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1982

Vietnam Veterans Memorial is dedicated in Washington

Near the end of a weeklong national salute to Americans who served in the Vietnam War, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial is dedicated in Washington after a march to its site by thousands of veterans of the conflict. The long-awaited memorial was a simple V-shaped black-granite wall inscribed with the names of the 57,939 Americans who died in the conflict, arranged in order of death, not rank, as wa... Read more >

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1970

Typhoon ravages Bangladesh

Colossal tidal waves and storm surges strike the shores of the Ganges Delta, wreaking lethal damage on the people of East Pakistan. A 120-mile-per-hour cyclone spurred deadly tidal waves that washed over scores of coastal islands. An estimated total of 200,000 dead made it the century's largest disaster by water. The Ganges Delta had suffered many furious storms, but this was the worst natural ... Read more >

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1985

The eruption of Nevado del Ruiz

Nevado del Ruiz, the highest active volcano in the Andes Mountains of Colombia, suffers a mild eruption that generates a series of lava flows and surges over the volcano's broad ice-covered summit. Flowing mixtures of water, ice, pumice, and other rock debris poured off the summit and sides of the volcano, forming "lahars" that flooded into the river valleys surrounding Ruiz. The lahars joined ... Read more >

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1850

Robert Louis Stevenson is born

On this day in 1850, Robert Louis Stevenson, author of Treasure Island and Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, is born in Scotland. Stevenson studied civil engineering and law, but decided to pursue a career as a writer and began publishing essays and travel pieces. His decision alienated his parents, who expected him to follow the family trade of lighthouse keeping. The family wasn't reconciled for ye... Read more >