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2006  The term 'planet' was redefined by the International Astronomical Union (IAU). Under the new definition Pluto is no longer considered to be a planet but rather a dwarf planet.
2004  Two Russian passenger jets exploded within minutes of each other following their take off from Domodedovo International Airport. 89 people died in the explosions, which were the detonated by two suicide bombers.
1995  The Windows 95 computer operating system was released by Microsoft.
1991  Mikhail Gorbachev resigned as head of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.
1991  The Ukraine declared itself independent from the rule of the Soviet Union.
1981  Mark David Chapman was sentenced to life in prison for murdering John Lennon. He has so far (2007) been denied parole four times.
1968  France detonated its first hydrogen bomb, becoming the world's fifth nuclear power.
1965  American basketball player, Reggie Miller, was born in Riverside, California. He spent the whole of his 18-year NBA career with the Indiana Pacers.
1958  American actor, Steve Guttenberg, was born in Brooklyn, New York. He starred in some of the highest grossing films of the 1980's and was one of the most famous comedic actors of the time, his career though toned down during the 1990's.
1957  British actor, Stephen Fry, was born in Hampstead, London.
1954  The Communist Control Act went into effect in the United States. Under the terms of the act the American communist party as well as membership in it, was outlawed.
1954  President of Brazil, Getulio Dornelles Vargas, committed suicide.
1948  French musician Jean-Michel Jarre, was born in Lyon. He is considered as one of the founders of the Electronic and New Age music genres.
1939  Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union signed a Non-aggression Pact.
1929  Approximately 100 persons of Jewish descent were killed in Palestine by Arab Palestinians.
1929  Palestinian leader, Yasser Arafat, was born in Cairo, Egypt. He was the recipient of the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize alongside Shimon Peres and Yitzhak Rabin. A controversial figure who was considered as a heroic fighter by his supporters and brutal terrorist by his enemies.
1899  Argentine writer, Jorge Luis Borges, was born in Buenos Aires. He is widely acknowledged as one of the most important Spanish-language literary figures of the 20th century.
1891  The motion picture camera was patented by the famed inventor, Thomas Edison.
1690  The city of Calcutta, India was founded.
1572  On the orders of king Charles IX of France, several thousand Protestants were massacreD in Paris.