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1607 - Eighty Years' War: Dutch fleet destroys the anchored Spanish fleet at Gibraltar.

1707 - An Allied Austrian army is defeated by Bourbon army at Almansa (Spain) in the War of the Spanish Succession.

1719 - Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe is published.

1792 - Highwayman Nicolas J. Pelletier becomes the first person executed by guillotine.

1792 - "La Marseillaise" (French national anthem) is composed by Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle.

1829 - Charles Fremantle arrives in the HMS Challenger off the coast of modern-day Western Australia prior to declaring the Swan River Colony for the United Kingdom.

1846 - Thornton Affair: Open conflict begins over the disputed border of Texas, triggering the Mexican-American War.

1847 - The last survivors of the Donner Party are out of the wilderness. See Donner Party timeline for detailed chronology.

1849 - The Governor General of Canada, Lord Elgin, signs the Rebellion Losses Bill, outraging Montreal's English population and triggering the Montreal Riots.

1859 - Ground is broken for the Suez Canal.

1862 - American Civil War: Forces under Union Admiral David Farragut capture the Confederate city of New Orleans, Louisiana.

1864 - American Civil War: Battle of Marks' Mills ? Confederate forces seize a Union wagon supply train on its way to Camden, Arkansas forcing Union General Frederick Steele to withdraw his troops to Little Rock, Arkansas.

1881 - Caulfield Grammar School is founded in Melbourne, Australia.


1898 - Spanish-American War: The United States declares war on Spain.

1901 - New York becomes the first U.S. state to require automobile license plates.

1915 - The ANZAC tradition begins during World War I with a landing at Gallipoli on the Turkish coast.

1916 - Easter Rebellion: The United Kingdom declares martial law in Ireland.

1916 - ANZAC Day commemorated for the first time.

1926 - Reza Khan is crowned Shah of Iran under the name Reza Pahlavi.

1935 - Fire claimed the second capitol building in Salem, Oregon and burned down.

1938 - U.S. Supreme Court delivers opinion in Erie Railroad Co. v. Tompkins and overturns a century of federal common law.

1940 - The Faroese flag Merkið is made the official flag for the Faroe Islands.

1943 - The Demyansk Shield for German troops in commemoration of Demyansk Pocket was instituted.

1944 - The United Negro College Fund is incorporated.

1945 - Elbe Day: United States and Russian troops meet in Torgau along the River Elbe, cutting the Wehrmacht of Nazi Germany in two, a milestone in the approaching end of World War II in Europe.

1945 - The U.S. Army blows the swastika from the top of the Zeppelintribüne.


1945 - Nazi occupation army leaves Milan after a partisan insurrection. This day is taken as symbol of the liberation of Italy.

1945 - Fifty nations gather in San Francisco, California to begin the United Nations Conference on International Organizations.

1953 - Francis Crick and James D. Watson publish Molecular structure of nucleic acids: a structure for deoxyribose nucleic acid describing the double helix structure of DNA.

1959 - The St. Lawrence Seaway, linking the North American Great Lakes and the Atlantic Ocean, officially opens to shipping.

1961 - Robert Noyce is granted a patent for an integrated circuit.

1972 - Vietnam War: Nguyen Hue Offensive ? The North Vietnamese 320th Division forces 5,000 South Vietnamese troops to retreat and traps about 2,500 others northwest of Kontum.

1974 - Carnation Revolution: A coup in Portugal restores democracy.

1975 - As North Vietnamese forces close in on the South Vietnamese capital Saigon, the Australian Embassy is closed and evacuated, almost ten years to the day since the first Australian troop commitment to South Vietnam.

1981 - More than 100 workers are exposed to radiation during repairs of a nuclear power plant in Tsuruga, Japan.

1982 - Israel completes its withdrawal from the Sinai peninsula per the Camp David Accords.

1983 - American schoolgirl Samantha Smith is invited to visit the Soviet Union by its leader Yuri Andropov after he read her letter in which she expressed fears about nuclear war.

1983 - Pioneer 10 travels beyond Pluto's orbit.

1986 - Mswati III was crowned King of Swaziland, succeeding his father Sobhuza II.

1988 - In Israel, John Demjanuk is sentenced to death for war crimes committed in World War II. He was accused of being a notorious guard at the Treblinka extermination camp known as "Ivan the Terrible" by survivors.

1989 - James Richardson is freed from a Florida prison 21 years after being wrongfully convicted of the murder of his seven children.

1993 - 300,000 gay, lesbian, transgender, and allied activists march on Washington, DC demanding freedom from discrimination.

2005 - The final piece of the Obelisk of Axum is returned to Ethiopia after being stolen by the invading Italian army in 1937.

2005 - Bulgaria and Romania sign ascession treaties gaining entrance into the European Union.

2005 - 107 die in Amagasaki rail crash in Japan.


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