What happened on this day in history: The Armenian genocide begins, the Golden State Killer is arrested, and more.
1800: The Library Of Congress Is Established
President John Adams approved a congressional act that both moved the nation’s capital from Philadelphia to Washington D.C., and set aside $5,000 for books to be used by Congress. Though a fire destroyed the Library’s original collection of 3,000 books during the War of 1812 — and subsequent fires destroyed many of the books purchased from Thomas Jefferson to replace them — the Library of Congress contains over 170 million items today, including 51 million books.
1915: The Armenian Genocide Begins
The Armenian genocide begins with the arrest and execution of hundreds of Armenian intellectuals and community leaders by the Ottoman Empire. The genocide would ultimately last from 1915 until 1923 and result in the deaths of roughly two million people. Though Turkey denies the genocide ever took place — the Turkish government argues that the Armenians were an enemy force during wartime — the United States recognized the genocide in 2021.
1916: The Easter Rebellion Begins
Launched by Irish nationalists led by Patrick Pearse, the Easter Rebellion sought to end British rule and establish Irish independence. Though a British counteroffensive swiftly quashed the rebellion — Parse and more than a dozen nationalist leaders were subsequently executed — the Easter Rebellion lay the groundwork for later acts of resistance and the establishment of the Irish Free State in 1921.
1967: Vladimir Komarov Becomes First Man To Die In Space
Vladimir Komarov becomes the first man to die in space. In 1964, Komarov commanded Voskhod 1, the first space flight to carry more than one crew member. His second time in space was with the Soyuz 1, on which he served as a solo pilot. Upon attempting to return to Earth, the Soyuz 1’s parachute failed, causing the vessel to slam into the ground at a speed of 98 feet per second. The impact severely mutilated Komarov’s body, and it was put on display during his funeral to show just how dangerous space travel could be.
2018: The ‘Golden State Killer’ Is Arrested
Joseph James DeAngelo, the so-called “Golden State Killer,” is arrested in Sacramento County, California. A serial killer and rapist who eluded the police for more than four decades, DeAngelo killed 13 people, raped more than 50 women, and broke into more than 100 houses in California between 1974 and 1986. He was finally tracked down thanks to DNA evidence.