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69 - After the First Battle of Bedriacum, Vitellius becomes Roman Emperor.

1397 - Geoffrey Chaucer tells the Canterbury Tales for the first time at the court of Richard II. Chaucer scholars have also identified this date (in 1387) as when the book's pilgrimage to Canterbury starts.

1492 - Spain and Christopher Columbus sign a contract for him to sail to Asia to get spices.

1521 - Martin Luther speaks to the assembly at the Diet of Worms, refusing to recant his teachings.

1524 - Giovanni da Verrazano reaches New York harbor.

1861 - American Civil War: Virginia secedes from the Union.

1864 - American Civil War: Battle of Plymouth begins ? Confederate forces attack Plymouth, North Carolina.

1865 - Mary Surratt is arrested as a conspirator in the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.

1895 - The Treaty of Shimonoseki between China and Japan is signed. This marks the end of the First Sino-Japanese War, and the defeated Qing Empire is forced to renounce its claims on Korea and to concede the southern portion of the Fengtien province, Taiwan and the Pescadores Islands to Japan.

1924 - Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studios is formed from a merger of Metro Pictures, Goldwyn Pictures, and the Louis B. Mayer Company.

1935 - Sun Myung Moon claims to have a revelation from Jesus telling him to complete his mission from almost 2000 years ago.

1937 - Daffy Duck debuts in Warner Bros' short Porky's Duck Hunt.

1941 - World War II: The Kingdom of Yugoslavia surrenders to Germany.


1942 - POW French General Henri Giraud escapes from his castle prison in Festung Königstein.

1945 - In Strassfurt, Germany, U.S. Lieutenant Colonel Boris T. Pash seizes half a ton of uranium, in an attempt to foil Soviet Union plans to build an atomic bomb.

1961 - Bay of Pigs Invasion: A group of CIA financed and trained Cuban refugees lands at the Bay of Pigs in Cuba with the aim of ousting Fidel Castro.

1964 - The Ford Motor Company unveils the Ford Mustang at the New York World's Fair.

1964 - Jerrie Mock becomes the first woman to circumnavigate the world by air.

1969 - Sirhan Sirhan is convicted of assassinating Robert F. Kennedy.

1969 - Czechoslovak Communist Party chairman Alexander Dub?ek is deposed.

1970 - Apollo program: The ill-fated Apollo 13 spacecraft returns to Earth safely.

1975 - Cambodian Civil War ends: The Khmer Rouge captures the capital Phnom Penh and Cambodian government forces surrender.

1976 - During his unsuccessful re-election bid, U.S. President Gerald Ford appears as himself on Saturday Night Live.

1982 - Patriation of the Canadian constitution in Ottawa by Proclamation of Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada.

1984 - Police Constable Yvonne Fletcher is killed by automatic gunfire coming from the Libyan People's Bureau in central London. She had been policing a small demonstration outside the embassy. Ten other people are wounded. The events lead to an 11-day siege of the building.

1986 - Treaty signed, ending Three Hundred and Thirty Five Years' War between the Netherlands and the Isles of Scilly.


1991 - The Dow Jones Industrial Average closes above 3,000 for the first time ever gaining 17.58 to 3,004.46.

2002 - Four Canadian Forces soldiers are killed in Afghanistan by friendly fire from two U.S. Air Force F-16s, the first deaths in a combat zone for Canada since the Korean War.


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