1922 – The British Broadcasting Corporation, otherwise known as the BBC, is founded in London. This company would soon become one of the leaders in Europe and around the world, in the field of news media and television. The BBC would become the symbol of free speech in Nazi-occupied Europe, and then during the Cold War period in countries ruled by communist regimes. For almost a century, the British Broadcasting Corporation has been the “official voice” of the UK, employing around 35,000 people.
1925 – Born in Shkodra Ramiz Alia, former president of Albania, politician, has been one of the most important figures of the Albanian Labor Party, who led Albania between 1984 – 1990 and president of the republic. Alia is included in the list compiled by the Institute for the Study of the Crimes and Consequences of Communism, which summarizes the participants who have direct responsibility for the crimes of the Albanian Communist Party and the National Liberation Army, being, according to law no. 41, members of political and military structures “who have inspired, organized, ordered, executed or assisted partisan forces in criminal acts”. After the first multiparty elections in Albania held on March 31, 1991, the new pluralist parliament dominated by the deputies of the ALP, on April 30, 1991, on the proposal of the ALP, elected Ramiz Alia as President of the Republic. With the fall of the coalition government in December 1992 and the Democratic Party of Albania winning a landslide victory in the spring 1992 general elections, he resigned as president on April 3, 1992. On September 12, 1992, he was placed under house arrest and a year later arrested. On May 21, 1994, senior officials of the communist regime, including Alia, went to trial. Alia was accused of abuse of power and embezzlement of state funds. The court claimed he was the victim of a political show trial and demanded that the trial be televised, a claim denied by the presiding judge. The trial was monitored by a representative of Human Rights Watch – Helsinki and proceeded with only a few minor procedural irregularities. The ten defendants were found guilty as accused and sentenced to between three and nine years in prison; Alia received a nine-year sentence.
1945 – Argentina’s military leader Juan Domingues Peron marries the famous actress Eva Duarte, otherwise known as Evita. The Peron-Duarte couple would become one of the most famous and commented on in Argentina in the 40s and 50s. They would rule the country until 1952, when Juan Peronn resigned as a result of electoral defeat. Evita herself would die that same year of an incurable disease. While Juan would die in exile in 1974 after the coming to power of the Military Junta which, would rule with an iron fist.
1960 – Born in Saint Agatha, Belgium, one of the world’s most famous movie stars Jean Claude van Damme. Van Damme during his rich film career starred in about 60 action genre films. Most prominent are Bloodsport, Universal Soldier, Double Team, Lionheart, and The Expendables. In addition to his cinematic career, he has also been active in the sports of Kickboxing and Thaibox. Van Damme has performed alongside world action icons such as Stallone, Schwartzeneger, Lundgren, etc.
1967 – The Soviet Union launches the space probe Venus – 4. This would be the fourth step of the CKP, also known as the Soviet Space Agency, to explore the planet Venus. Before that, three more space probes had been sent to this planet. The space program, which would target a cycle of exploratory missions to the planet, would be funded by the official Kremlin. Venus – 4 weighed 1.2 tons and landed on the planet Venus for 293 days.
1977 – The so-called “German Autumn” takes place in West Germany. Members of the left-leaning terrorist organization RAF would execute Hans Martin Schleyer. Schleyer was a wealthy businessman and industrialist, as well as the President of the German Chamber of Industrialists. He was found shot with an automatic bullet in the trunk of a car in Mulhouse, France. The killing came as revenge for the mysterious deaths of three of the RAF members who were imprisoned in Bonn.
1978 – Famous KGB agent Ramon Mercader dies in Havana at the age of 65. Mercader, will be widely known to the international public, as the assassin of Leon Trotsky, in Mexico in 1940. He was recruited by the Soviet secret service, and disguised as a journalist, stabbed Trotsky in the head in the office of this the last. Mercader was later sentenced to 20 years in prison, and after his release fled to Moscow where he was decorated with the highest medals, for his services.
2011 – The kidnapping odyssey of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, held captive for five years by the Palestinian organization Hamas, ends. Shalit was taken prisoner and then held hostage by the Palestinians in the conflict with Israel in 2006. After much effort by official Tel Aviv, but also by international organizations, an agreement was reached in October 2011. Over 1,000 Palestinian and Arab prisoners would be released from Israeli prisons, and exchanged with Gilad Shalit. Shalit’s arrival in Israel was greeted with great honors.