(1882) – Franklin D. Roosevelt, the 32nd president of the United States of America, was born. Roosevelt contracted polio in 1921, a disease that caused permanent paralysis of his legs. He served as a New York State Senator, New York State Governor, and Assistant Secretary of the Navy before being elected to the presidency in 1933. Roosevelt was elected to office four times and served twelve years before succumbing to polio in 1945.
(1948) – Human rights activist and pacifist Mahatma Ghandi was assassinated on his way to a prayer meeting in New Delhi, India. Natharum Godsi shot Ghandi three times in the chest at point-blank range. The Birla House, the place the assassination took place, has since been turned into a museum dedicated to Ghandi.
(1962) – Two members of Flying Wallendas’ act were killed when their 7-person pyramid collapsed during a performance in Detroit, Michigan. The circus act and daredevil stunt performers were most known for high-wire acts performed without a safety net. Members of the Wallenda family have performed such acts since the accident in 1962, most recently in 2013, when Nik Wallenda became the first aerialist to cross the Grand Canyon on a tight rope.
(1989) – The American embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, closes due to concerns that the new Taliban regime would be unable to maintain security or protect diplomats following the final Soviet departure and before a long civil war began. The embassy re-opened in 2001 after the U.S. began Operation Enduring Freedom in the Middle East. Throughout the war, the embassy had been attacked numerous times.
(2006) – Coretta Scott King, a civil rights activist and the widow of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., dies at the age of 78. King was a large part of the women’s rights and LGBT movements and was a huge factor in having her husband’s birthday declared a national holiday. King was a published author and was inducted into the Alabama Women’s Hall of Fame after her death.