In 1859, British naturalist Charles Darwin published “On the Origin of Species,” which explained his theory of evolution by means of natural selection.
In 1917, nine members of the Milwaukee police department and two civilians were killed when a bomb exploded inside a police station. (The suspicious-looking package was brought to the station by a local resident after it was discovered outside a church; anarchists were suspected, but the culprits were never caught.)
In 1941, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Edwards v. California, unanimously struck down a California law prohibiting people from bringing impoverished non-residents into the state.
In 1944, during World War II, U.S. bombers based on Saipan attacked Tokyo in the first raid against the Japanese capital by land-based planes.
In 1947, a group of writers, producers and directors that became known as the “Hollywood Ten” was cited for contempt of Congress for refusing to answer questions about alleged Communist influence in the movie industry. John Steinbeck’s novel “The Pearl” was first published.
In 1969, Apollo 12 splashed down safely in the Pacific.
In 1971, a hijacker calling himself “Dan Cooper” (but who became popularly known as “D.B. Cooper”) parachuted from a Northwest Orient Airlines 727 over the Pacific Northwest after receiving $200,000 in ransom; his fate remains unknown.
In 1985, the hijacking of an Egyptair jetliner parked on the ground in Malta ended violently as Egyptian commandos stormed the plane. Fifty-eight people died in the raid, in addition to two others killed by the hijackers.
In 1987, the United States and the Soviet Union agreed on terms to scrap shorter- and medium-range missiles. (The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty was signed by President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev the following month.)
In 1991, rock singer Freddie Mercury died in London at age 45 of AIDS-related pneumonia.
In 1992, a China Southern Airlines Boeing 737 crashed in southern China, killing all 141 people on board.
In 2000, the U-S Supreme Court stepped into the bitter, overtime struggle for the White House, agreeing to consider George W. Bush’s appeal against the hand recounting of ballots in Florida.
Ten years ago: A Muslim charity, the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, and five of its former leaders were convicted by a federal jury in Dallas of funneling millions of dollars to the Palestinian militant group Hamas. Pakistan won final approval for a $7.6 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund to help stave off a possible economic meltdown. Former West Virginia Gov. Cecil H. Underwood — elected to the job in 1956 and in 1996 — died at age 86.
Five years ago: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu harshly condemned the international community’s nuclear deal with Iran, calling it a “historic mistake” and saying he was not bound by the agreement. The Vatican publicly unveiled a handful of bone fragments purportedly belonging to St. Peter, the first pope. Taylor Swift took home four American Music Awards, including top honor artist of the year for the third time.
One year ago: Militants attacked a crowded mosque in Egypt with gunfire and rocket-propelled grenades, killing more than 300 people in the deadliest-ever attack by Islamic extremists in the country. Zimbabwe swore in its new leader, Emmerson Mnangagwa, after the resignation of President Robert Mugabe, who had fired his longtime deputy just two and a half weeks earlier. South Africa’s Supreme Court of Appeal increased the prison sentence of Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius to 13 years and five months in the shooting death of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, more than doubling the original six-year sentence.
Today’s Birthdays: Basketball Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson is 80. Country singer Johnny Carver is 78. Former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue (TAG’-lee-uh-boo) is 78. Rock drummer Pete Best is 77. Actor-comedian Billy Connolly is 76. Former White House news secretary Marlin Fitzwater is 76. Former congressman and Motion Picture Association of America Chairman Dan Glickman is 74. Singer Lee Michaels is 73. Actor Dwight Schultz is 71. Actor Stanley Livingston is 68. Rock musician Clem Burke (Blondie; The Romantics) is 64. Record producer Terry Lewis is 62. Actor/director Ruben Santiago-Hudson is 62. Actress Denise Crosby is 61. Actress Shae D’Lyn is 56. Rock musician John Squire (The Stone Roses) is 56. Rock musician Gary Stonadge (Big Audio) is 56. Actor Conleth Hill is 54. Actor-comedian Brad Sherwood is 54. Actor Garret Dillahunt is 54. Actor-comedian Scott Krinsky is 50. Rock musician Chad Taylor (Live) is 48. Actress Lola Glaudini is 47. Actress Danielle Nicolet is 45. Actor-writer-director-producer Stephen Merchant is 44. Olympic bronze medal figure skater Chen Lu is 42. Actor Colin Hanks is 41. Actress Katherine Heigl (HY’-guhl) is 40. Actress Sarah Hyland is 28.
Thought for Today: “Between flattery and admiration there often flows a river of contempt.” — Minna Antrim, American writer (1861-1950).