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660 BC - Traditional founding date of Japan by Emperor Jimmu.

731 - Gregory II ends his reign as Pope.

824 - Paschal I ends his reign as Pope.

1531 - Henry VIII of England recognized as supreme head of the Church of England.

1752 - Pennsylvania Hospital, 1st hospital in the United States, opens.

1790 - Religious Society of Friends, also known as Quakers, petitions U.S. Congress for abolition of slavery. It failed.

1794 - First session of United States Senate open to the public.

1808 - Anthracite coal first burned as fuel, experimentally.

1809 - Robert Fulton patents the steamboat

1812 - Massachusetts governor Elbridge Gerry gerrymanders for the first time.

1814 - Norway's independence is proclaimed, marking the ultimate end of the Kalmar Union.

1826 - University College London is founded under the name University of London.

1837 - American Physiological Society organizes in Boston, Massachusetts.


1840 - Gaetano Donizetti's opera La Fille du Régiment receives its first performance in Paris.

1843 - Giuseppe Verdi's opera I Lombardi receives its first performance in Milan.

1855 - Kassa Hailu is crowned Tewodros II, Emperor of Ethiopia, by Abuna Salama III in a ceremony at the church of Derasge Maryam.

1858 - The Blessed Virgin Mary reputedly appears to Saint Bernadette Soubirous of Lourdes.

1861 - American Civil War: United States House of Representatives unanimously passes a resolution guaranteeing noninterference with slavery in any state.

1873 - King Amadeus I of Spain abdicates.

1889 - Meiji constitution of Japan adopted; 1st Diet of Japan convenes in 1890.

1895 - The lowest ever UK temperature of -27.2°C was recorded at Braemar in Aberdeenshire. This record was equalled on 10 January 1982 and again on 30 December 1995.

1902 - Police assault universal suffrage demonstrators in Brussels.

1903 - Anton Bruckner's 9th Symphony receives its first performance in Vienna.

1905 - Pope Pius X publishes the encyclical Vehementer nos.

1908 - Australia regain the Ashes with a 308 run cricket victory over England.

1916 - Emma Goldman arrested for lecturing on birth control.


1919 - Friedrich Ebert (SPD), elected President of Germany.

1929 - Italy and the Vatican sign the Lateran Treaty.

1937 - A sit-down strike ends when General Motors recognizes the United Auto Workers Union.

1938 - BBC Television produces the world's first ever science fiction television programme, an adaptation of a section of the Karel Capek play R.U.R. (The play which coined the term "robot").

1941 - First Gold record presented to Glenn Miller for "Chattanooga Choo Choo".

1943 - General Dwight Eisenhower selected to command the allied armies in Europe.

1948 - John Costello succeeds ÿamon de Valera as Taoiseach of Ireland.

1953 - President Dwight Eisenhower refuses clemency appeal for Ethel and Julius Rosenberg.

1953 - The Soviet Union breaks off diplomatic relations with Israel.

1961 - Trial of Adolf Eichmann begins in Jerusalem.

1963 - The Beatles tape 10 tracks for their first album, including "Please, Please Me".

1964 - At the Washington, DC Coliseum, The Beatles have their 1st live appearance in the United States.

1964 - Greeks and Turks begin fighting in Limassol, Cyprus.

1964 - The Republic of China (Taiwan) breaks off diplomatic relations with France.

1968 - Israeli-Jordanian border clashes.

1971 - US, UK, USSR, others sign Seabed Treaty outlawing nuclear weapons in international waters.

1973 - Vietnam War: First release of American prisoners of war from Vietnam takes place.

1978 - Censorship: China lifts a ban on works by Aristotle, Shakespeare and Dickens.

1979 - Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini seizes power in Iran.

1981 - 100,000 gallons (380 m³) of radioactive coolant leak into the containment building of TVA Sequoyah 1 nuclear plant in Tennessee, contaminating 8 workers.

1987 - Philippines constitution goes into effect.

1990 - Nelson Mandela, a political prisoner for 27 years, is freed from Victor Verster prison outside Cape Town, South Africa.

1991 - UNPO, the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization, forms in The Hague, Netherlands.

1999 - Pluto, a planet with an irregular orbit, changes from the eighth to ninth planet furthest from the sun. It had been the eighth furthest since 1979.

2006 - Michelle Bachelet inaugurated as first woman president of Chile.


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