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686 - Conon becomes Pope.

1492 - Christopher Columbus lands on the San Salvador Islands.

1512 - Martin Luther joins the theological faculty of the University of Wittenberg

1600 - Tokugawa Ieyasu defeats the leaders of rival Japanese clans in the Battle of Sekigahara, which marks the beginning of the Tokugawa shogunate, who in effect rule Japan until the mid-Nineteenth century.

1774 - First display of the word "Liberty" on a flag, raised by colonists in Taunton, Massachusetts and which was in defiance of British rule in Colonial America.

1797 - In Boston Harbor, the 44-gun United States Navy frigate USS Constitution is launched.

1805 - Napoleonic Wars: Battle of Trafalgar - a British fleet led by Admiral Lord Nelson defeats a combined French and Spanish fleet off the coast of Spain under Admiral Villeneuve. It signalled the virtual end of French maritime power and left Britain navally unchallenged until the twentieth century.

1805 - Napoleonic Wars: Austrian General Mack surrenders his army to the Grand Army of Napoleon at Ulm, reaping Napoleon over 30,000 prisoners and inflicting 10,000 casualties on the losers. Ulm was considered to be one of Napoleon's finest hours.

1824 - Joseph Aspdin patents Portland cement.

1854 - Florence Nightingale and a staff of 38 nurses were sent to the Crimean War.

1861 - American Civil War: Battle of Ball's Bluff - Union forces under Colonel Edward Baker are defeated by Confederate troops in the second major battle of the war. Baker, a close friend of Abraham Lincoln, is killed in the fighting.

1867 - Manifest Destiny: Medicine Lodge Treaty - Near Medicine Lodge, Kansas a landmark treaty is signed by southern Great Plains Indian leaders. The treaty requires Native American Plains tribes to relocate a reservation in western Oklahoma.

1879 - Using a filament of carbonized thread, Thomas Edison tests the first practical electric incandescent light bulb (it lasted 13 1/2 hours before burning out).


1895 - The Republic of Formosa collapses as Japanese forces invade.

1902 - In the United States, a five month strike by United Mine Workers ends.

1921 - President Warren G. Harding delivers the first speech by a sitting President against lynching in the deep south.

1941 - World War II: massacre in Kragujevac, Yugoslavia. Thousands of civilians are killed in retaliation for an attack on German soldiers.

1944 - The first kamikaze attack: HMAS Australia was hit by a Japanese plane carrying a 200 kg (441 pound) bomb off Leyte Island, as the Battle of Leyte Gulf began.

1945 - Women's suffrage: Women are allowed to vote in France for the first time.

1945 - Argentine military officer and politician Juan Perón married actress Evita.

1947 - 21 die as a fire destroys an asylum in Hoff, Germany.

1954 - The first part of JRR Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, the The Fellowship of the Ring is published in the U.S.A.

1957 - The movie Jailhouse Rock, starring Elvis Presley, opens.

1959 - In New York City, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum opens to the public. It was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.

1959 - US President Dwight D. Eisenhower signs an executive order transferring Wernher von Braun and other German scientists from the United States Army to NASA.

1966 - Aberfan disaster: A coal tip falls on the village of Aberfan in Wales, killing 144 people, mostly schoolchildren


1967 - Vietnam War: More than 100,000 war protesters gather in Washington, DC. A peaceful rally at the Lincoln Memorial is followed by a march to The Pentagon and clashes with soldiers and United States Marshals protecting the facility (event lasts until October 23; 683 people were arrested). Similar demonstrations occurred simultaneously in Japan and Western Europe.

1969 - A coup d'état in Somalia brings Siad Barre to power.

1973 - John Paul Getty III's ear is cut off by his kidnappers and sent to a newspaper in Rome; it doesn't arrive until November 8.

1977 - The European Patent Institute is founded

1977 - Meat Loaf's hit album Bat Out of Hell is released under Epic's Cleveland International Records

1978 - Australian civilian pilot Frederick Valentich vanishes in a Cessna 182 over the Bass Strait south of Melbourne, after reporting contact with an unidentified aircraft.

1983 - The metre is defined at the seventeenth General Conference on Weights and Measures in terms of the speed of light as the distance light travels in a vacuum in 1/299,792,458 of a second.

1986 - In Lebanon, pro-Iranian kidnappers claim to have abducted American writer Edward Tracy (he was released in August 1991).

1987 - Former Miss America Bess Myerson is arrested on charges of bribery, conspiracy, and mail fraud, all involving an alimony-fixing scandal. She is later found not guilty.

1994 - North Korea nuclear weapons program: North Korea and the United States sign an agreement that requires North Korea to stop its nuclear weapons program and agree to inspections.

2003 - Trans-Neptunian object 2003 UB313 is discovered.


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