In 1924: Soda water, the beverage, was 100 years old Thursday and no one celebrated the occasion in Holland. And this “write up” is it sole memorial. Despite the fact that its years are hale and mellow; that it gathers popularity and vigor with each succeeding anniversary; and that it was not so long ago crowned king as the national American drink following the dethronement of John Barleycorn, soda water’s birthday was unamarked by an advertising display or the serving of “free samples” by local fountains.

On this date:

In 1611, Sir Thomas Dale arrived in the Virginia Colony, where, as deputy governor, he instituted harsh measures to restore order.

In 1774, Louis XVI acceded to the throne of France.

In 1865, Confederate President Jefferson Davis was captured by Union forces in Irwinville, Georgia.

In 1869, a golden spike was driven in Promontory, Utah, marking the completion of the first transcontinental railroad in the United States.

In 1933, the Nazis staged massive public book burnings in Germany.

In 1940, during World War II, German forces began invading the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Belgium and France. The same day, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain resigned, and Winston Churchill formed a new government.

In 1941, Adolf Hitler's deputy, Rudolf Hess, parachuted into Scotland on what he claimed was a peace mission. (Hess ended up serving a life sentence at Spandau Prison until 1987, when he apparently committed suicide at age 93.)

In 1975, Sony began selling its Betamax home videocassette recorder in Japan.

In 1978, Britain's Princess Margaret and the Earl of Snowdon announced they were divorcing after 18 years of marriage.

In 1994, Nelson Mandela took the oath of office in Pretoria to become South Africa's first black president. The state of Illinois executed serial killer John Wayne Gacy, 52, for the murders of 33 young men and boys.

In 2002, A tense 39-day-old standoff between Israeli troops and Palestinian gunmen at the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem ended with 13 suspected militants flown into European exile and 26 released into the Gaza Strip.

In 2005, a federal bankruptcy judge approved United Airlines' plan to terminate its employees' pension plans.

In 2010, President Barack Obama introduced Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan, billing her as a unifying force for a fractured court.

In 2015, Cuban President Raul Castro met with Pope Francis at the Vatican to thank him for working for U.S.-Cuba detente — and said he was so impressed by the pontiff, he was considering returning to the Catholic church.

In 2019, Trade talks between the U.S. and China broke up with no agreement, hours after President Donald Trump more than doubled tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese imports. 

Celebrity Birthdays

Former Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., is 62.

Rock singer Bono (BAH'-noh) (U2) is 60.

Actress Lindsey Shaw is 31.

Olympic gold medal swimmer Missy Franklin is 25.