On this day;

1990: Nelson Mandela is freed after 27 years as a political prisoner The anti-apartheid campaigner’s release was a high point in South Africa’s transition from apartheid to democracy.

1979: Ayatollah Khomeini seizes power in Iran, making way for the creation of an Islamic theocracy.

Born on this day:

1964 Sarah Palin: American politician, 9th Governor of Alaska

1847: Thomas Edison: American businessman, invented the light bulb, phonograph

Gone on this day:

1963: Sylvia Plath: American poet

1650: René Descartes: French philosopher, mathematician