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326 - The old St. Peter's Basilica is consecrated.

1095 - The Council of Clermont, called by Pope Urban II to discuss sending the First Crusade to the Holy Land, begins.

1302 - Pope Boniface VIII issues the Papal bull Unam sanctam ("The One Holy").

1307 - According to legend, William Tell shoots an apple off his son's head.

1421 - A seawall at the Zuider Zee dike breaks, flooding 72 villages and killing about 10,000 people in the Netherlands.

1477 - William Caxton produces Dictes or Sayengis of the Philosophres, the first book printed on a printing press in England.

1493 - Christopher Columbus first sights what is now Puerto Rico.

1626 - St. Peter's Basilica is consecrated.

1686 - Charles Francois Felix operates on King Louis XIV's anal fistula after practicing the surgery on several peasants.

1803 - the Battle of Vertières, the last major battle of the Haitian Revolution, is fought, leading to the establishment of the Republic of Haiti, the first black republic in the Western Hemisphere.

1865 - Mark Twain's story The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County is published in the New York Saturday Press.

1883 - American and Canadian railroads institute five standard continental time zones, ending the confusion of thousands of local times.

1903 - The Hay-Bunau-Varilla Treaty is signed by the United States and Panama, giving the Americans exclusive rights over the Panama Canal Zone.


1904 - General Esteban Huertas steps down after the government of Panama fears he wants to stage a coup.

1905 - Prince Carl of Denmark becomes King Haakon VII of Norway.

1909 - Two United States warships are sent to Nicaragua after 500 revolutionaries (including two Americans) are executed by order of José Santos Zelaya.

1916 - World War I: First Battle of the Somme ends - In France, British Expeditionary Force commander Douglas Haig calls off the battle which started on July 1, 1916.

1918 - Latvia declares its independence from Russia.

1926 - George Bernard Shaw refuses to accept the money for his Nobel Prize, saying, "I can forgive Alfred Nobel for inventing dynamite, but only a fiend in human form could have invented the Nobel Prize."

1928 - Release of the animated short Steamboat Willie, the first fully synchronized sound cartoon, directed by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks, featuring the second appearances of cartoon stars Mickey and Minnie Mouse.

1929 - 1929 Grand Banks earthquake: Off the south coast of Newfoundland in the Atlantic Ocean, a Richter magnitude 7.2 submarine earthquake, centered on Grand Banks, breaks 12 submarine transatlantic telegraph cables and triggers a tsunami that destroys many south coast communities in the Burin Peninsula area.

1938 - Trade union members elect John L. Lewis as the first president of the Congress of Industrial Organizations.

1940 - World War II: German leader Adolf Hitler and Italian Foreign Minister Galeazzo Ciano meet to discuss Benito Mussolini's disastrous invasion of Greece.

1943 - World War II: 440 Royal Air Force planes bomb Berlin causing only light damage and killing 131. The RAF lost nine aircraft and 53 air crew.

1959 - William Wyler's film Ben-Hur premieres at Loew's Theater in New York City.

1970 - U.S. President Richard Nixon asks the U.S. Congress for US$155 million in supplemental aid for the Cambodian government.


1970 - Singer Jerry Lee Lewis divorces his third wife, Myra Gail, after 12 years.

1978 - Jonestown mass suicide: In Jonestown, Guyana, Jim Jones leads his Peoples Temple in a mass murder-suicide; 913 die, including 276 children.

1978 - The Blues Brothers appear for the first time on Saturday Night Live.

1982 - Duk Koo Kim dies unexpectedly from injuries sustained during a 14-round match against Ray Mancini in Las Vegas, prompting reforms in the sport of boxing.

1985 - Calvin and Hobbes, a comic strip by Bill Watterson, is first published.

1985 - Washington Redskins quarterback Joe Theisman breaks his leg, ending his career.

1987 - Iran-Contra scandal: The U.S. Congress issues its final report on the Iran-Contra affair.

1987 - King's Cross fire: In London, 31 people die in a fire at the city's busiest underground station at King's Cross St Pancras.

1988 - War on Drugs: US President Ronald Reagan signs a bill into law providing the death penalty for murderous drug traffickers.

1991 - Shiite Muslim kidnappers in Lebanon set Anglican Church envoys Terry Waite and Thomas Sutherland free.

1991 - After the 3-month siege, the Croatian city of Vukovar is invaded by Serbians

1993 - In South Africa, 21 political parties approve a new constitution.

1996 - A fire occurs in the Channel Tunnel soon after it opens.

1997 - Gary Glitter is arrested in the United Kingdom on child pornography charges.

1999 - In College Station, Texas, 12 are killed and 28 injured at Texas A&M University when a huge bonfire under construction collapses.

1999 - In Jasper, Texas, 24-year old Shawn Allen Berry is sentenced to life in prison, becoming the third person convicted in the racially-motivated death of James Byrd, Jr..

2001 - The Nintendo GameCube was released

2002 - Iraq disarmament crisis: United Nations weapons inspectors led by Hans Blix arrive in Iraq.

2003 - In the UK the Local Government Act 2003, repealing controversial anti-gay amendment Section 28, becomes effective.

2003 - The congress of the Communist Party of Indian Union (Marxist-Leninist) decides to merge the party into Kanu Sanyal's CPI(ML).

2004 - Russia officially ratifies the Kyoto Protocol.

2005 - Robert Blake was found liable for the wrongful death of his wife in a civil trial. The jury has ordered him to pay $30 million.


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