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1077 - Walk to Canossa: The excommunication of Henry IV, Holy Roman Emperor is lifted.

1521 - Diet of Worms begins, lasting until May 25.

1547 - Edward VI becomes King, and the first Protestant ruler of England.

1573 - Articles of Warsaw Confederation are signed, sanctioning religious freedom in Poland.

1754 - Horace Walpole, in a letter to Horace Mann, coins the word serendipity.

1760 - Pownal, Vermont created by Benning Wentworth as one of the New Hampshire Grants.

1788 - The first penal colony is founded at Botany Bay, Australia.

1813 - Pride and Prejudice is first published in the United Kingdom.

1820 - Russian expedition led by Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen and Mikhail Petrovich Lazarev discovered the Antarctic continent approaching the Antarctic coast.

1846 - Battle of Aliwal, India won by British troops commanded by Sir Harry Smith.

1855 - The first locomotive runs from the Atlantic to the Pacific on the Panama Railway.

1871 - Franco-Prussian War: France surrenders, ending the war.

1878 - The Yale News becomes the first daily, college newspaper in the United States.


1887 - In a snowstorm at Fort Keogh, Montana, the world's largest snowflakes are reported, being 15 inches (38 cm) wide and 8 inches (20 cm) thick.

1902 - The Carnegie Institution is founded in Washington, DC with a $10 million gift from Andrew Carnegie.

1909 - United States troops leave Cuba after being there since the Spanish-American War.

1915 - An act of the U.S. Congress creates the United States Coast Guard.

1916 - Louis D. Brandeis becomes the first Jew appointed to the United States Supreme Court.

1917 - United States ends search for Pancho Villa.

1917 - Municipally owned streetcars take to the streets of San Francisco.

1918 - Finnish Civil War: Rebels seized control of the capital, Helsinki, and members of the Senate of Finland go underground.

1921 - A symbolic Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is installed beneath the Arc de Triomphe in Paris to honour the unknown dead of World War I.

1932 - Japan occupies Shanghai.

1933 - The name Pakistan is coined by Choudhary Rehmat Ali Khan and a group of Cambridge University Students and is adopted for the Pakistan Movement of the formal Indian Independence during WWII

1935 - Iceland becomes the first country to legalize abortion.

1938 - The first ski tow in America begins operation in Vermont.


1938 - The World Land Speed Record on a public road is broken by driver Rudolf Caracciola in the Mercedes-Benz W195.

1945 - World War II: Supplies begin to reach China over the newly reopened Burma Road.

1946 - Bluenose, Canada's greatest sailing ship, founders on a Haitian reef.

1958 - Charles Starkweather and Caril Ann Fugate begin their murder spree with the killings of her parents and infant sister.

1982 - US Army general James L. Dozier is rescued by Italian anti-terrorism forces after 42 days of captivity under the Red Brigades.

1986 - Space Shuttle Challenger breaks apart 73 seconds after liftoff killing all seven astronauts onboard, including Christa McAuliffe, who was supposed to be the first teacher in space . Failure blamed on leaking Solid Rocket Booster.

1994 - The first trial of accused murderer Lyle Menendez ends in a mistrial. He and his brother Erik are later found guilty and sentenced to life in prison without parole.

1998 - Gunmen hold at least 400 children and teachers hostage for several hours at an elementary school in Manila, Philippines.

2002 - An Ecuadoran airline Boeing 727-100 crashes in the Andes mountains in southern Colombia killing 92.

2004 - September Dossier: Lord Hutton publishes his report into the death of UN weapons inspector Dr. David Kelly.


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