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1576 - Henry of Navarre converts to Roman Catholicism in order to ensure his right to the throne of France.

1597 - The Keikyo a group of early Japanese Christians are killed by the new government of Japan for being seen as a threat to Japanese society.

1631 - Roger Williams emigrates to Boston.

1778 - South Carolina becomes the first state to ratify the Articles of Confederation.

1782 - Spanish defeat British forces and capture Minorca.

1818 - Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte ascends to the thrones of Sweden and Norway.

1846 - The Oregon Spectator becomes the first newspaper on the Pacific coast of the United States.

1859 - Wallachia and Moldavia are united under Alexander John Cuza under the name Romania (see December 1, 1918 for the final unification, Transylvania and other regions were still missing at this time).

1881 - Phoenix, Arizona is incorporated.

1885 - King Léopold II of Belgium establishes the Congo as a personal possession.

1917 - The current constitution of Mexico is adopted, establishing a federal republic with powers separated into independent executive, legislative, and judicial branches.

1917 - The Congress of the United States passes a law, over President Woodrow Wilson's veto, banning most Asian immigration to the United States.

1919 - Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, and D.W. Griffith launch United Artists.


1922 - DeWitt and Lila Wallace publish the first issue of Reader's Digest. (Some sources say February 7.)

1924 - The Royal Greenwich Observatory begin broadcasting the hourly time signals known as the Greenwich Time Signal or the "BBC pips".

1936 - Charlie Chaplin releases the last movie of the silent film era, Modern Times.

1937 - President Franklin D. Roosevelt proposes a plan to enlarge the Supreme Court of the United States.

1945 - World War II: General Douglas MacArthur returns to Manila.

1946 - The Chondoist Chongu Party is founded in North Korea.

1958 - Gamel Abdel Nasser is nominated to be the first president of the United Arab Republic.

1958 - A hydrogen bomb known as the Tybee Bomb is lost by the US Air Force off the coast of Savannah, Georgia, never to be recovered.

1961 - The Sunday Telegraph publishes its first issue.

1962 - French President Charles De Gaulle calls for allowing Algeria to be an independent nation.

1968 - The Battle of Khe Sanh of the Vietnam War begins.

1971 - Apollo 14 lands on the Moon.

1972 - Bob Douglas becomes the first African American elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame.


1974 - John Murtha becomes the first Vietnam War veteran elected to the Congress of the United States.

1978 - The Blizzard of 1978, one of the worst Nor'easters ever to hit New England, forms.

1988 - Manuel Noriega is indicted on drug smuggling and money laundering charges.

1988 - Comic Relief hold the first "Red Nose Day", which raises £15 million in the United Kingdom for charity.

1991 - A Michigan court bars Dr. Jack Kevorkian from assisting in suicides.

1994 - Byron De La Beckwith is convicted of the 1963 murder of civil rights leader Medgar Evers.

1997 - The so-called Big Three banks in Switzerland announce the creation of a $71 million fund to aid Holocaust survivors and their families.

1997 - Morgan Stanley and Dean Witter investment banks announce a $10 billion merger.

2003 - U.S. plan to invade Iraq: Colin Powell addresses the UN Security Council on Iraq.

2004 - Twenty-three Chinese people drown when a group of 35 cockle-pickers are trapped by rising tides in Morecambe Bay, England. Twenty-one bodies are recovered.

2004 - Rebels from the Revolutionary Artibonite Resistance Front capture the city of Gonaïves, starting the 2004 Haiti rebellion.


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