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Flashback calendar

China opens the world's longest high-speed rail route

The world's longest high-speed rail line linked Beijing and Guangzhou by 186mph bullet trains. The 1,428-mile journey, which used to last 24 hours, was cut to 8. The high-speed rail network was one the China's most expensive infrastructure projects.

"Back To Black" is named as the biggest-selling album of the year

Back to Black is the 2nd and final studio album by Amy Winehouse. The album includes singles such as Rehab, You Know I'm No Good or Back to Black. It was awarded Best Pop Vocal Album at Grammy Awards and was also nominated for Album of the Year.

An oil pipeline in Lagos, Nigeria explodes

The disaster occurred in the heavily populated neighborhood of Abule Egba in Lagos, Nigeria. There were originally believed to be around 500 deaths, but it was later confirmed that the loss was smaller. The cause of the explosion remains unknown, while witnesses have stated that the broken pipeline was tapped when the blast occurred.


American football player Reggie White dies at 43

Reggie White played defensive end in the NFL for 15 seasons. He is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame and the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He suffered from cardiac arrhythmia and the most likely causes of his death were the cardiac and pulmonary sarcoidosis and sleep apnea.

Earthquake and tsunami kills more than 230,000 people

The earthquake occurred with the epicenter off the west coast of Sumatra, Indonesia. The shock had a moment magnitude of 9.1–9.3 and a maximum Mercalli intensity of IX. It is the third-largest earthquake ever recorded on a seismograph and had the longest duration of faulting ever observed, between 8.3 and 10 minutes.

The Spice Girls score their eighth UK #1 single with "Goodbye"

Goodbye was written by the Spice Girls, Richard Stannard and Matt Rowe. It became the Spice Girls' 1st song without the vocals of Geri Halliwell. The single made the group the 1st act to have 3 consecutive Christmas number-one singles since The Beatles in 1965.


Welsh footballer Aaron Ramsey is born

A Welsh soccer player Aaron Ramsey plays as a midfielder for Premier League club Arsenal and the Wales national team. In 2008, he made his full international debut for Wales and was part of their successful UEFA Euro 2016 campaign. Ramsey also represented Great Britain at the 2012 Olympics.

American fashion designer Alexander Wang is born

Alexander Wang is a fashion designer and the former creative director of Balenciaga. His lines are now stocked globally in more than 700 stores and other venues. He is known for his urban designs and is often praised for his outstanding tailoring skills.


The Tupolev Tu-144 is a retired jet airliner and commercial supersonic transport aircraft. It is the first of only two SSTs to enter commercial service, the other being the Anglo-French Concorde. The design was a product of the Tupolev design bureau, headed by Alexei Tupolev, of the Soviet Union and manufactured by the Voronezh Aircraft Production Association in Voronezh, Russia. It conducted 55 passenger service flights, at an average service altitude of 16,000 meters (52,000 ft) and cruised at a speed of around 2,000 kilometers per hour (1,200 mph).

Horror film "The Exorcist" premieres

The Exorcist is a supernatural horror film, adapted by William Peter Blatty from his novel of the same name. The film stars Ellen Burstyn, Linda Blair, Max von Sydow, and Jason Miller. It was the 1st horror film to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture.

American actor and musician Jared Leto is born

Jared Joseph Leto is an American actor, singer, songwriter, and director. After starting his career with television appearances in the early 1990s, Leto achieved recognition for his role as Jordan Catalano on the television series My So-Called Life. He was born in Bossier City, Louisiana, to Constance Leto.

Danish musician Lars Ulrich is born

Lars Ulrich is best known as the drummer and co-founder of the American heavy metal band Metallica. He met James Hetfield after he published an advertisement in The Recycler, and together they formed Metallica. In his youth, he also used play tennis, as he is a son of tennis player Torben Ulrich.

"I Want to Hold Your Hand" and "I Saw Her Standing There" are released

"I Want to Hold Your Hand" is a song by the English rock band the Beatles. Written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney. It was the first Beatles record to be made using four-track equipment. "I Want to Hold Your Hand" became the Beatles' best-selling single worldwide.

Winston Churchill's first address to U.S. Congress

Winston Churchill was the first British Prime Minister to address U.S. Congress. He warned his audience that the Axis powers would pursue their war aims no matter what and asked Congress to back President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s proposal of America being the great arsenal of democracy.

"The Philadelphia Story" is released

The Philadelphia Story is a romantic comedy film directed by George Cukor. The film stars Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn, and James Stewart. The story is about a socialite whose wedding plans are complicated by the simultaneous arrival of her ex-husband and a tabloid magazine journalist.

FM radio

FM broadcasting is a method of radio broadcasting using frequency modulation (FM) technology. Invented in 1933 by American engineer Edwin Armstrong, wide-band FM is used worldwide to provide high-fidelity sound over broadcast radio. FM broadcasting is capable of better sound quality than AM broadcasting, the chief competing radio broadcasting technology, so it is used for most music broadcasts. One exception is when wideband AM is used, in which case it can offer just as good of sound quality, provided the signal quality is sufficient. FM radio stations use the VHF frequencies. The term "FM band" describes the frequency band in a given country which is dedicated to FM broadcasting.

Greatest librarian of all times dies

American librarian Melvil Dewey invented the decimal classification of knowledge, which is still in use today. It uses the three-digit Arabic numerals for main classes, with fractional decimals allowing expansion for further detail. Dewey was also interested in linguistics and tried to reform English spelling.

The U.S. government took over operation of the nation's railroads

The United States Railroad Administration temporarily took over management of railroads during WWI to address inadequacy in critical facilities throughout the overall system, such as terminals, trackage, and rolling stock. The order for nationalization was issued by President Woodrow Wilson.

American author Henry Miller is born

Henry Miller was known for breaking with existing literary forms, developing a new sort of semi-autobiographical novel. His most characteristic works of this kind are works such as Tropic of Capricorn or The Colossus of Maroussi. He also wrote travel memoirs and literary criticism and painted watercolors.

Gilbert and Sullivan collaborate for the first time

Thespis is an operatic extravaganza that was the first collaboration between dramatist W. S. Gilbert and composer Arthur Sullivan. Thespis premièred in London at the Gaiety Theatre. Like many productions at that theatre, it was written in a broad, burlesque style, considerably different from Gilbert and Sullivan's later works.

Inventor of the modern seismograph is born

German physicist Emil Wiechert developed the first seismograph with the inverted pendulum. This design is still in use. Wiechert used his device to develop the first verifiable model of a layered structure of the Earth. He also nearly discovered the electron but failed to recognize the meaning in his data.

Anniversaries of the (in)famous