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1929

Valentine’s Day Massacre

On this day in 1929 in Chicago, gunmen in the suspected employment of organised-crime boss Al Capone murder seven members of the George "Bugs" Moran North Siders gang in a garage on North Clark Street. The so-called St. Valentine's Day Massacre stirred a media storm centred on Capone and his illegal Prohibition-era activities and motivated federal authorities to redouble their efforts to find e... Read more >

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1939

Bismarck launched

On this day, the German navy launches the 823-foot battleship Bismarck at Hamburg. Adolf Hitler hoped that the state-of-the-art Bismarck would herald the rebirth of the German surface battle fleet. However, after the outbreak of war Britain closely guarded ocean routes from Germany to the Atlantic Ocean, and only U-boats moved freely through the war zone. In May 1941, the order was given for th... Read more >

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1779

Captain Cook killed in Hawaii

On February 14, 1779, Captain James Cook, the great English explorer and navigator, is murdered by natives of Hawaii during his third visit to the Pacific island group. In January 1778 he made his first visit to the Hawaiian Islands. He may have been the first European to ever visit the island group. Cook and his crew were welcomed by the Hawaiians, who were fascinated by the Europeans' ships a... Read more >

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1842

The Boz Ball celebrates Dickens

On this day, fans of Charles Dickens organize the Boz Ball, an elite party for the celebrated writer who had arrived in the United States in January for a five-month tour. (Dickens' earliest works had been published under the pseudonym Boz.) Only members of New York's aristocracy were invited to the ball, with each guest's background and pedigree thoroughly inspected. Tickets were priced at the... Read more >