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1964

Clay knocks out Liston

On this day in 1964, 22-year-old Cassius Clay shocks the odds-makers by dethroning world heavyweight boxing champ Sonny Liston in a seventh-round technical knockout. The dreaded Liston, who had twice demolished former champ Floyd Patterson in one round, was an 8-to-1 favourite. However, Clay predicted victory, boasting that he would "float like a butterfly, sting like a bee" and knock out Listo... Read more >

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1986

Marcos flees the Philippines

In the face of mass demonstrations against his rule, Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos and his entourage are airlifted from the presidential palace in Manila by U.S. helicopters. Elected in 1966, Marcos declared martial law in 1972 in response to leftist violence. In the next year, he assumed dictatorial powers. Backed by the United States, his regime was marked by misuse of foreign suppor... Read more >

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1873

Enrico Caruso, the greatest tenor who ever lived, is born

There was a time in America, early in the last century, when the top-selling record of all time was of the operatic tenor Enrico Caruso performing “Vesti la giubba” from Pagliacci. That 78 r.p.m. record was the first million-seller in American history, and at a price that exceeded the cost of some tickets to a live Caruso performance. It has happened occasionally in more recent times that s... Read more >

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1948

Communists take power in Czechoslovakia

Under pressure from the Czechoslovakian Communist Party, President Eduard Benes allows a communist-dominated government to be organized. Although the Soviet Union did not physically intervene (as it would in 1968), Western observers decried the virtually bloodless communist coup as an example of Soviet expansion into Eastern Europe. The political scene in Czechoslovakia following World War II w... Read more >