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1450 - Battle of Formigny: Toward the end of the Hundred Years' War, the French attack and nearly annihilate English forces, ending English domination in northern France.

1632 - Battle of Rain; Swedes under Gustavus Adolphus defeat the Holy Roman Empire during the Thirty Years' War.

1738 - Premiere in London of Serse, an Italian opera by George Frideric Handel.

1755 - Samuel Johnson's A Dictionary of the English Language published in London.

1783 - Preliminary articles of peace ending Revolutionary War ratified.

1802 - William Wordsworth and his sister, Dorothy come across a "long belt" of daffodils, inspiring the former to pen I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud.

1865 - Abraham Lincoln dies after being shot the previous evening by John Wilkes Booth.

1865 - Andrew Johnson becomes the 17th President of the United States.

1892 - The General Electric Company is formed through the merger of the Edison General Electric Company and the Thomson-Houston Company.

1912 - The British passenger liner RMS Titanic sinks at about 2:20 a.m. after hitting an iceberg in the North Atlantic almost three hours earlier.

1920 - Anarchists Sacco and Vanzetti murder two security guards while robbing a shoe store.

1923 - Insulin first became generally available for use by diabetics.

1924 - Rand McNally publishes its first road atlas.


1927 - Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford and Norma and Constance Talmadge become the first celebrities to leave their footprints in cement at Grauman's Chinese Theater in Hollywood.

1940 - The Allies start their attack on the Norwegian town of Narvik which was occupied by Nazi Germany.

1942 - George Cross awarded to "to the island fortress of Malta - its people and defenders" by King George VI.

1943 - An Allied bomber attack misses the Minerva automobile factory and hits the Belgian town of Mortsel instead, leaving 936 dead civilians in its wake.

1945 - The Bergen-Belsen concentration camp is liberated.

1947 - Jackie Robinson debuts for the Brooklyn Dodgers baseball team, breaking that sport's color line.

1955 - The first McDonald's restaurant opens in Des Plaines, Illinois.

1986 - The United States launch Operation El Dorado Canyon against Libya.

1989 - Hillsborough disaster: A human stampede occurs at Hillsborough, a football stadium in Sheffield, England, resulting in the loss of 96 lives.

1989 - Upon Hu Yaobang's death, the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 begin in the People's Republic of China.

1994 - Representatives of 124 countries and the European Communities sign the Marrakesh Agreements revising the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade and setting up the World Trade Organization (effective January 1, 1995).

1997 - Fire sweeps through a campsite of Muslims making the Hajj pilgrimage; the official death toll is 343.

2002 - An Air China Boeing 767-200, flight CA129 crashes into hillside during heavy rain and fog near Pusan, South Korea, killing 128.



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