1719 – “A Woman, who had served the Lady Anne Harvey for about 16 years in the Quality of a Coachman, and always behaved very well, was brought to bed of a Child, to the Inexpressible Suprize of the Family, who always took her for a Man.”
The Original Weekly Journal, 1719
1527 – The first known letter from North America sent by John Rut while at St. John’s, Newfoundland. Rut was an English mariner who was chosen by Henry VIII to command an expedition to North America in search of the Northwest Passage; he set sail from Plymouth with two ships, on 10 June 1527.
1916 – Sir Roger Casement hanged. Humanitarian campaigner and an Irish patriot, poet, revolutionary and nationalist.He sought to obtain German support for a rebellion in Ireland against British rule. Shortly before the Easter Rising, he was arrested and subsequently convicted and executed by the British for treason by John Ellis and his assistants at Pentonville Prison in London.
1934 – Adolf Hitler became the supreme leader of Germany by joining the offices of President and Chancellor into Führer.
1955 – The English-language version of Samuel Beckett‘s play Waiting For Godot first performed, at the Arts Theatre, London.
It was not an immediate success – on hearing the now famous lines “Nothing happens, nobody comes, nobody goes, it’s awful !”, a member of the audience is said to have retorted “Hear ! Hear !”.
1966 – Lenny Bruce died. American comedian, social critic and satirist. His 1964 conviction in an obscenity trial was followed by a posthumous pardon, the first in New York state history. He was renowned for his open, free-style, dangerous and critical form of comedy which integrated politics, religion, and sex. His tumultuous private life marked by substance abuse, promiscuity, as well as his efforts to prevent his wife from working as a stripper, made him a compelling figure. He paved the way for future outspoken comedians, and his trial for obscenity, in which – after being forced into bankruptcy – he was eventually found not guilty is seen as a landmark trial for freedom of speech.
Official cause of death was “acute morphine poisoning caused by an accidental overdose.