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Mata Hari is executed

On this day in 1917, Mata Hari, the archetype of the seductive female spy, is executed for espionage by a French firing squad at Vincennes outside of Paris. She first came to Paris in 1905 and found fame as a performer of exotic Asian-inspired dances.

She soon began touring all over Europe, telling the story of how she was a Javanese princess born in a sacred Indian temple, and how she w... Read more >

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England beats Wales in the World Cup

Thirty Years of Hurt (And Counting) Years of pain, tension and cushion biting were introduced on this day in 1949 as both England and Wales faced each other in the first World Cup qualifier for either team. Up to that point, no British teams had participated in the World Cup due to a dispute with Fifa. As they returned to the footballing fold, Fifa allowed the British Home Championship tourname... Read more >

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Gretsky breaks scoring record

During a game against his old team, the Edmonton Oilers, Canadian ice hockey great Wayne Gretsky breaks Gordie Howe's National Hockey League career scoring record of 1,850 points. Gretsky dominated professional hockey during the 1980s, setting numerous records and leading the Oilers to four Stanley Cup victories. In 1988, the Great One was traded to the Los Angeles Kings, where he continued to ... Read more >

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Mikhail Gorbachev wins Nobel Peace Prize

Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev wins the Nobel Peace Prize for his work in ending Cold War tensions. Since coming to power in 1988, Gorbachev had undertaken to concentrate more effort and funds on his domestic reform plans by going to extraordinary lengths to reach foreign policy understandings with the noncommunist world. Some of his accomplishments include four summits with President Ronald R... Read more >