What happened on this day in history: Winston Churchill resigns as Prime Minister, Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain dies by suicide, and more.
1614: Pocahontas Weds John Rolfe
Pocahontas marries John Rolfe, likely at Jamestown, Virginia. Pocahontas of the Powhatan tribe, and Rolfe, an English settler, had met after Pocahontas was taken captive. They seemed to have a happy marriage, but Pocahontas died in 1617 when Rolfe brought her back to England.
1764: Britain Passes The Sugar Act In The American Colonies
Britain passes the Sugar Act in the American Colonies. This act taxed sugar, wine, coffee, and regulated the export of lumber and iron. The act was meant to control smuggling, which was rampant in the region. The tax on molasses disrupted the American whiskey industry, causing strong resistance from the Colonists. Additionally, the act controlled where Colonists could purchase raw goods, effectively limiting the economy and the markets. British officials reserved the right to inspect any American vessel for smuggled goods. The Sugar Act caused massive protests in the American Colonies.
1859: Charles Darwin Sends His Publishers The First Chapters Of On the Origin of Species
Charles Darwin submits the first chapters of On the Origin of Species to his publishers. Darwin’s book, which presented the theory of “natural selection” for the first time, helped lay the foundations for humanity’s understanding of evolution.
1955: Winston Churchill Steps Down
Winston Churchill resigns as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. The 80-year-old, who famously steered the United Kingdom through World War II, had suffered a stroke that affected him physically and mentally. He was succeeded by Anthony Eden and lived for another decade before his death in 1965.
1994: Kurt Cobain Dies
Kurt Cobain dies by suicide in Seattle, Washington, at the age of 27. The frontman of the grunge band Nirvana, Cobain had captivated listeners with songs like “Come as You Are” and “Lithium.” But Cobain suffered from heroin addiction and chronic physical ailments, and took his own life with a shotgun after writing a suicide note in which he expressed his inability to enjoy music.