American Pianist Artur Rubinstein. Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

1982 - Arthur Rubinstein, one of the 20th century’s greatest pianists and one of the last of the great romantic virtuosos, died in Geneva after months of failing health at the age of 95. Rubinstein retired from the concert stage in 1976, at the age of 89 and 70 years after his American debut, when an attack of shingles left him nearly blind. But after retirement, he completed the second volume of his autobiography, made several trips to visit his children in the US and became an avid listener to records at his retirement home in Geneva. He had been in failing health since undergoing prostate surgery in 1980, but Annabelle Whitestone, the young Englishwoman who had been his companion for three years, said his morale in his last days “could not have been better.”

Other important events

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1922 - Fourteen republics merge to form the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

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1945 - Leopold Figl becomes Chancellor of Austria.

1954 - France sends 20,000 troops to Algeria to put down an independence movement.

1957 - European Nuclear Energy Agency is founded.

1963 - Berlin Wall opens for the first time to West Berliners for a day.

1971 - President Aga Khan resigns after Pakistan loses control of East Pakistan, now Bangladesh.

1973 - Spain’s Premier Luis Carrero Blanco is killed when assassins bomb his car in Madrid.

1977 - Djibouti and Vietnam join the United Nations.

1983 - PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat and 4,000 loyalist commandos leave Tripoli, Lebanon.

1987 - Dona Paz, a Philippine passenger ship collides with the tanker Vector off Mindoro island, killing more than 3,000 people.

1989 - US troops invade Panama and take control of the country, but strongman Manuel Antonio Noriega escapes.

1991 - Paul Keating becomes Prime Minister of Australia.

1996 - NeXT Software merges with Apple Computer.

1998 - Nkem Chukwu of Houston, Texas, becomes the first woman to give birth to eight live babies.

2001 - Argentine President Fernando de la Rua resigns amid riots sparked by the country’s collapsing economy.

2007 - Russia signs an agreement with Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan to build a huge natural gas pipeline along the Caspian Sea.

2009 - Iran’s top dissident cleric Grand Ayatollah Hussain Ali Montazeri dies.

2014 - The leader of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan Mullah Fazlullah is killed in an air strike in Afghanistan.