1923 – One of the most devastating earthquakes in human history falls on the Japanese capital Tokyo. An earthquake measuring 8.3 on the Richter scale would destroy more than 50 percent of the city and cause nearly 150,000 deaths and injuries. This natural disaster would be the first in a series of others that would hit Japan years later.
1928 – Ahmet Zogu announces the creation of the Kingdom of Albania, declaring himself King, after a series of important political positions that the latter had held since 1920. Being first Minister of Interior, Prime Minister, and then President, Zogu will to take one of the boldest steps in Albanian historiography by allowing the creation of the Monarchy which would end with the occupation of Albania by fascist Italy.
1939 – Nazi Germany invades and invades Poland, officially paving the way for the outbreak of World War II, which would claim the lives of some 65 million people worldwide. Poland’s military resistance would end only after a month.
1962 – Lind Ruud Gullit, one of the most famous footballers of the Dutch national team and the Italian team of Milan. Gullit would be proclaimed European Champion in 1988 by defeating the Soviet Union 2-0 in Munich, Germany.
1972 – Iceland’s Reykjavik hosts the World Chess Championship, where the Game of the Century takes place, between Bobby Fischer and Boris Spassky, champions of the United States and the Soviet Union, respectively. Fischer would defeat Spasskin after a few matches and also break 24-year-old Soviet hegemony in the sport for the first time.
1983 – A South Korean civilian 007 aircraft is shot down by a Soviet military jet near the Sakhalin Islands in the northwestern Pacific, killing all 269 passengers and crew on board, including US Congressman Lawrence McDonald. This air incident would be one of the worst in the Cold War period which would also lead to the deterioration of Moscow-Seoul diplomatic relations.
1989 – Wladyslaw Gomulka, President of Communist Poland, dies in Warsaw at the age of 77. Gomulka would lead his country from 1956 to 1970, a period in which Poland, although under a dictatorial regime, would take concrete steps to develop its economy, liberalize, and establish a kind of autonomy from official Moscow.
2004 – One of the most serious terrorist acts in the history of this country is undertaken in Beslan, Russia, where armed Islamic militants will take a primary school hostage for 72 hours together with its students and teachers. The event would end tragically with the deaths of 385 people including students, teachers, security personnel, as well as the terrorists themselves.