What happened on this day in history: Julius Caesar is born, Henry VIII marries his sixth and final wife Catherine Parr, and more.
100 B.C.E.: Julius Caesar Is Born
Julius Caesar is born in Rome. A brilliant general, politician, scholar, and eventually the dictator of Rome, Caesar ruled for just one year before his assassination. Today, he’s remembered for transforming the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire and his assassination in 44 B.C.E. by a group of senators led by Brutus and Cassius.
1389: Geoffrey Chaucer Becomes Chief Clerk Of The King’s Works
King Richard II appoints Geoffrey Chaucer as chief clerk of the king’s works. Chaucer, a poet, had previously produced a number of works including The Parlement of Foules and Troilus and Criseyde. In the late 1380s and early 1390s, he began the work for which he is best known, Canterbury Tales.
1543: King Henry VIII Marries Catherine Parr
King Henry VIII of England marries Catherine Parr. His sixth and final wife, Parr outlived the king, who died in 1547. Her five predecessors — except for Henry’s third wife Jane — had been divorced or executed by Henry.
1817: Henry David Thoreau Is Born
Henry David Thoreau is born in Concord, Massachusetts. A naturalist, essayist, transcendentalist, abolitionist, and poet, Thoreau is best known for works like his book Walden and his essay Civil Disobedience.
1979: Carmine Galante Is Killed
Mob boss Carmine Galante is shot and killed in Brooklyn, New York, at the age of 69. The acting boss of the Bonanno crime family, Galante oversaw the family’s heroin operations. He was assassinated at a restaurant in Bushwick, likely at the behest of other mafia families.