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1242 - During a battle on the ice of Lake Peipus, Russian forces, led by Alexander Nevsky, rebuff an invasion attempt by the Teutonic Knights.

1614 - In Virginia, Native American Pocahontas marries English colonist John Rolfe.

1621 - The Mayflower sets sail from Plymouth on a return trip to Great Britain.

1654 - The Treaty of Westminster, ending the First Anglo-Dutch War, is signed.

1792 - U.S. President George Washington vetoes a bill designed to apportion representatives among U.S. states. This was the first time the presidential veto had been used in the United States.

1804 - The first recorded meteorite falls in Possil, Scotland (High Possil Meteorite).

1862 - American Civil War: Battle of Yorktown. The battle begins when Union forces under General George McClellan close in on the Confederate capital Richmond, Virginia.

1923 - Firestone Tire and Rubber Company starts production of balloon-tires.

1930 - In an act of civil disobedience, Mohandas Gandhi breaks British law after marching to the sea and making salt.

1936 - Tupelo-Gainesville Outbreak: An F5 tornado slams into the north side of Tupelo, Mississippi, killing 233. It is the 4th deadliest tornado in U.S. history.

1942 - Second World War: Japanese Navy attacks Colombo in Ceylon (Sri Lanka). Royal Navy Cruisers HMS Cornwall and HMS Dorsetshire are sunk southwest of the island.

1945 - Cold War: Yugoslav leader Josip "Tito" Broz signs an agreement with the USSR allowing "temporary entry of Soviet troops into Yugoslav territory."

1946 - Soviet troops leave the island of Bornholm, Denmark after occupying it for approximately 11 months.


1949 - Fireside Theater debuts on television.

1949 - A fire in a hospital in Effingham, Illinois, United States, kills 77 people resulting in nationwide fire code improvements.

1951 - Ethel and Julius Rosenberg are sentenced to death for performing espionage for the Soviet Union.

1955 - Winston Churchill resigns as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom amid indications of failing health.

1956 - Fidel Castro declares himself at war with the President of Cuba.

1956 - In Sri Lanka, the Mahajana Eksath Peramuna won the general elections in a lanslide and S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike sworn in as the Prime Minister.

1957 - In India, Communists won the first elections in united Kerala and E. M. S. Namboodiripad sworn in as the first chief minister.

1969 - Vietnam War: Massive antiwar demonstrations are held in New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and other cities around the United States.

1971 - In Sri Lanka, Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna launches insurrection against the United Front government of Mrs Sirimavo Bandaranaike.

1972 - Vietnam War: North Vietnamese forces invade Binh Long Province, launching a second front of the Nguyen Hue Offensive.

1973 - Pierre Messmer becomes Prime Minister of France.

1976 - In the People's Republic of China, the April Fifth Movement leads to the Tiananmen incident.

1986 - Bombing of the La Belle Discotheque in West Berlin, Germany, kills three.


1991 - ASA Embraer EMB 120 crashes in Brunswick, Georgia, United States, killing all 23 aboard.

1992 - Several hundred-thousand abortion rights demonstrators march in Washington, D.C.

1992 - Siege of Sarajevo begins when Serb paramilitaries murder peace protestor Suada Dilberovic on the Skenderija Bridge.

1993 - The Child Support Act 1991, administered by the Child Support Agency, comes into effect in the United Kingdom.

1998 - In Japan, the Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge linking Shikoku with Honshu and costing about US$3.8 billion, opens to traffic, becoming the largest suspension bridge in the world.

1999 - Two Libyans suspected of bringing down Pan Am flight 103 in 1988 are handed over for eventual trial in the Netherlands.

2005 - ABC News anchor Peter Jennings announces on World News Tonight that he has been diagnosed with lung cancer. It would be his last on-air appearance. Jennings died four months later on August 7.

2006 - The first case of H5N1 avian flu was confirmed in the UK after tests on a dead swan found in Cellardyke, Fife.


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