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