On This Day In History...

1994: South Africa held its first multi-racial parliamentary elections, where the majority voted for anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela to head a new coalition government.

1791: Samuel F.B. Morse, the inventor of the Morse Code, was born.

1820: British philosopher Herbert Spencer was born.

1822: Ulysses Grant, the 18th president of the United States was born.

1922: British politician Betty Boothroyd became the first woman to be elected speaker of the British House of Commons.

1941: The Nazis took over and occupied the Greek capital of Athens.

1960: The African country of Togo became independent after several years as an autonomous republic within the French Union.

1961: Sierra Leone achieved independence within the British Commonwealth.

1972: Kawme Nkrumah, the first president of the African nation of Ghana, passed away.

1978: Afghanistan rebels murdered the country's president and his brother during a coup and de facto took over the country.

2009: American automaker General Motors announced its plan to discontinue the Pontiac brand.

2005: The super-jumbo airplane Airbus A380 makes its first flight from the French city of Toulouse.

2011: former U.S. president Barack Obama released his long-form birth certificate in an effort to put an end to conspiracy theories surrounding his birth.