1892 – Born in the Varosh neighborhood of Kruja, Abaz Kupi was a military man and activist for the national cause during the Second World War. With the landing of the Italians in Durrës on April 7, 1939, it lasted for 36 hours. Abaz Kupi was one of the main organizers and participants of the Peza Meeting held on September 16, 1942 and was elected a member of KANÇ, as many other figures were used by the communists to pull the masses along with the sensational name “National Liberation Front”. On October 24, 1944, he left his homeland in a boat provided by Ihsan Toptani in Shkodra, together with his two sons Petrit, Rustemi and translator Gaqo Goga (the SOE of Bari did not help him to retreat with the British officers), for 6 days without food and without water until they were found by a Canadian mine-clearing ship that took them to Brindisi, Italy. He left his family in Shkodra. The youngest son, Fatbardhi, was arrested in 1945, while the rest of the family, his wife and daughters, would be interned in Tepelena and then in the Myzeqe internment camps. In emigration he deals with the organization of emigrants for a political union, then he became active in the committee “Free Albania” with president Mit’hat bej Frashëri, who would be replaced by Hasan Dosti. On July 7, 1949, he was appointed president of the military junta, under the “Valuable” project – a body controlling secret military operations to destabilize the communist regime in Albania. In 1968 he moved to the United States. Died January 9, 1976 in New York, USA, his body laid to rest at Kew Gardens Cimitery in Queens.
1908 – Born in Eskişehir Eqrem Çabej, Albanian teacher, linguist and albanologist. In the school year 1939-’40 Çabej was transferred to the gymnasium of Tirana where he was in charge of running the school. Member of the Institute of Albanian Studies, in 1940 he was sent to Rome by min. of Education Ernest Koliqi to work on the Albanian Language Atlas, which was not carried out due to political changes during the Second World War. In September 1943 he was appointed min. of Education in the Mitrovica government, a position he did not accept. On January 25, 1944, his brother, Selaudini, deputy prefect of the Gjakova Highlands, was shot. He returned to Albania only after July 1944. In 1947, he was appointed a member of the Institute of Sciences, the previous institute of the University of Tirana. From 1952 to 1957, he served as professor of Albanian history and historical phonetics. In 1972, he became a founding member of the Academy of Sciences. Çabej specialized in Indo-European comparative linguistics. He elaborated his scientific activity in linguistics, but also abroad, in folklore, ethnography and literary history. Historical etymological and lexical studies, dialectology of onomastics as well as codification of literary language take place. Çabej has provided valuable assistance with a series of etymological explanations during the compilation of the Dictionary of the Albanian language published in Tirana in 1980.
1926 – Gertrude Ederle becomes the first woman to swim across the English Channel. Ederle, was an American competition swimmer, Olympic champion and former world record holder in five events. On August 6, 1926, she became the first woman to swim across the English Channel. Among other nicknames, the press sometimes called her “Queen of the Waves.
1942 – Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands becomes the first reigning queen to chair a joint session of the United States Congress. Shortly afterwards, Wilhelmina went to Canada in 1943 to attend the coronation of her new niece Margriet on June 29, 1943 in Ottawa, Canada.
1945 – The first atomic bomb is dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima. The bomb, codenamed “Little Boy,” was dropped by a U.S. Air Force B-29 Enola Gay military aircraft. About 80,000 people are killed instantly, and tens of thousands die in the following years from burns and poisoning, from radiation.
1965 – US President Lyndon B. Johnson signs into law the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 is an essential part of federal law in the United States that prohibits racial discrimination in voting. The act is considered to be the most effective piece of civil rights ever enacted in the country.
1983 – Robin van Persie is born in Rotterdam. Van Persie, is a former professional Dutch footballer who played as a striker. Rated as one of the best strikers of his generation, he is the all-time leading scorer of the Dutch national team. Some of his teams are, Feynoord, Arsenal, and Manchester United.
1990 – The United Nations Security Council imposes a global trade embargo on Iraq in response to the invasion of Kuwait. This embargo would be followed by the military intervention of the US-led coalition against this invasion. This intervention would end with the victory of American troops.
1994 – Domenico Modugno dies at the age of 66. Modugno, was a singer, songwriter, actor, guitarist, and later in life, a member of the Italian Parliament. He is best known for his international hit song in 1958 “Nel blu dipinto di blu”, for which he received Grammy Awards for Record and Song of the Year. He is considered the first Italian singer-songwriter.
2012 – NASA’s Curiosity rover lands on the surface of Mars. Curiosity is a car-sized rover designed to explore the Gale Crater on Mars as part of NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory mission. The rover’s goals include a scientific investigation and research into Martian climate and geology.