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  • 1048 – Protestantism: The villagers around today’s Baden-Baden elect their own priest in defiance of the local bishop. Later, in a move that would not be seen before the Protestant Reformation, he is also elected Pope by acclamatio, just to die that same day. It is rumored that Ildebrando di Soana heard of the acclamatio and used it later to get elected himself as Pope Gregory VII.
  • 1648 – Eighty Years’ War: The Treaty of Münster and Osnabrück is signed, ending the conflict between the Netherlands and Spain.
  • 1649 – King Charles I of England is beheaded.
  • 1661 – Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England is ritually executed two years after his death, on the anniversary of the execution of the monarch he himself deposed.
  • 1667 – The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth cedes Kiev, Smolensk, and left-bank Ukraine to the Tsardom of Russia in the Treaty of Andrusovo.
  • 1703 – The Forty-seven Ronin, under the command of Ōishi Kuranosuke, avenge the death of their master.
  • 1790 – The first boat specializing as a lifeboat is tested on the River Tyne.
  • 1806 – The original Lower Trenton Bridge (also called the Trenton Makes the World Takes Bridge), which spans the Delaware River between Morrisville, Pennsylvania and Trenton, New Jersey, is opened.
  • 1820 – Edward Bransfield sights the Trinity Peninsula and claims the discovery of Antarctica.
  • 1826 – The Menai Suspension Bridge, considered the world’s first modern suspension bridge, connecting the Isle of Anglesey to the north West coast of Wales, is opened.
  • 1835 – In the first assassination attempt against a President of the United States, Richard Lawrence attempts to shoot president Andrew Jackson, but fails and is subdued by a crowd, including several congressmen.
  • 1841 – A fire destroys two-thirds of Mayagüez, Puerto Rico.
  • 1847 – Yerba Buena, California is renamed San Francisco.
  • 1858 – The first Hallé concert is given in Manchester, England, marking the official founding of the Hallé Orchestra as a full-time, professional orchestra.
  • 1862 – The first American ironclad warship, the USS Monitor is launched.
  • 1889 – Archduke Crown Prince Rudolf of Austria, heir to the Austro-Hungarian crown, is found dead with his mistress Baroness Mary Vetsera in Mayerling.
  • 1902 – The first Anglo-Japanese Alliance was signed in London.
  • 1911 – The destroyer USS Terry (DD-25) makes the first airplane rescue at sea saving the life of James McCurdy 10 miles from Havana, Cuba.
  • 1911 – The Canadian Naval Service becomes the Royal Canadian Navy.
  • 1913 – The United Kingdom’s House of Lords rejects the Irish Home Rule Bill.
  • 1925 – The Government of Turkey throws Patriarch Constantine VI out of Istanbul.
  • 1930 – The world’s second radiosonde is launched in Pavlovsk, USSR.
  • 1933 – Adolf Hitler is sworn in as Chancellor of Germany.
  • 1943 – World War II: Second day of the Battle of Rennell Island. The USS Chicago (CA-29) is sunk and a U.S. destroyer is heavily damaged by Japanese torpedoes.
  • 1944 – World War II: United States troops land on Majuro.
  • 1945 – World War II: The Wilhelm Gustloff, overfilled with refugees, sinks in the Baltic Sea after being torpedoed by a Soviet submarine, leading to the deadliest known maritime disaster, killing approximately 9,000 people.
  • 1945 – World War II: Raid at Cabanatuan: 126 American Rangers and Filipino resistance liberate 500 prisoners from the Cabanatuan POW camp.
  • 1948 – Indian pacifist and leader Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi is assassinated by Nathuram Godse, a Hindu extremist.
  • 1956 – American civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr.’s home is bombed in retaliation for the Montgomery Bus Boycott.
  • 1960 – The African National Party is founded in Chad, through the merger of traditionalist parties.
  • 1964 – Ranger program: Ranger 6 is launched.
  • 1968 – Vietnam War: The Tet Offensive begins when Viet Cong forces launch a series of surprise attacks in South Vietnam.
  • 1969 – The Beatles’ last public performance, on the roof of Apple Records in London. The impromptu concert is broken up by the police.
  • 1971 – Carole King’s Tapestry album is released, it would become the longest charting album by a female solo artist and sell 24 million copies worldwide.
  • 1972 – Bloody Sunday: British Paratroopers kill fourteen unarmed civil rights/anti internment marchers in Northern Ireland.
  • 1972 – Pakistan withdraws from the Commonwealth of Nations.
  • 1979 – Varig 707-323C freighter, flown by the same commander as Flight 820, disappears over the Pacific Ocean 30 minutes after taking off from Tokyo.
  • 1982 – Richard Skrenta writes the first PC virus code, which is 400 lines long and disguised as an Apple boot program called “Elk Cloner”.
  • 1989 – The American embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan closes.
  • 1994 – Péter Lékó becomes the youngest chess grand master.
  • 1995 – Workers from the National Institutes of Health announce the success of clinical trials testing the first preventive treatment for sickle-cell disease.
  • 1996 – Gino Gallagher, the suspected leader of the Irish National Liberation Army, is killed while waiting in line for his unemployment benefit.
  • 1996 – Comet Hyakutake is discovered by Japanese amateur astronomer Yuji Hyakutake.
  • 2000 – Off the coast of Ivory Coast, Kenya Airways Flight 431 crashes into the Atlantic Ocean, killing 169.

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