1918 – dies at the age of 75, in Istanbul, Abdyl Hamidi II. Abdyl Hamidi was the 34th Sultan of the Ottoman Empire and the last Sultan to exercise control over the High Gate. He waged several wars with the Russian Empire, which he lost, and a conflict with Greece in which he emerged victoriously. Hamid II ruled from 1876 until he fell after the “Young Turks” Revolution in 1908-09.
1938 – Azem Shkreli, an Albanian poet and literary critic, was born in Rugova, Peja. He was the president of the Kosovo Writers’ Association, the director of the Provincial Theater in Prishtina and the founder and director of Kosova Film. With his literary creativity he appeared in the ’50s and with his poetry he set poetic peaks in Albanian literature. His poems have been translated into many foreign languages. Azem Shkreli’s emergence as a poet, in addition to coinciding with the arrival of powerful talent, also marked the first turn towards the opening and modernization of post-war Albanian poetry. Shkreli naturally climbed to the heights of today’s Albanian poetry and this place he consolidated and reinforced from one poetic work to another, until the last one, which left the manuscript “Birds and stones”, published in 1997.
1939 – During the Spanish Civil War, nationalists complete their takeover of Catalonia and seal the border with France. The Nationalist Army launched the offensive on December 23, 1938, and quickly occupied Republican-held Catalonia with Barcelona, the capital of the Republic, from October 1937. This would be the final phase of this bloody four-year civil conflict.
1947 – The Paris Peace Treaties are signed by Italy, Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria, Finland and WWII Allies. The Peace Conference in Paris lasted from July 29 to October 15, 1946. The treaties allowed the defeated Axis powers to regain their responsibilities as sovereign states in international affairs and to qualify for membership in the United Nations.
1950 – Born in Modesto, Mark Spitz. Spitz is a former competitive American swimmer and 10-time Olympic champion. He won seven gold medals at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, all on a world record. It was an achievement that lasted for 36 years until it was surpassed by US colleague Michael Phelps, who won eight gold medals at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
1962 – During the Cold War, captured U2 spy pilot Gary Powers exchanges with captured Soviet agent Rudolf Abel. Along with Powers, American student Frederic Pryor was also exchanged. The famous exchange took place in the wee hours of the night on the main Berlin Glikopeni Bridge. Even today, because of the exchanges, this bridge is called the “spy bridge”.
1972 – Ras Al Khaimah joins the United Arab Emirates, currently comprising seven emirates. The leader of the province, Sadr bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, joined Ras Al Khaimah with official Abu Dhabi because of the constant threat of US, Russian, or other Middle Eastern military power seizing the coast. The formation of the UAE stabilized the situation in this region.
1996 – IBM’s Deep Blue supercomputer defeats Garry Kasparov for the first time in chess. It was designed to be the first computer game system to win a chess game and a chess match against a reigning world champion under regular time controls. This would be one of the rare victories in the world of an electronic application against a chess player.