On this day:
1969: Yasser Arafat becomes the leader of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). Even after his death in 2011, Arafat remained a highly controversial figure, many Arabs praising him as a freedom fighter while many Israelis denouncing him as a terrorist.
1966: Luna 9 touches down on the Moon. The unmanned Soviet spacecraft was the first to achieve a soft landing there.
Born on this day:
1480: Ferdinand Magellan: Portuguese explorer who led the first expedition to circumnavigate the earth.
Gone on this day:
1985: Frank Oppenheimer: American physicist, brother of Robert Oppenheimer who was the inventor of the atom bomb.
1468: Johannes Gutenberg: Inventor of the printing press.
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