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467 - Anthemius is elevated to Emperor of the Western Roman Empire

1606 - The Union Jack is adopted as the national flag of Great Britain.

1633 - The formal inquest of Galileo Galilei by the Inquisition begins.

1776 - North Carolina's Provincial Congress authorized its delegates to the Second Continental Congress to vote for independence by issuing the Halifax Resolves.

1861 - American Civil War: The war begins with Confederate forces firing on Fort Sumter, in the harbor of Charleston, South Carolina.

1864 - American Civil War: Fort Pillow massacre -- Confederate forces under General Nathan Bedford Forrest kill most of the African American soldiers who had surrendered at Fort Pillow, Tennessee.

1865 - American Civil War: Mobile, Alabama, falls to the Union Army.

1877 - The United Kingdom annexes the Transvaal.

1937 - Sir Frank Whittle ground-tests the first jet engine designed to power an aircraft, at the British Thomson-Houston factory in Rugby, England.

1945 - President Franklin D. Roosevelt dies while in office; vice-president Harry S. Truman is inaugurated as the 33rd President of the United States.

1954 - Bill Haley and His Comets record "Rock Around the Clock" in New York City. Initially unsuccessful, the recording would help launch the rock and roll revolution a year later.

1955 - The polio vaccine, developed by Dr. Jonas Salk, is declared safe and effective.

1961 - Yuri Gagarin becomes the first man to fly in space.


1968 - Nerve gas accident at Skull Valley, Utah.

1980 - Samuel Doe takes control of Liberia in a coup d'etat, ending over 130 years of democratic presidential succession in that country.

1980 - Terry Fox begins his "Marathon of Hope" by dipping his artificial leg into the Atlantic at St. John's, Newfoundland.

1981 - The first launch of a Space Shuttle: Columbia launches on the STS-1 mission.

1994 - Canter & Siegel post the first commercial mass Usenet spam.

1996 - Yahoo! has its initial public offering, selling 2.6 million shares at $13 each.

1998 - Catastrophic earthquake in Slovenia, measuring 5.6 on the Richter scale near the town of Poso?je.

1999 - American President Bill Clinton was cited for contempt of court by federal district judge Susan Webber Wright for giving "intentionally false statements" in sworn testimony during his deposition in the Paula Jones sexual harassment civil lawsuit. Clinton was fined $90,000.[1]

2002 - Pedro Carmona becomes interim President of Venezuela during the Venezuelan coup attempt of 2002, a military coup against Hugo Chávez.



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