1586 – Sir Thomas Herriot introduces potatoes to England from Colombia.
1818 – Illinois was admitted as the 21st state of the United States of America.
1854 – Eureka Stockade: In what is claimed by many to be the birth of Australian democracy, more than 20 gold miners at Ballarat, Victoria, are killed by state troopers in an uprising over mining licences.
1861 – In a battle during the American Civil War, Federal troops ousted the Confederates from Salem, Missouri.
1967 – 1st human heart transplant performed in South Africa by Dr Christiaan Barnard on Louis Washkansky.
1984 – Bhopal disaster: Union Carbide pesticide plant leak 45 tons of methyl isocyanate and other toxic compounds in Bhopal, India, kills 2,259 (official figure) – other estimates as high as 16,000 (including later deaths) and over half a million injured.
1989 – Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev and US President George H. W. Bush, declare the Cold War over.
Sport: 1961 – Dutchman Anton Geesink becomes 1st non-Japanese judo world champion.
Music: 1908 – Edward Elgar’s 1st Symphony in A performed by the Hallé Orchestra conducted by Hans Richter, premieres in Manchester, England.
TV & Film:1922 – First successful technicolour movie (Tall of the Sea), shown in NYC
1947 – Tennessee Williams’s A Streetcar Named Desire premiered on Broadway, starring Jessica Tandy, Kim Hunter, and Marlon Brando; the latter two appeared in the 1951 film adaptation.
Via Britannica / On This Day