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1249 - Andrew of Longjumeau was dispatched by Louis IX of France as his ambassador to meet with the Khan of the Mongols.

1279 - Afonso III of Portugal dies. His son Denis succeeds the Portuguese throne.

1568 - The entire population of the Netherlands - three million people - was sentenced to death by the Roman Catholic Church for heresy; see Eighty Years' War.

1742 - Spencer Compton, Earl of Wilmington, becomes British Prime Minister.

1804 - First Barbary War: Stephen Decatur leads a raid to burn the pirate-held frigate USS Philadelphia.

1838 - Weenen Massacre: Hundreds of Voortrekkers along the Blaukraans River, Natal were killed by Zulus.

1852 - Studebaker Brothers wagon company, precursor of the automobile manufacturer, is established.

1857 - The National Deaf Mute College (later renamed Gallaudet University) is established in Washington, DC, becoming the first school for the advanced education of the deaf.

1859 - The French Government passes a law to set the A-note above middle C to a frequency of 435 Hz, in an attempt to standardize the pitch.

1862 - American Civil War: General Ulysses S. Grant captures Fort Donelson, Tennessee.

1866 - Spencer Compton Cavendish, Marquess of Hartington becomes the British Secretary of State for War

1868 - In New York City the Jolly Corks organization is renamed the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks (BPOE).

1883 - Ladies Home Journal is published for the first time.


1899 - President Félix Faure of France dies in office.

1918 - Lithuania declares its independence from both Russia and Germany.

1923 - Howard Carter unseals the burial chamber of Pharaoh Tutankhamun.

1934 - Austrian Civil War ends with the defeat of the Social Democrats and the Republican Schutzbund

1934 - Commission of Government sworn in as form of direct rule for the Dominion of Newfoundland.

1936 - Elections bring the Popular Front to power in Spain.

1937 - Wallace H. Carothers receives a patent for nylon.

1940 - Altmark Incident: The German tanker Altmark, with 299 British prisoners, is boarded in neutral Norwegian waters by sailors from the British destroyer HMS Cossack and the prisoners set free, a breach of Norwegian neutrality at the beginning of World War II.

1943 - World War II: USSR reconquers Kharkov.

1945 - World War II: American forces land on Corregidor island in the Philippines.

1945 - American forces recapture the Bataan Peninsula.

1959 - Fidel Castro becomes Premier of Cuba after President Fulgencio Batista was overthrown on January 1.

1961 - Explorer 9 launched. (See Explorer program)


1968 - In Haleyville, Alabama the first 9-1-1 emergency telephone system goes into service.

1972 - NBA basketball player Wilt Chamberlain scores 30,000th point.

1978 - The first computer bulletin board system is created (CBBS in Chicago, Illinois).

1983 - The Ash Wednesday bushfires in Victoria and South Australia claim the lives of 71 people in Australia's worst ever fires.

1986 - The Soviet liner Mikhail Lermontov runs aground in the Marlborough Sounds, New Zealand.

1987 - The trial of John Demjanjuk, accused of being a Nazi guard dubbed "Ivan the Terrible" in Treblinka extermination camp, starts in Jerusalem.

1991 - Gulf War: U.S. and U.K. war planes bomb the suburbs of Baghdad, injuring at least 11 civilians and killing three others.

1998 - China Airlines Flight 676 crashed into a residential area near by Chiang Kai-shek International Airport, killing 202 people, included all 196 on board and six on the ground.

1999 - In Uzbekistan a bomb explodes and gunfire is heard at the government headquarters in an apparent assassination attempt against President Islam Karimov.

1999 - Across Europe, Kurdish rebels take over embassies and hold hostages after Turkey arrested one of their rebel leaders, Abdullah ÿcalan.

2005 - The Kyoto Protocol comes into force, following its ratification by Russia.

2005 - The National Hockey League cancels the entire 2004-2005 regular season and playoffs, becoming the first major sports league in North America to do so over a labour dispute.


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