On this day:

1879 Werner von Siemens presents the world’s first electric locomotive, soon used in trams

1961 South Africa becomes an independent republic

2013 The widest tornado ever recorded hits El Reno, Oklahoma

Born on this day:

1819 Walt Whitman, American poet, author

1863 Francis Younghusband, British journalist and explorer (1904 British expedition to Tibet), born in Murree, British India