In 1383, a two year-long civil war was sparked in Portugal when King Fernando died with no male heir. André-Jacques Garnerin made the world's first recorded parachute descent in the Parc Monceau in 1797. Sam Houston became the first president of the Republic of Texas in 1836. The Cuban Missile Crisis began in 1962, when President John F. Kennedy announced that surveillance planes had found Soviet nuclear weapons in Cuba.
Born today: Franz Liszt (1811-1886), Doris Lessing (1919), Bobby Seale (1936), Derek Jacobi (1938), Catherine Deneuve (1943), Arsène Wenger (1949) and Jeff Goldblum (1952).
The Syriac Orthodox Church will be observing the feast of Aaron the Illustrious today.