What happened on this day in history: The first man walks in space, thieves steal hundreds of millions worth of art from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, and more.
1913: King George I Of Greece Is Assassinated
George I, the King of Greece, is assassinated by Alexandros Schinas while on an afternoon walk in Thessaloniki. When he was arrested, Schinas reportedly told police that he’d killed the king because he wouldn’t give him money. The assassin described himself as a socialist, though his political beliefs were likely more anarchist. The Greek government, however, denied that the assassination was political, claiming Schinas was simply a mentally ill alcoholic.
1965: Alexei Leonov Walks In Space
Soviet cosmonaut Alexei Leonov becomes the first person to ever walk in space. As part of the Voskhod 2 mission, Leonov made history when he exited the spacecraft and floated freely in orbit.
He later recalled noticing how round the Earth was, how warm the sun felt on his face, and how eerily quiet his surroundings were. The spacewalk lasted for 12 minutes, and Leonov suffered from decompression sickness — better known as the bends — when returning back to the spaceship.
1977: Marien Ngouabi Is Assassinated
Marien Ngouabi, the third president of the People’s Republic of the Congo, is assassinated at his Brazzaville residence. He reportedly “died fighting” and was found with his weapon still in his hand. The president had come to power during a coup in 1968, and he had survived several other attempts to overthrow his administration. Several of his political rivals were accused in the attack, and a few of them were executed, including Ngouabi’s predecessor, former president Alphonse Massamba-Débat.
1980: John Favara Accidentally Runs Over Frank Gotti,
John Favara fatally runs over Frank Gotti, son of Mafia boss John Gotti, in New York City. When Frank Gotti biked across the street to play, and intoxicated Favara struck the boy with his car and dragged his body for 200 feet as people screamed for him to stop. Later, Favara expressed no remorse for his actions, instead blaming the young Gotti for being reckless.
On July 25, John Gotti and his wife booked a trip to Florida for a little family bonding time in the sun after such a tragic event. Three days later, Favara went missing. Upon returning to New York, Gotti told police that he had no idea what happened to Favara. As of today, Favara remains a missing person.
1990: The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum Heist Takes Place
Two unidentified men posing as police officers enter the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, Massachusetts, tie up the guards, and steal 13 works of art. The thieves took hundreds of million of dollars worth of art, but they left some of the most valuable items in the collection untouched, puzzling authorities.
To this day, the heist remains unsolved, though the FBI has focused most of its attention over the years on the Boston Mafia.