1492 – Christopher Columbus sights Cuba and claims it for Spain under the name “Juana”
1538 – The first university in the New World, the Universidad Santo Tomás de Aquino, is established on Hispaniola.
1726 – “Gulliver’s Travels” by Jonathan Swift is published by Benjamin Motte in London.
1811 – First known purchase of Jane Austen’s novel “Sense and Sensibility” by the Prince Regent (later George IV), a fan.
1886 – The Statue of Liberty, a gift of friendship from the people of France to the people of the United States, is dedicated in New York Harbor by President Grover Cleveland.
1924 – Miner M.de Bruin discovers the infant fossil skull, “Taung child” in a lime quarry in Taung, South Africa. Paleoanthropologist Raymond Dart identifies the fossil as a new hominin species, Australopithecus africanus.
1940 – Mussolini’s army, already occupying Albania, invades Greece in what will prove to be a disastrous military campaign for the Duce’s forces.
1954 – Nobel Prize for Literature is awarded to Ernest Hemingway
1955 – An American computer programmer and entrepreneur Bill Gates—who co-founded Microsoft, the world’s largest personal-computer software company—was born.
2001 – The indie cult hit “Donnie Darko”, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, is released.
Via Britannica / On This Day