What happened on this day in history: Gautama Buddha is born in present-day Nepal, Ryan White dies of complications from AIDS, and more.
563 B.C.E.: Gautama Buddha Is Born
Siddhartha Gautama, later known as the Buddha, is born in Lumbini (present-day Nepal). The founder of Buddhism, Guatama was born to royal parents but later renounced his family’s wealth and became a wanderer in search of enlightenment. He attained supreme enlightenment at the age of 35, then began to preach the “four noble truths” of Buddhism.
1730: The First Synagogue Is Dedicated In New York
Named Shearith Israel, the synagogue was founded in Lower Manhattan and was the city’s only synagogue until 1818. Shearith Israel exists to this day, though it has since moved to Manhattan’s Upper West Side neighborhood.
1989: Felix Gallardo Is Arrested
Felix Gallardo is arrested in Mexico. A drug lord known as the “Jefe de jefes” or “Boss of bosses,” Gallardo lay the foundations of modern drug smuggling by establishing ties with drug lords in Colombia and orchestrating the shipment of cocaine to the United States. He was released from prison in 2022 after serving 33 years of a 40-year sentence due to his ill health.
1990: Ryan White Dies Of AIDS
Ryan White dies of AIDS-related pneumonia in Indianapolis, Indiana, at the age of 18. A hemophiliac, he contracted AIDS when he was 13 after a blood transfusion, during a time when the disease was largely believed to only affect gay men. White’s subsequent ostracization at school brought national attention and helped raise awareness about AIDS.
2009: Somali Pirates Attack Maersk Alabama
Four armed Somali pirates hijack the MV Maersk Alabama off the coast of Somalia. After a scuffle with the crew, the captain, Richard Phillips, was kidnapped, leading to a dramatic rescue led by Navy SEALs. Three of the four pirates were killed and the survivor was sentenced to over 33 years in prison.