In 1761, the first American life insurance policy was issued in Philadelphia to a Rev. Francis Allison, whose premium was six pounds per year.

In 1813, composer Richard Wagner was born in Leipzig, Germany.

In 1915, the Lassen Peak volcano in Northern California exploded, devastating nearby areas but causing no deaths.

In 1939, the foreign ministers of Germany and Italy, Joachim von Ribbentrop and Galeazzo Ciano, signed a “Pact of Steel” committing the two countries to a military alliance.

In 1960, an earthquake of magnitude 9.5, the strongest ever measured, struck southern Chile, claiming some 1,655 lives.

In 1962, Continental Airlines Flight 11, en route from Chicago to Kansas City, Missouri, crashed after a bomb apparently brought on board by a passenger exploded, killing all 45 occupants of the Boeing 707.

In 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson, speaking at the University of Michigan, outlined the goals of his “Great Society,” saying that it “rests on abundance and liberty for all” and “demands an end to poverty and racial injustice.”

In 1968, the nuclear-powered submarine USS Scorpion, with 99 men aboard, sank in the Atlantic Ocean. (The remains of the sub were later found on the ocean floor 400 miles southwest of the Azores.)

In 1992, after a reign lasting nearly 30 years, Johnny Carson hosted NBC’s “Tonight Show” for the final time (Jay Leno took over as host three days later).

In 1998, a federal judge ruled that Secret Service agents could be compelled to testify before the grand jury in the Monica Lewinsky investigation. Voters in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland turned out to cast ballots giving resounding approval to a Northern Ireland peace accord.

In 2010, addressing graduating cadets at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, President Barack Obama said the U.S. had to shape a world order as reliant on diplomacy as on the might of its military to lead, a repudiation of the go-it-alone approach forged by his predecessor, George W. Bush. An Air India Express Boeing 737-800 crashed after overshooting a runway at Mangalore International Airport, killing all but eight of the 166 people aboard. Jordan Romero, at age 13, became the youngest climber to reach the peak of Mount Everest.

In 2011, a tornado devastated Joplin, Missouri, with winds up to 250 mph, claiming at least 159 lives and destroying about 8,000 homes and businesses.

In 2014, Thailand’s military seized power in a bloodless coup.

In 2015, Ireland’s citizens voted in a landslide to legalize gay marriage, with 62.1% saying “yes” to changing the nation’s constitution to define marriage as a union between two people regardless of their gender. Mexican federal police got into a gunbattle with drug cartel suspects at a ranch in the western state of Michoacan; of the 43 people killed, all but one were suspected criminals, raising questions how the operation went down.

In 2017, a suicide bomber set off an improvised explosive device that killed 22 people at the end of an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England.

You can search the News & Record Historical Archive at greensboro.com/archive

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