, Raul Hilberg, the Austrian-born American political scientist and historian of the Holocaust, died in Williston, Vermont.

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