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475 - The Roman general Orestes forces western Roman Emperor Julius Nepos to flee his capital of Ravenna and appoints his own son Romulus Augustus in his place.

489 - Theodoric, king of the Ostrogoths defeats Odoacer at the Battle of Isonzo, forcing his way into Italy.

888 - Today was the last day until February 2, 2000 that all of the digits in the date were even.

1521 - The Ottoman Turks occupy Belgrade

1542 - Reinforced with at least 600 arquebusiers and cavalry, Imam Ahmad Gragn attacks the Portuguese camp in the Battle of Wofla. The Portuguese are scattered, their leader Christovão da Gama captured and afterwards executed.

1565 - St. Augustine, Florida, established. It is the oldest surviving European settlement in the United States.

1609 - Henry Hudson discovers Delaware Bay.

1619 - Ferdinand II is elected emperor of the Holy Roman Empire.

1830 - The Tom Thumb presages the first railway service in the United States.

1845 - Scientific American magazine publishes its first issue

1849 - After a month-long siege, Venice, which had declared itself independent, surrenders to Austria.

1850 - Richard Wagner's opera Lohengrin premieres in Weimar, Germany.

1862 - Second Battle of Bull Run, also known as the battle of Second Manassas


1867 - The United States occupies Midway Island.

1879 - Cetshwayo, last king of the Zulus, is captured by the British.

1884 - First known photograph of a tornado is made.

1898 - Caleb Bradham renames his carbonated soft drink "Pepsi-Cola".

1907 - UPS is founded by James E. Casey in Seattle, Washington.

1913 - Queen Wilhelmina opens the Peace Palace in The Hague.

1914 - The British fleet beats the German fleet in the Battle of Heligoland Bight.

1916 - Germany declares war on Romania.

1916 - Italy declares war on Germany.

1917 - Ten suffragists are arrested when picketing the White House.

1918 - PFC Spartak Varna founded.

1937 - Toyota Motors becomes an independent company

1943 - In Denmark, a general strike against the Nazi occupation is started.


1944 - Marseille and Toulon are liberated.

1953 - Nippon Television broadcasts Japan's first television show, including its first TV advertisement.

1955 - Black Mississippian Emmett Till is murdered, allegedly for whistling to a white woman and calling her baby.

1963 - During a 200,000-person civil rights rally in at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., Martin Luther King, Jr. gives his famous I have a dream speech.

1964 - The Philadelphia race riot began.

1968 - Riots in Chicago, Illinois, during the Democratic National Convention

1971 - The dollar is allowed to float against the yen for the first time.

1972 - During the Olympic Games in Munich, Mark Spitz gets his first of seven gold medals in swimming events.

1975 - Missionary Armand Doll is imprisoned in Mozambique by Marxist extremists.

1979 - An IRA bomb explodes on the Great Market in Brussels.

1981 - The National Centers for Disease Control announce a high incidence of Pneumocystis and Kaposi's sarcoma in gay men. Soon, these will be recognized as symptoms of an immune disorder, which will be called AIDS.

1986 - Stage of siege declared in Bolivia.

1986 - US Navy officer Jerry A. Whitworth is sentenced to 365 years imprisonment for espionage for the Soviet Union.

1988 - At an air show in Ramstein, West Germany, three stunt fighters collide; 69 people die.

1990 - Iraq declares Kuwait to be its newest province.

1990 - The Plainfield Tornado: An F5 tornado hits in Plainfield, Illinois, and Joliet, Illinois, killing 28 people.

1991 - A drunk motorman speeds into the Union Square station on the No. 4 line in New York City. The train derails on the curve, killing six passengers and injuring dozens.

1993 - A dam breaks in Qinghai, China. 223 die.

1993 - 76 die in an airplane crash in Tajikistan.

1994 - First Japanese gay pride march.

1995 - A mortar shell kills 38 people in Sarajevo, Bosnia.

1996 - Britain's Charles, Prince of Wales, and Diana, Princess of Wales, are divorced.

1998 - Pakistan's National Assembly passes a constitutional amendment to make the "Qur'an and Sunnah" the "supreme law" but the bill is defeated in the Senate.

2005 - A mandatory evacuation is ordered by New Orleans, Louisiana mayor Ray Nagin and Louisiana governor Kathleen Blanco as Hurricane Katrina moved nearer to Louisiana.


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