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1528 - Balthasar Hubmaier, one of the foremost leaders of the Austrian Anabaptists, was burned at the stake as a heretic in Vienna.
1792 - John Stone patented the pile driver.
1849 - Abraham Lincoln applied for a patent on a device to lift vessels over shoals using inflated cylinders. Lincoln got the patent in May of 1849.
1862 - Britain and France recognized the independence of Zanzibar.
1862 - The first paper money of the United States government was issued.
1863 - Prince Albert Edward (later King Edward VII) of England married Princess Alexandra of Denmark.
1876 - Alexander Graham Bell sent the first clear telephone message, to a nearby room, telling his assistant, Mr. Watson, “Mr. Watson, come here, I want you.”
1893 - The French colonies of French Guinea and Ivory Coast were formally established.
1903 - Cleveland, Ohio's Harry C. Gammeter patented the multigraph duplicating machine.
1912 - Yuan Shi-kai was installed as the provisional president of the Republic of China.
1913 - William Knox rolled the first perfect 300 game in tournament competition at the American Bowling Congress tournament held in Toledo, Ohio.
1914 - Suffragette Mary Richardson slashed Velazquez's "Rokeby Venus" at London's National Gallery as a protest against the British government's treatment of Emmeline Pankhurst.
1915 - The Battle of Neuve-Chapelle, an unsuccessful British offensive on the Western Front, began during World War I.
1922 - Mahatma Gandhi was arrested by the British governors of India, tried for sedition, and sentenced to six years imprisonment.
1922 - "Variety" magazine headline read, “Radio Sweeping Country - 1,000,000 sets in use.”
1935 - On Victor Records, Nelson Eddy recorded "Ah! Sweet Mystery of Life". The song was from the film, "Naughty Marietta". Later, Eddy recorded the song with Jeanette MacDonald.
1937 - An audience of 21,000 jitterbuggers crowded the Paramount Theatre in New York City to see the ‘King of Swing’, Benny Goodman.
1938 - Jezebel, directed by William Wyler, opened in United States theaters. The film starred Bette Davis, Henry Fonda, George Brent, and Fay Bainter. Davis won her second Oscar as a ruthless Southern belle who goes too far to make fiancé Fonda jealous. Bainter received a Best Supporting Actress Oscar, and the film was nominated for a Best Picture Oscar.
1939 - The Little Princess, starring Shirley Temple and based on Frances Hodgson Burnett's novel, opened in United States theaters.
1940 - W2XBS-TV in New York City presented the first televised opera as the Metropolitan Opera Company performed scenes from "I Pagliacci".
1941 - The Brooklyn Dodgers announced their players would wear batting helmets for the 1941 season. General Manager Larry McPhail correctly predicted all baseball players would wear the new devices soon
1945 - 300 United States B-29 bombers devastated Japan's capital in what became known as the Great Tokyo Air Raid in World War II. The firestorm they created killed 100,000 people.
1948 - Jan Masaryk, Czech statesman and foreign minister, apparently committed suicide by throwing himself from a window at his office in Prague.
1952 - The government of Cuba was overthrown by former president Fulgencio Batista, who ruled as a dictator until 1959.
1955 - On radio, the last broadcast of "The Silver Eagle", said to be the last of the adventure stories on the air, was heard.
1956 - Twenty-three year old Julie Andrews made her television debut when she appeared with Bing Crosby and Nancy Olson in the musical adaptation of Maxwell Anderson’s play, "High Tor".
1956 - Louisa May Alcott's popular novel, Little Women, was again adapted for the screen, and opened in movie theaters on this date. This version starred June Allyson, Peter Lawford, Margaret O'Brien, Elizabeth Taylor, Janet Leigh, Rossano Brazzi, and Mary Astor. The film won an Oscar for Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Color (1949).
1959 - Tennessee William's play "Sweet Bird of Youth", opened at the Martin Beck Theatre in New York City, starring Geraldine Page, Paul Newman, Rip Torn and Diana Hyland. Critics called Page “fabulous” and said Newman was “the perfect companion piece.”
1965 - Walter Matthau and Art Carney opened in one of Neil Simon’s greatest theatrical triumphs, "The Odd Couple"; which would also become a television hit starring Tony Randall as the tidy Felix Ungar and Jack Klugman as slovenly sportswriter, Oscar Madison.
1966 - Anti-German protests marred the wedding of Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands to Claus von Amsberg, a West German diplomat, in Amsterdam.
1969 - James Earl Ray was sentenced in Memphis, Tennessee, to 99 years in prison for the murder of Martin Luther King Jr. in April 1968.
1972 - Marshal Lon Nol took over as Cambodian head of state.
1973 - The Governor of Bermuda, Sir Richard Sharples, was assassinated in the grounds of Government House.
1982 - In South Africa, the trial opened of 43 mercenaries accused of hijacking an Air India plane after a foiled coup in the Seychelles in November 1981.
1985 - The Dallas Mavericks' Dick Motta became the fourth coach in the National Basketball Association to win 700 games as the Mavs beat the New Jersey Nets 126-113. The three other coaches in NBA history to have that many wins were: Red Auerbach (938 games), Jack Ramsey (733 games) and Gene Shue (717).
1986 - The Wrigley Company, of Chicago, Illinois raised the price of its seven-stick pack of chewing gum from a quarter to 30 cents, marking the first time the price of chewing gum had risen in six years.
1990 - An Iraqi court condemned British journalist Farzad Bazoft to death for espionage. He was executed on the 15th.
1990 - Haitian President Prosper Avril resigned 18 months after seizing power in a coup.
1990 - American Jennifer Capriati, at 13 years and 11 months, became the youngest player ever to reach the final of a professional tennis tournament, an event in Florida.
1992 - NATO and its former Soviet enemies pledged that a treaty slashing conventional forces in Europe would be put into effect within four months.
1993 - President Suharto of Indonesia was re-elected for a sixth five-year term of office.
1994 - Thousands of students demonstrated across France to demand the government withdraw a controversial law allowing employers to pay young people less than the minimum wage.
1995 - The EU responded angrily to Canada's seizure of a Spanish fishing boat in international waters, demanding its release and calling for retaliatory measures.
1996 - Five Latin American presidents approved the creation of an Andean Community economic bloc to replace the Andean Pact trade group.
1997 - A jobless journalist hijacked a Taiwanese airliner to China to request asylum -- the first defection from Taiwan to China since 1986.
1998 - Beloved actor Lloyd Bridges died at age 85. Of all the movies he made, he would probably be best remembered for his role on the 1960's TV show Sea Hunt, as well as his zany film roles, such as Airplane!, later in his career. Before his death, he was featured on NBC's Seinfeld in a recurring role as a geriatric body builder.