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1294 - Saint Celestine V abdicates the papacy after only five months; Celestine hoped to return to his previous life as an ascetic hermit.

1545 - Council of Trent begins.

1577 - Sir Francis Drake sets out from Plymouth, England, on his round-the-world voyage.

1636 - The Massachusetts Bay Colony organizes three militia regiments to defend the colony against the Pequot Indians. This organization is recognized today as the founding of the United States National Guard.

1642 - Abel Janszoon Tasman reaches New Zealand.

1643 - English Civil War: The Battle of Alton takes place in Hampshire.

1769 - Dartmouth College founded by the Rev. Eleazar Wheelock, with a Royal Charter from King George III, on land donated by Royal Governor John Wentworth.

1862 - American Civil War: At the Battle of Fredericksburg, Confederate General Robert E. Lee defeats the Union Major General Ambrose E. Burnside.

1937 - Second Sino-Japanese War: Battle of Nanjing - Nanjing, defended by the National Revolutionary Army under the command of General Tang Shengzhi, falls to the Japanese.

1938 - The Holocaust: 100 deportees from Sachsenhausen build the Neuengamme concentration camp near Hamburg.

1939 - World War II: Battle of the River Plate - Captain Hans Langsdorff of the German pocket battleship Admiral Graf Spee engages with Royal Navy cruisers HMS Exeter, HMS Ajax and HMNZS Achilles.

1941 - World War II: Hungary and Romania declare war on the United States.

1949 - The Knesset votes to move the capital of Israel to Jerusalem.


1959 - Archbishop Makarios becomes the first President of Cyprus.

1973 - Rael, leader of the Raelian Movement claims to meet an ET he says is named Yahweh, during an alleged UFO encounter in Puy de Lassolas, France.

1974 - Malta becomes a republic.

1974 - The Detroit Wheels of the WFL are established.

1977 - A United States government aircraft DC-3 crashes near Evansville Regional Airport, killing 29, including the University of Evansville basketball team.

1978 - The first Susan B. Anthony dollar enters circulation.

1979 - The Canadian Government of Prime Minister Joe Clark is defeated in the House of Commons, prompting the 1980 Canadian election.

1981 - General Wojciech Jaruzelski declares martial law in Poland to prevent dismantling of the communist system by Solidarity.

1989 - The last issue of Gnistan (The Spark), the organ of the Solidaritetspartiet, is published in Sweden.

1996 - Kofi Annan is elected as Secretary-General of the United Nations.

2000 - The "Texas 7" escape from the John Connally Unit near Kenedy, Texas and go on a robbery spree, during which police officer Aubrey Hawkins is shot and killed.

2000 - American Vice President Al Gore delivers his concession speech ending his hopes of becoming the 43rd President of the United States.

2001 - the Indian Parliament Sansad is attacked by Terrorists, killing 15 people, including all the terrorists. Tensions escalate in South Asia, with nuclear war likelihoods.


2002 - Enlargement of the European Union: The European Union announces that Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia will become members from May 1, 2004.

2003 - Former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein is captured near his home town of Tikrit (see Operation Red Dawn).

2003 - In the most-attended basketball game in history, 78,129 watch Michigan State University lose 79-74 to the University of Kentucky at Ford Field.

2004 - Former Chilean dictator, General Augusto Pinochet is put under house arrest, after being sued under accusations over 9 kidnapping actions and manslaughter. The house arrest is lifted the same day on appeal.


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