In 1839 the UK captured Hong Kong as a base as it prepared for the First Opium War against Qing China. It will remain under British control for 160 years till ceded back to China. In 1939 the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact was il signed as a non-aggression pact between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union It would not last long and in 1942 on this same date, the game-changing Battle of Stalingrad would begin between the forces of these same two nations. Later on, in 1942, the World Council of Churches was founded by 147 churches from 44 countries. And farther on the World Wide Web would be open to the public in 1919.

Notables who were born on this date include French King Louis XVI, (1754).Dancer Gene Kelly (1912). English economist and historian Arnold Toynbee (1852),American poet Edgar Lee Masters (1868. A Spoon River Anthology), cofounder of Newday, American businessman Harry Frank Guggenheim (1890), and everybody’s genie – Barbara Eden (1931).

Those who left us include American naval hero, Battle of Lake Erie in the War of 1812, Oliver Hazard Perry, who was born (1786) and died (1819) on the same date. Colonial preacher Increase Mather died in 1723. As well as American director and stage music composer Oscar Hammerstein II (1960) and Australian Aborigine author and activist Margaret Tucker (1996)