Today is the 115th day of 2022. There are 250 days left in the year
1507: A world map produced by German cartographer Martin Waldseemueller contains the first recorded use of the term “America”, in honour of Italian navigator Amerigo Vespucci.
1707: British forces defeated at Almanza, Spain.
1792: Highwayman Nicolas Jacques Pelletier becomes first person under French law to be executed by guillotine.
1859: Ground is broken for Suez Canal.
1898: United States Congress declares war on Spain; the 10-week conflict results in an American victory.
1920: Supreme Allied Command assigns mandates of Mesopotamia and Palestine to Britain, and of Syria and Lebanon to France.
1942: Coal mine disaster in Benxi, Japanese-occupied China, kills 1,549 workers — the world’s worst mining disaster at the time.
1945: Delegates from some 50 countries gather in San Francisco to organise the United Nations.
1957: US Sixth Fleet sails for eastern Mediterranean as King Hussein proclaims martial law in Jordan and seals frontiers after a Palestinian coup attempt.
1972: Polaroid Corp introduces its SX-70 folding camera that ejects self-developing photographs.
1974: Portugal’s bloodless Revolution of the Carnations ends 48 years of rightist dictatorship.
1983: Ten-year-old Samantha Smith of Manchester, Maine, receives a reply from Soviet leader Yuri V Andropov to a letter she’d written expressing her concerns about nuclear war. Andropov gave assurances the Soviet Union did not want war, and invited Samantha to visit his country, a trip she made in July.
1988: South Africa says it accepts a Western plan aimed at preparing south-west Africa, now Namibia, for independence under black majority rule.
1989: Japan’s Prime Minister Noburu Takeshita, rapidly losing popularity amid influence-peddling scandal, announces plans to resign.
1990: Hubble Space Telescope is deployed in orbit from space shuttle Discovery. (Flawed primary mirror issues with the telescope later require installation of corrective components.)
1991: Soviet Union’s Communist Party plenum decides to keep Mikhail Gorbachev as leader despite hours of harsh criticism that led him to offer to resign.
1992: Afghanistan’s capital falls with little fighting to two rival rebel groups under Ahmed Shah Masood and Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, following collapse of the Communist Government.
1993: Hundreds of thousands of gay rights activists and their supporters march in Washington, DC, demanding equal rights and freedom from discrimination.
1995: Show business legend Ginger Rogers dies in Rancho Mirage, California, at age 83.
2002: Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes of Grammy-winning trio TLC dies in an SUV crash in Honduras at age 30.
2009: In her first trip to Iraq as America’s top diplomat, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton tries to reassure nervous Iraqis the US won’t abandon them, even as she says the American troop withdrawal will stay on schedule. Actress Beatrice Arthur dies in Los Angeles at age 86.
2014: The United States and other nations in the Group of Seven say they’ve agreed to “move swiftly” to impose additional economic sanctions on Russia in response to its actions in Ukraine.
2018: Danish engineer Peter Madsen is convicted of murder for luring a Swedish journalist onto his homemade submarine before torturing and killing her; Madsen was later sentenced to life in prison.
Oliver Cromwell, English statesman (1599-1658); Guglielmo Marconi, Italian radio pioneer (1874-1937); Morris West, Australian author (1916-1999); Ella Fitzgerald, US singer (1918-1996); Al Pacino, US actor (1940- ); Len Goodman, ballroom dance judge (1944- ); Stu Cook, rock musician (1945- ); Bjorn Ulvaeus, Swedish musician-composer, ABBA member (1945- ); Talia Shire, US actress (1946- ); Rob Crosby, country singer-songwriter (1954- ); Eric Avery, rock musician (1965- ); Allisyn Ashley Arm, actress (1996- ); Jane Clayson, TV personality (1967- ); Renee Zellweger, US actress (1969- ); Gina Torres, actress (1969- ); Jason Lee, actor (1970- ); Emily Bergl, actress (1975- ); Marguerite Moreau, actress (1977- ); Jacob Underwood, singer (1980- ); Melonie Diaz, actress (1984- ); Sara Paxton, actress (1988- ).