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 – His Majesty Zogu I, King of the Albanians born Ahmed Muhtar bey Zogolli, after 1922 simply Ahmet Zogu, was the leader of Albania from 1922 to 1939. He first served as Albanian prime minister (1922–1924), then as president (1925–1928), and finally as king (1928–1939). He received his first lessons in his hometown from private teachers Hysen Efendi Çeka from Elbasan, for the Albanian language and from Hafiz Muharremi from Dibra for the Turkish language, until the age of 13. In 1903, he left for Istanbul with only one companion,] Lala Krosin, and began his studies at “Numenu Tereki”, and then continued to the officers’ school. After being promoted to officer, he also attended and graduated from the French Lycée Gallatasaraj in the imperial capital. He stayed in Istanbul until the end of the spring of 1912, when school classes were closed for the summer vacation. When he returned to his homeland, on August 17, 1912, he slowly pushed aside his brother, Jelal Bey, and secured for himself the primacy of the province of Mat by taking the title of Myhtar. On September 1, 1928, the Constitutional Assembly filled with Zogist partisans declared Albania a kingdom and Ahmet Zogun king. The Albanian kingdom, thanks to the help given by England and Italy, was recognized by foreign governments, even that of Yugoslavia, but the government of Turkey refused to recognize it and relations between the two countries cooled. Zogu made the oath on the Koran and the Bible: “I Zogu, King of the Albanians, at the moment when I am stepping on the throne of the Albanian Kingdom and taking the Royal Power in my hands, I swear before the power of God that I will maintain the National Union, the Independence of State and Lands. I also swear to be loyal to the Statute and to act according to its points and according to the laws that are in force, always considering the good of the people. May God help me.”
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.