What happened on this day in history: Constantinople burns in 1870, "Tank Man" makes his dramatic stand in Tiananmen Square, and more.
1870: Constantinople Burns
A vast swathe of the Ottoman city of Constantinople burns to the ground. The fire, caused by a girl who accidentally dropped a hot piece of charcoal out the window, ultimately killed 900 people and destroyed 3,000 homes.
1960: The Lake Bodom Murders Take Place In Finland
Three teenagers are murdered and one more is brutally injured along the shore of Lake Bodom in Finland. The so-called Lake Bodom murders went unsolved for decades. In 2004, police arrested the sole survivor, Nils Gustafsson, but he was acquitted at trial, leaving this case still open to this day.
1981: The First Report On AIDS Is Published
The CDC publishes an article about Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP), a rare lung condition that was affecting five homosexual men in Los Angeles. Following the publication, other medical professionals contacted the organization about similar cases among homosexual men. The disease was called Gay-Related Immune Deficiency (GRID) before its name was changed to Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS).
1982: Serial Killer Kelly Cochran Is Born
Serial killer Kelly Cochran is born in Merrillville, Indiana. Cochran married her high school sweetheart immediately after graduation, promising that the two would never cheat on one another. If they did, someone would have to pay for it with their life.
After moving to Detroit, Cochran took a lover and was eventually found out by her husband. The two would go on to murder Cochran’s lover, and then Cochran decided to kill her husband as well. After her arrest, Cochran would admit to committing over nine murders.
1989: ‘Tank Man’ Is Photographed At Tiananmen Square
The iconic yet unidentified “Tank Man” is photographed facing down tanks at Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China. The Communist Party had forcefully crushed protests at Tiananmen Square over the past two days, killing between 200 and 10,000 people. The fate of the man standing before the tanks in protest, however, remains unknown to this day.