Paris was liberated from Nazi occupation. (1944) The "Battle for Paris" was fought from August 19, 1944 to this day, when Germans who had been occupying the city for four years surrendered to the Allies.
The New York Sun started a six-article series about how life was discovered on the Moon. (1835) In what became known as "The Great Moon Hoax," the New York newspaper claimed the stories were reprints from the Edinburgh Journal of Science. The articles were meant as satire, but readers took it seriously. The newspaper eventually admitted the hoax, which readers generally accepted with good humor.
US President Harry S. Truman ordered the seizure of US railroads by the US Army to ward off a strike. (1950) Three labor unions — the Order of Railway Conductors, the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen and Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and Enginemen — went on strike anyway. The strike ended 21 months later when the three unions accepted President Truman's terms of agreement and returned to work.
The infection that caused the bubonic plague was discovered. (1894) Japanese physician Shibasaburo Kitasato discovered and identified the bacteria that caused the bubonic plague. The plague was responsible for taking the lives of about 25 million people — about one-third of the population of Europe in the 14th century. Kitasato's discovery came at almost the same time as Swiss physician Alexandre Yersin discovery of the same bacteria.
The "American Hitler" was killed by a sniper. (1967) George Lincoln Rockwell was the leader of the American Nazi party. He was killed by John Patler, a "Captain" in the American Nazi party. Patler later was sentenced to 20 years in prison for the murder.
The Wizard of Oz movie premiered. (1939) The movie, which would become one of the best-known movies of all time, was based on a book by L. Frank Baum called The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. It was one of the first movies added to the National Film Registry, which only lists movies that have cultural or historical significance.
Galileo Galilei presented his first telescope. (1609)Galileo developed a telescope with 3x magnification, which he later improved to 30x magnification. His telescope became popular with merchants for trade and as a tool for Captains at sea. He presented the first telescope to lawmakers in Venice, Italy.
NASA's Voyager 2 space probe made its closest fly-by of Neptune. (1989) Neptune is the farthest planet out in the Solar System — more than two billion miles from Earth. Voyager 2 returned the first close-up photos of the planet, along with shots of its satellite planets.
The US Department of the Interior established the US National Park Service. (1916) The service was created by an act of the US Congress called the National Park Service Organic Act. It is a federal agency that oversees the maintenance of US parks and national monuments.
An earthquake hit Mao County in China, killing 9,000 people. (1933) The Mao County town of Diexi in the Sichuan province was completely destroyed in what became known as the Diexi earthquake.