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1178 BC - A solar eclipse may have marked the return of Odysseus, legendary King of Ithaca, to his kingdom after the Trojan War.

73 - Masada, a Jewish fortress, falls to the Romans after several months of siege, ending the Jewish Revolt.

1071 - Bari falls to Robert Guiscard, ending Byzantine rule in Italy.

1521 - Martin Luther's first appearance before the Diet of Worms to be examined by the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V and the rest of the estates of the empire.

1582 - Spanish conquistador Hernando de Lerma founds the settlement of Salta, Argentina.

1746 - Second Jacobite Rebellion: The Battle of Culloden, the last battle of the Jacobite Uprising is fought, ultimately leading to the destruction of the Highland clans.

1780 - The University of Münster in Münster, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany is founded.

1799 - Napoleonic Wars: Battle of Mount Tabor ? Napoleon drives Ottoman Turks across the River Jordan near Acre.

1853 - The first passenger rail opens in India, from Bori Bunder, Bombay to Thane.

1862 - American Civil War: Battle at Lee's Mills in Virginia.

1862 - American Civil War: A bill ending slavery in the District of Columbia became law.

1863 - American Civil War: Siege of Vicksburg ? 12 ships led by Union Admiral David Dixon Porter move through heavy Confederate artillery fire on approach to Vicksburg, Mississippi. Only one ship is lost.

1881 - In Dodge City, Kansas, Bat Masterson fights his last gun battle.


1912 - Harriet Quimby becomes the first woman to fly an airplane across the English Channel.

1917 - Vladimir Lenin returns to Petrograd (present-day Saint Petersburg) from exile in Finland.

1919 - Mohandas Gandhi organizes a day of "prayer and fasting" in response to the British slaughter of Indian protestors in the Amritsar Massacre.

1922 - The Treaty of Rapallo, in which Germany and the Soviet Union re-establish diplomatic relations between Berlin and Moscow, is signed.

1925 - the Communist St Nedelya Church assault in Sofia claims the lives of 150 and injures another 500.

1926 - Lolly Willows by Sylvia Townsend Warner is distributed as the first Book-of-the-Month Club selection.

1935 - Radio program Fibber McGee and Molly debuts.

1943 - Dr. Albert Hofmann discovers the psychedelic effects of LSD.

1945 - WWII: The Red Army begins the final assault on German forces around Berlin.

1945 - The United States Army liberates Nazi Sonderlager (high security) Prisoner of War camp Oflag IVc (Colditz Castle).

1945 - German ship Goya, overfilled with refugees, sinks after being torpedoed by a Soviet submarine, killing more than 7,000 people.

1947 - Texas City Disaster: An explosion on board a freighter in port causes the city of Texas City, Texas, to catch fire, killing almost 600.

1947 - Bernard Baruch coins the term "Cold War" to describe the relationship between the United States and the Soviet Union.


1949 - Dave Garroway moves from radio to television to host the musical-variety show Garroway at Large.

1953 - Queen Elizabeth II launches the Royal Yacht Britannia.

1963 - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. pens his famous Letter from Birmingham Jail while incarcerated in Birmingham, Alabama for protesting against segregation.

1964 - Sentences totalling 307 years were passed on 12 men who stole £2.6m in used bank notes after holding up the night mail train travelling from Glasgow to London in August of 1963 - a heist that became known as the Great Train Robbery.

1972 - Apollo program: Apollo 16 launches toward the Moon from Cape Canaveral, Florida.

1972 - Vietnam War: Nguyen Hue Offensive ? Prompted by the North Vietnamese offensive, the United States resumes bombing of Hanoi and Haiphong.

1987 - British Conservative MP Harvey Proctor appears at Bow Street Magistrates' Court in central London charged with gross indecency.

1988 - In Forlì (Italy), Red Brigades kill Italian senator Roberto Ruffilli, an advisor of Prime Minister Ciriaco de Mita.

1992 - The Katina P. runs aground off of Maputo, Mozambique. 60,000 tons of crude oil spill into the ocean.

1996 - France Télécom introduces its Wanadoo Internet service.

1998 - The Nashville Tornado of 1998, one of the most serious urban tornadoes in history, kills one and significantly damages downtown Nashville, Tennessee.

2000 - Protests against the World Bank and IMF in Washington, DC.

2003 - The Treaty of Accession is signed in Athens admitting 10 new member states to the European Union.


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