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|An archive of historical anniversaries that appeared on the Main Page
2017 day arrangement
- 1234 – Richard Marshal, 3rd Earl of Pembroke, was defeated by knights loyal to King Henry III of England in the Battle of the Curragh in Ireland.
- 1789 – Frederick Muhlenberg became the first Speaker of the United States House of Representatives.
- 1976 – Apple Computer was originally founded to sell the Apple I, an early personal computer that was sold as kits (example of a completed kit pictured).
- 2006 – Several British policing agencies joined together to become the Serious Organised Crime Agency.
- 1513 – Spanish conquistador Juan Ponce de León (pictured) reached Florida, becoming the first European known to do so, purportedly while searching for the Fountain of Youth in the New World.
- 1865 – American Civil War: On the third try, Union Army forces captured Petersburg, Virginia, although Confederate government officials and most of the remaining Confederate army were able to escape.
- 1911 – The Australian Bureau of Statistics conducted the country's first national census.
- 1982 – Argentine special forces invaded the Falkland Islands, sparking the Falklands War.
- 2006 – Over 60 tornadoes touched down in the central United States, killing 27 people and causing about US$1.1 billion in damage.
- 1043 – Edward the Confessor was crowned King of England, the last king of the House of Wessex.
- 1860 – The Pony Express, a mail service that became the most direct means of long distance communication to the American West, began operation.
- 1895 – The libel trial instigated by Irish author Oscar Wilde (pictured) began, eventually resulting in Wilde's arrest, trial and imprisonment on charges of gross indecency.
- 1922 – Joseph Stalin became the first General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.
- 1946 – Imperial Japanese Army officer Masaharu Homma was executed for war crimes relating to the Bataan Death March.
- 1996 – A US Air Force CT-43 crashed into a mountainside while attempting an instrument approach to Dubrovnik Airport in Dubrovnik, Croatia, killing Secretary of Commerce Ron Brown and all the other 34 people on board.
- 1796 – French naturalist Georges Cuvier delivered a lecture at the National Museum of Natural History on living and fossil remains of elephants and related species, founding the science of paleontology.
- 1873 – The Kennel Club, the oldest kennel club in the world, was founded in the United Kingdom.
- 1949 – Twelve nations signed the North Atlantic Treaty, creating NATO, an organization that constitutes a system of collective defense whereby its member states agree to mutual defense in response to an attack by any external party.
- 1976 – Norodom Sihanouk (pictured) abdicated from the role of leader of Cambodia and was arrested by the Khmer Rouge.
- 2002 – The Angolan government and UNITA rebels signed a peace treaty, agreeing to follow the 1994 Lusaka Protocol and ending the decades-long Angolan Civil War.
- 1081 – The Komnenian dynasty came to full power when Alexios I Komnenos was crowned Byzantine Emperor.
- 1566 – A covenant of nobles in the Habsburg Netherlands presented Governor Margaret of Parma a petition to suspend the Spanish Inquisition in the Netherlands.
- 1847 – Britain's first civic public park, Birkenhead Park (pictured) in Birkenhead, Merseyside, opened.
- 1936 – Tupelo–Gainesville tornado outbreak: An F5 tornado hit Tupelo, Mississippi, killing about 436 people.
- 2009 – The North Korean satellite Kwangmyŏngsŏng-2 was launched from the Tonghae Satellite Launching Ground and passed over Japan, sparking concerns by other nations that it may have been a trial run of technology that could be used to launch intercontinental ballistic missiles.
- 1320 – The Declaration of Arbroath, a declaration of Scottish independence, was adopted.
- 1866 – The Grand Army of the Republic, a fraternal organization composed of veterans of the Union Army who had served in the American Civil War, was founded in Decatur, Illinois.
- 1896 – The first modern Olympic Games (official report pictured) opened in Athens, with 241 athletes from 14 nations participating in 43 events in nine disciplines.
- 1941 – World War II: The Axis Powers began both Operation Marita and Directive no. 25, invading Greece and Yugoslavia, respectively.
- 2009 – A 6.3 Mw earthquake struck the region of Abruzzo in central Italy, killing 308 people and injuring more than 1,500 others.
- 1141 – Empress Matilda became the first female claimant to the throne of England, adopting the title 'Lady of the English'.
- 1724 – Johann Sebastian Bach debuted the St John Passion, a musical representation of the Passion, at the St. Thomas Church in Leipzig.
- 1896 – An Arctic expedition led by Norwegian explorer Fridtjof Nansen (pictured) reached 86°13.6'N, almost three degrees beyond the previous Farthest North mark.
- 1956 – Spain relinquished its protectorate in Morocco.
- 1994 – The Rwandan genocide began, a few hours after the assassination of President Juvénal Habyarimana; an estimated 500,000–1,000,000 Rwandans were killed in the following 100 days.
- 1271 – The Knights Hospitaller surrendered the Krak des Chevaliers to the army of the Mamluk sultan Baibars.
- 1341 – Italian scholar and poet Petrarch took the title poet laureate at a ceremony in Rome.
- 1820 – A Greek peasant discovered a statue of a woman with its arms missing—the Venus de Milo—on the Aegean island of Milos.
- 1864 – American Civil War: A decisive Confederate victory in the Battle of Mansfield stopped the advance of the Union Army's Red River Campaign.
- 1911 – Dutch physicist Heike Kamerlingh Onnes (pictured) discovered superconductivity.
- 2008 – The wind turbines at the Bahrain World Trade Center, the first building to incorporate turbines into its design, became operational.
- 1860 – On his phonautograph machine, Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville made the oldest known recording of an audible human voice, when he recorded himself singing "Au clair de la lune".
- 1865 – A day after the destruction of their supply trains by Union troops, Confederate forces under Robert E. Lee surrendered to Ulysses S. Grant at the McLean House near the Appomattox Court House in Virginia, effectively ending the American Civil War.
- 1918 – World War I: Aníbal Milhais's actions during the Battle of the Lys made him the only person to be awarded Portugal's highest military honour, the Order of the Tower and Sword, directly on the battlefield.
- 1948 – Fighters from the Irgun and Lehi Zionist paramilitary groups attacked Deir Yassin near Jerusalem, killing over 100.
- 2003 – Invasion of Iraq: Coalition forces captured Baghdad and the statue of Saddam Hussein in Firdos Square was toppled (pictured).
- 1710 – The Statute of Anne, the first fully-fledged law regulating copyright, entered into force in Great Britain.
- 1816 – President James Madison signed the charter establishing the Second Bank of the United States (pictured) as the nation's second national bank.
- 1925 – The novel The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald was first published.
- 1970 – In the midst of business disagreements with his bandmates, Paul McCartney announced his departure from the Beatles.
- 2010 – A Tupolev Tu-154M aircraft carrying President of Poland Lech Kaczyński and other Polish officials crashed while attempting to land in heavy fog at Smolensk-North air base near Smolensk, Russia, killing all 96 on board.
- 1544 – Italian War of 1542–46: French and Spanish forces fought a massive pitched battle in the Piedmont region of Italy.
- 1814 – The Treaty of Fontainebleau was signed, ending the War of the Sixth Coalition, and forcing Napoleon to abdicate as ruler of France and sending him into exile on Elba.
- 1913 – The Nevill Ground's pavilion (pictured) was destroyed in the only suffragette arson attack on a cricket ground.
- 1951 – US President Harry S. Truman relieved General of the Army Douglas MacArthur of his commands for making public statements about the Korean War that contradicted the administration's policies.
- 1996 – While attempting to set a record as the youngest person to pilot an airplane across the United States, the aircraft flown by seven-year-old Jessica Dubroff crashed in Cheyenne, Wyoming, killing her and two others.
- 240 – Shapur I was crowned shahanshah ("king of kings") of the Sasanian Empire, the last Iranian empire before the rise of Islam.
- 1204 – Alexios V Doukas fled Constantinople as forces under Boniface the Marquess of Montferrat and Enrico Dandolo the Doge of Venice entered and sacked the Byzantine capital, effectively ending the Fourth Crusade.
- 1861 – Confederate forces began firing at Fort Sumter (pictured) in the harbor of Charleston, South Carolina, starting the American Civil War.
- 1980 – Terry Fox dipped his artificial leg in the Atlantic Ocean at St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, and began running his "Marathon of Hope" towards the Pacific Ocean at Vancouver, British Columbia, to raise funds across Canada for cancer research.
- 2007 – The canteen of the Council of Representatives of Iraq building was attacked by a suicide bomber, killing one Member of Parliament and wounding 23 other people.
- 1742 – Messiah, an oratorio by baroque composer George Frideric Handel, premiered in Dublin.
- 1777 – American Revolutionary War: British and Hessian forces conducted a surprise attack against a Continental Army outpost at Bound Brook, New Jersey.
- 1941 – The Soviet Union and the Empire of Japan signed a neutrality pact, which lasted through most of World War II.
- 1956 – The Vietnamese National Army captured Ba Cụt (pictured), military commander of the Hoa Hao religious sect, which ran a de facto state in southern Vietnam in opposition to Prime Minister Ngo Dinh Diem.
- 2015 – Czech politician Vít Jedlička proclaimed the micronation Liberland on a patch of land between Croatia and Serbia that had been unclaimed by either side due to a territorial dispute.
- 966 – After his marriage to the Christian Dobrawa of Bohemia, the pagan ruler of the Polans, Mieszko I, converted to Christianity, an event considered to be the founding of the Polish state.
- 1828 – Lexicographer Noah Webster (pictured) copyrighted the first edition of his dictionary of American English.
- 1909 – Following a military revolt against the constitutional government, a mob began a massacre of Armenians in Adana Vilayet, Ottoman Empire.
- 1978 – Thousands of Georgians demonstrated in Tbilisi against an attempt by the Supreme Soviet of the Georgian SSR to change the constitutional status of the Georgian language.
- 2003 – The completion of the Human Genome Project was announced.
- 769 – The Lateran Council concluded proceedings intended to rectify abuses in the papal electoral process that had led to the elevation of the Antipopes Constantine II and Philip.
- 1638 – A rebellion by Catholic Japanese peasants in Shimabara over increased taxes was put down by the Tokugawa shogunate, resulting in greater enforcement of the policy of national seclusion.
- 1738 – Serse, an opera by Baroque composer George Frideric Handel loosely based on Xerxes I of Persia, premiered in London.
- 1922 – US Senator John B. Kendrick introduced a resolution calling for an investigation of a secret land deal, which led to the discovery of the Teapot Dome scandal.
- 2013 – Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev set off two pressure cooker bombs (immediate aftermath pictured) during the running of the Boston Marathon, killing three people and injuring 264 others.
- 1520 – Citizens of Toledo, Castile, who were opposed to the rule of the foreign-born Charles V, rose up in revolt when the royal government attempted to unseat radical city councilors.
- 1818 – The United States Senate ratified the Rush–Bagot Treaty, which laid the basis for a demilitarized boundary between the US and British North America.
- 1917 – Vladimir Lenin returned to Petrograd from Switzerland, and joined the Bolshevik movement in Russia.
- 1963 – Martin Luther King, Jr. (pictured) wrote his Letter from Birmingham Jail in response to an open letter written by white clergymen four days earlier.
- 2014 – The South Korean ferry MV Sewol sank 1.5 km (0.93 mi) offshore of Donggeochado, Jindo County, with 476 onboard, of whom 172 survived the sinking.
- 1080 – On the death of his brother Harald III, Canute IV, who later became the first Dane to be canonized, became King of Denmark.
- 1907 – Brazil became the third country in the world to start construction on a dreadnought battleship, sparking a vastly expensive South American naval arms race.
- 1951 – The Peak District (Mam Tor pictured) was designated the first national park in the United Kingdom.
- 1973 – George Lucas began writing a 13-page film treatment entitled The Star Wars.
- 1982 – A new patriated Constitution of Canada, including the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, a bill of rights intended to protect certain political and civil rights of people in Canada, was signed into law by Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada.
- 1506 – Construction of the current St. Peter's Basilica (interior pictured) in Vatican City, to replace the old basilica built in the 4th century, began.
- 1689 – Provincial militia and citizens gathered in Boston, and arrested officials of the Dominion of New England.
- 1847 – Mexican–American War: Winfield Scott's United States troops out-flanked and drove Santa Anna's larger Mexican army from a strong defensive position in the Battle of Cerro Gordo.
- 1938 – Superman, created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, made his debut in Action Comics #1, the first true superhero comic book.
- 1996 – Israeli forces shelled Qana, Lebanon, during Operation Grapes of Wrath, killing more than 100 civilians and injuring more than 110 others at a UN compound.
- 797 – Byzantine emperor Constantine VI was captured, blinded, and imprisoned by the supporters of his mother Irene.
- 1713 – With no living male heirs, Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI issued the Pragmatic Sanction to ensure one of his daughters would inherit the Habsburg lands.
- 1861 – American Civil War: The first bloodshed of the war took place when Confederate sympathizers in Baltimore, Maryland, attacked members of the Massachusetts militia en route to Washington, D.C.
- 1943 – The Holocaust: Nazi troops entered the Warsaw Ghetto to round up the remaining Jews (pictured), sparking the first mass uprising in Poland against the German occupation.
- 1989 – A gun turret on board the United States Navy battleship Iowa exploded, killing 47 sailors.
- 1657 – Anglo-Spanish War: An English fleet under Admiral Robert Blake attacked a Spanish treasure fleet at Santa Cruz de Tenerife in the Spanish Canary Islands.
- 1828 – French explorer René Caillié became the first non-Muslim to enter Timbuktu who later returned alive, for which he later received a 10,000-franc prize from the Société de géographie.
- 1884 – Pope Leo XIII (pictured) published the encyclical Humanum genus, denouncing Freemasonry as well as a number of beliefs and practices purportedly associated with it such as popular sovereignty and the separation of church and state.
- 1968 – British Member of Parliament Enoch Powell made his controversial "Rivers of Blood" speech in opposition to immigration and anti-discrimination legislation, resulting in his removal from the Shadow Cabinet.
- 1998 – The violent German revolutionary group known as the Red Army Faction announced that it had dissolved.
- 900 – A debt was pardoned by the Datu of Tondo on the island of Luzon, as inscribed on the Laguna Copperplate Inscription, the earliest known written document found in the Philippines.
- 1509 – Henry VIII (pictured) became King of England, following the death of his father Henry VII, eventually becoming a significant figure in the history of the English monarchy.
- 1863 – After the Ottoman Empire exiled him from Baghdad, Bahá'u'lláh, the founder of the Bahá'í Faith, began his twelve-day stay in the Garden of Ridván where he declared his mission as "He whom God shall make manifest".
- 1914 – Mexican Revolution: The United States detained a German steamer carrying materiel for the Mexican federal government.
- 1970 – In response to a long-running dispute over wheat production quotas, the Principality of Hutt River proclaimed its secession from Western Australia.
- 1622 – An Anglo-Persian force combined to take over the Portuguese garrison at Hormuz Island in the Persian Gulf.
- 1889 – Over 50,000 people rushed to claim a piece of the available two million acres (8,000 km2) in the Unassigned Lands, the present-day US state of Oklahoma, entirely founding the brand-new Oklahoma City.
- 1911 – Tsinghua University ("The Old Gate" pictured), one of the leading universities in mainland China, was founded, funded by an unexpected surplus in indemnities paid by the Qing Dynasty to the United States as a result of the Boxer Rebellion.
- 1948 – Civil War in Mandatory Palestine: The Jewish paramilitary group Haganah captured Haifa from the Arab Liberation Army.
- 2000 – In a predawn raid, US Immigration and Naturalization Service agents seized six-year-old Elián González from his relatives' home in Miami, Florida, and returned him to his Cuban father.
- 1016 – Edmund Ironside (pictured) became King of England, reigning for only seven months before the country was conquered by Cnut the Great.
- 1516 – The most well-known version of the Reinheitsgebot, the German Beer Purity Law, was adopted across the entirety of Bavaria.
- 1918 – First World War: The British Royal Navy conducted a raid on the Belgian port of Bruges-Zeebrugge.
- 1951 – American journalist William N. Oatis was arrested for espionage by the Communist government of Czechoslovakia.
- 2010 – Governor of Arizona Jan Brewer signed the controversial anti-illegal immigration bill SB 1070 into law.
- 1479 BC – Thutmose III (statue pictured) became the sixth Pharaoh of the Eighteenth Dynasty of Egypt, although during the first 22 years of the reign he was co-regent with his aunt, Hatshepsut.
- 1704 – The first issue of The Boston News-Letter, the first continuously published newspaper in British North America, was published.
- 1916 – Irish republicans led by Patrick Pearse began the Easter Rising against British rule in Ireland, and proclaimed the Irish Republic an independent state.
- 1933 – Nazi Germany began its persecution of Jehovah's Witnesses by shutting down the Watch Tower Society office in Magdeburg.
- 2013 – A building in the Savar Upazila of Dhaka, Bangladesh, collapsed, resulting in over 1,100 deaths, making it the deadliest accidental structural failure in modern human history.
- 775 – Forces of the Abbasid Caliphate crushed those of rebelling Armenian princes in the Battle of Bagrevand.
- 1644 – The Ming dynasty of China fell when the Chongzhen Emperor committed suicide during a peasant rebellion led by Li Zicheng.
- 1953 – "Molecular Structure of Nucleic Acids" by molecular biologists James Watson and Francis Crick was first published in the scientific journal Nature, describing the discovery of the double helix structure (pictured) of DNA.
- 1986 – Mswati III was crowned King of Swaziland, succeeding his father Sobhuza II.
- 1478 – In a conspiracy to replace the Medici family as rulers of the Florentine Republic, the Pazzi family attacked Lorenzo de' Medici and killed his brother Giuliano during High Mass at the Florence Duomo.
- 1777 – American Revolutionary War: Sixteen-year-old Sybil Ludington rode forty miles through the night to warn militiamen under the control of her father that British troops were planning to invade Danbury, Connecticut.
- 1946 – In Naperville, Illinois, US, two passenger trains collided, leaving 45 people dead and some 125 injured.
- 1986 – The Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant (pictured) near Chernobyl, Ukrainian SSR, suffered a steam explosion, resulting in a fire, a nuclear meltdown, and the evacuation and resettlement of over 336,000 people around Europe.
- 2002 – Expelled student Robert Steinhäuser murdered 16 people and wounded seven others before committing suicide at the Gutenberg-Gymnasium Erfurt in Erfurt, Germany.
- 1521 – Filipino natives led by chieftain Lapu-Lapu killed Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan and more than forty Spanish soldiers at the Battle of Mactan.
- 1667 – John Milton, blind and impoverished, sold the copyright of Paradise Lost for £10.
- 1810 – Ludwig van Beethoven composed his "Bagatelle No. 25 in A minor", better known as "Für Elise" (audio featured), one of his most popular compositions.
- 1941 – Boris Kidrič and Edvard Kardelj founded the Liberation Front of the Slovene Nation, the main anti-fascist Slovene civil resistance and political organization.
- 1993 – Members of the Zambia national football team were killed in a plane crash en route to play a 1994 World Cup qualifying match against Senegal.
- 1253 – Nichiren, a Japanese monk, expounded Namu Myōhō Renge Kyō for the first time and declared it to be the essence of Buddhism, in effect founding Nichiren Buddhism.
- 1887 – A week after being arrested by the Prussian Secret Police, French police inspector Guillaume Schnaebelé was released on order of German Emperor William I, defusing a possible war.
- 1949 – Former First Lady of the Philippines Aurora Quezon (pictured), her daughter, and ten others were assassinated by the military arm of the Philippine Communist Party.
- 1965 – Four days after the Dominican Civil War began, the United States invaded the country, aiming to prevent the development of what Lyndon Johnson saw as a possible second Cuban Revolution.
- 2001 – Dennis Tito became the world's first fee-paying space tourist, riding the Russian Soyuz TM-32 spacecraft to the International Space Station.
- 1587 – Anglo-Spanish War: In the Bay of Cádiz, Francis Drake led the first of several naval raids on the Spanish Armada that destroyed so many ships that Philip II of Spain had to delay his plans to invade England for over a year.
- 1770 – British explorer James Cook and the crew of HMS Endeavour (replica pictured), the first European ship to land in eastern Australia, reached the coast of Botany Bay near present-day Sydney.
- 1903 – A 30 million cubic-metre landslide buried the town of Frank, Northwest Territories, and killed at least 70 of the town's residents, making it the deadliest landslide in Canadian history.
- 1946 – The International Military Tribunal for the Far East convened and indicted Hideki Tojo and 27 other Japanese leaders for war crimes.
- 1997 – The 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention went into effect, outlawing the production, stockpiling and use of chemical weapons in those countries that ratified the arms control agreement.
- 1598 – King Henry IV of France issued the Edict of Nantes, granting freedom of religion to the Huguenots.
- 1825 - Creek chief William McIntosh (pictured) was executed by being stabbed in the heart for having signed a treaty ceding much of remaining Creek lands to the United States.
- 1943 – Second World War: The Royal Navy submarine HMS Seraph began Operation Mincemeat to deceive Germany about the upcoming invasion of Sicily.
- 1982 – Sixteen monks and a nun belonging to Ananda Marga in Calcutta, India, were dragged out of taxis by persons unknown in three different locations, beaten to death and then set on fire.
- 2009 – A gunman went on a shooting spree at the Azerbaijan State Oil Academy, a public university in Baku, killing 12 people before committing suicide.