On this day:

1962 NASA Launches Mariner 2, the first man-made object to flyby another planet

1991 Moldova gains its Independence from Soviet Union

2003 Mars approaches closest to the Earth since 57,617 BC

Born on this day:

1770 Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, German philosopher

Gone on this day:

1979 Louis Mountbatten, British naval officer and statesman, last Viceroy of India, is assassinated by an IRA bomb on his boat in Ireland at 79