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1252 - Pope Innocent IV issues the papal bull ad exstirpanda, which authorizes the torture of heretics in the Medieval Inquisition. Torture quickly gains widespread usage across Catholic Europe.

1514 - Jodocus Badius Ascensius publishes Christiern Pedersen's Latin version of Saxo?s Gesta Danorum, the oldest known version of that work.

1525 - The battle of Frankenhausen ends the Peasants' War.

1602 - Bartholomew Gosnold becomes the first European to see Cape Cod.

1618 - Johannes Kepler confirms his previously rejected discovery of the third law of planetary motion (he first discovered it on March 8 but soon rejected the idea after some initial calculations were made).

1701 - The War of the Spanish Succession begins.

1718 - James Puckle, a London lawyer, patents the world's first machine gun.

1756 - The Seven Years' War begins when England declares war on France.

1776 - American Revolution: Virginia convention instructs its delegates to propose a declaration of independence from Great Britain.

1795 - First Coalition: Napoleon I of France enters Milan in triumph.

1811 - Paraguay declares independence from Spain.

1836 - Francis Baily observes "Baily's beads" during an annular eclipse.

1849 - Troops of the Two Sicilies take Palermo and crush the republican government of Sicily.


1851 - Rama IV is crowned King of Thailand.

1858 - The third Royal Opera House officially opens in London.

1862 - President Abraham Lincoln signs a bill into law creating the United States Bureau of Agriculture (later renamed USDA).

1864 - American Civil War: Battle of Resaca, Georgia ends.

1864 - American Civil War: Battle of New Market, Virginia ? Students from the Virginia Military Institute fight alongside the Confederate Army to force Union General Franz Sigel out of the Shenandoah Valley.

1869 - Woman's suffrage: In New York, Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton form the National Woman Suffrage Association.

1897 - The Greek army retreats with heavy losses in Greco-Turkish War

1902 - In a field outside Grass Valley, California, Lyman Gilmore reportedly becomes the first person to fly a powered airplane (a steam-powered glider).

1905 - Las Vegas, Nevada, is founded when 110 acres (0.4 km²), in what later would become downtown, are auctioned off.

1910 - The last time a major earthquake happened on the Lake Elsinore Fault.

1911 - The United States Supreme Court declares Standard Oil to be an "unreasonable" monopoly under the Sherman Antitrust Act and orders the company to be dissolved.

1914 - Bolivia becomes a signatory to the Buenos Aires copyright treaty.

1918 - Finnish Civil War ends.


1918 - The US Post Office Department (later renamed the USPS) begins the first regular airmail service in the world (between New York City, Philadelphia and Washington, DC).

1919 - The Winnipeg General Strike began. By 11:00, virtually the entire working population of Winnipeg had walked off the job.

1919 - Greek invasion of Izmir, resulting in the massacre of hundreds of Turks by the Greek army. Hasan Tahsin fired the first gun of the Turkish War of Independence.

1928 - Release of the animated short "Plane Crazy", featuring the first appearances of Mickey and Minnie Mouse.

1929 - A fire at the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio kills 123.

1930 - Aboard a Boeing tri-motor, Ellen Church becomes the first airline stewardess, on a flight from Oakland, California to Chicago, Illinois.

1932 - The May 15 Incident. In an attempted coup the Prime Minister of Japan Inukai Tsuyoshi is killed.

1934 - The United States Department of Justice offers a $25,000 reward for John Dillinger.

1934 - K?rlis Ulmanis establishes an authoritarian government in Latvia.

1940 - Nylon stockings go on sale for the first time in the United States.

1940 - World War II: After fierce fighting, the poorly trained and equipped Dutch troops have to surrender to Nazi Germany, marking the beginning of 5 years of occupation.*1941 - Baseball player Joe DiMaggio starts his record-breaking 56-game hitting streak.

1942 - World War II: In the United States, a bill creating the Women's Auxiliary Army Corps (WAAC) is signed into law.

1943 - Joseph Stalin dissolves the Comintern (or Third International).

1945 - Last skirmish of the Second World War in Europe fought near Prevalje, Slovenia.

1948 - Egypt, Transjordan, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Saudi Arabia attack Israel.

1951 - The Polish cultural attache in Paris, Czes?aw Mi?osz, asks the French government for political asylum.

1955 - Austrian Independence Treaty signed.

1955 - First ascent of Makalu, the world's fifth highest mountain.

1957 - Britain tests its first hydrogen bomb in Operation Grapple.

1958 - The Soviet Union launches Sputnik 3.

1960 - The Soviet Union launches Sputnik 4.

1963 - Mercury program: America launches the last mission of the program, Mercury 9 (on June 12 NASA Administrator James E. Webb told Congress the program was complete).

1964 - The Smothers Brothers give their first concert in Carnegie Hall in New York City.

1970 - The Beatles' last LP, Let It Be, is released in the United States.

1970 - President Richard Nixon appoints Anna Mae Hays and Elizabeth P. Hoisington the first female United States Army Generals.

1970 - Philip Lafayette Gibbs and James Earl Green killed at Jackson State University by police during student protests.

1972 - The island of Okinawa, under U.S. military governance since its conquest in 1945, reverts to Japanese control.

1972 - In Laurel, Maryland, Arthur Bremer shoots and paralyzes Alabama Governor George Wallace while Wallace is campaigning to be American President.

1978 - Lagumot Harris, having only been elected President less than a month before, is replaced as the leader of the republic of Nauru. He is succeeded by Hammer DeRoburt.

1988 - Soviet war in Afghanistan: After more than eight years of fighting, the Red Army begins its withdrawal from Afghanistan.

1990 - Portrait of Doctor Gachet by Vincent van Gogh is sold for a record $82.5 million, the most expensive painting at the time.

1991 - Edith Cresson becomes France's first female prime minister.

2004 - The largest known prime number at the time of its discovery, 224036583 ? 1, is found by Josh Findley and the GIMPS collaborative effort.


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