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1430 - Joan of Arc was captured at Compiegne and handed over to the British.
1498 - Girolamo Savonarola, Italian religious and political reformer, was hanged and burned at the stake.
1526 - Pope Clement VII formed the League of Cognac, an offensive against the Emperor Charles V.
1533 - Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Cranmer declared Henry VIII's marriage to Catherine of Aragon void, and his marriage to Anne Boleyn in January legal, infuriating the Vatican.
1618 - The Thirty Years War started when a group of Calvinist leaders threw Catholic members of the Holy Roman Empire through a window. The Thirty Years War consisted of a series of religious wars between Catholics and Protestants, but ultimately it was a struggle to alter the European balance of power.
1701 - "Captain" William Kidd, Scottish pirate, was hanged at London's Execution Dock.
1706 - The Battle of Ramillies took place in Belgium in the War of the Spanish Succession. The British forces allied with the Dutch and Germans defeated the French.
1785 - In a letter to a friend, Benjamin Franklin reveals his latest invention -- spectacles of two thicknesses, the first bi-focals.
1788 - South Carolina became the eighth state of the Union.
1797 - During a financial crisis, a cartoon by James Gilray appeared depicting the Bank of England as a haggard old woman. This is generally thought to be the origin of the bank's nickname "The Old Lady of Threadneedle Street."
1827 - The first nursery school in the United States was established in New York City. The school was developed “to relieve parents of the laboring classes from the care of their children ... offering the children protection from weather, from idleness and contamination of evil example.”
1873 - The North West Mounted Police were formed in Canada, later to become the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
1876 - Boston’s Joe Borden pitched the very first no-hitter in National League history.
1879 - Iowa State College, located in Ames, Iowa, established the first veterinary school in the U.S.
1901 - US forces captured Filipino rebel leader Emilio Aguinaldo. He had been a leader of the pro-independence movement against Spain, and then took up arms against the United States when the US government failed to recognize Filipino independence. Aguinaldo was a complex figure who at different times opposed and collaborated with the US.
1901 - Gaetano Brecci, assassin of King Umberto of Italy, committed suicide.
1915 - Having been neutral, Italy declared war on Austria-Hungary.
1922 - The play, "Abie’s Irish Rose", opened at the the Fulton Theatre in New York City. The play continued for 2,327 performances and numerous revivals as well. It is estimated that some 50,000,000 people have seen the play performed somewhere in the world.
1922 - The first debate to be heard on radio was broadcast on WJH in Washington, DC. The two debaters argued about the topic of Daylight Saving Time with the audience acting as the judge.
1934 - Bonnie (Parker) and Clyde (Barrow), notorious American outlaws, robbers and murderers, were killed in a shootout with police.
1938 - "LIFE" magazine’s cover pictured the actor Errol Flynn as a glamour boy.
1938 - Singer Ray Eberle signed on as vocalist with the Glenn Miller Orchestra for $35 a week. Eberle’s first session with Miller included "Don’t Wake Up My Heart" for Brunswick Records.
1940 - Frank Sinatra's recorded "I'll Never Smile Again," which went on to be one of his greatest hits. Sinatra, who became popular during the Big Band era, performed this sentimental classic with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra. Sinatra was one of the most popular US performers of the 20th century.
1941 - Buddy Baer was disqualified at the beginning of the seventh round as Joe Louis defended his heavyweight boxing title for the 17th time. Baer’s manager refused to leave the ring when the round was ready to begin.
1944 - Chicago University called it quits to sports when it announced plans to withdraw from the Big 10 Conference of the NCAA and all other athletic competition.
1945 - Heinrich Himmler, German Nazi leader and Chief of Police, committed suicide a day after being captured; Admiral Karl Doenitz and leading members of the German government were arrested; Winston Churchill resigned, bringing to an end Britain's wartime coalition.
1949 - The German Federal Republic formally came into existence with Bonn as the capital, after the signing of the constitution.
1952 - Birth of a Nation, D.W. Griffith's silent film classic, was banned on this date in Maryland for being "morally bad and crime-inciting." The film was released 37 years earlier.
1960 - Cathy's Clown, recorded by The Everly Brothers, hit Number 1 on Billboard's record charts, and stayed there for 5 weeks.
1960 - Adolf Eichmann, Nazi leader wanted for war atrocities, was found and captured by Israeli agents in Argentina.
1962 - The National Basketball Association agreed to plans to transfer the Philadelphia Warriors to San Francisco, California. The team became the San Francisco Warriors (now the Golden State Warriors).
1962 - Joe Pepitone of the New York Yankees set a major-league baseball record by hitting two home runs in one inning. The rare feat lifted the Yankees past the Kansas City Athletics by a score of 13-7.
1971 - The body of the Israeli consul-general in Istanbul, Ephraim Elrom, was found six days after being kidnapped by Turkish terrorists.
1975 - Singer B.J. Thomas received a gold record for the single with the extremely long title, "(Hey, Won’t You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song".
1983 - The South African Air Force bombed Maputo, Mozambique following a car bomb explosion in Pretoria.
1989 - A million police in Beijing marched to demand ahat Premier Li Peng resign.
1992 - Members of the rap group N.W.A. were arrested after a brawl in a New Orleans hotel lobby, which involved fifty people and injured five. Nearly 100 police were called in to break up the melee, and the group's members attacked the officers.
1992 - Judge Giovanni Falcone, a top Italian anti-Mafia prosecutor, assassinated. A one-tonne bomb exploded as his three-car motorcade was passing.
1994 - Roman Herzog, the candidate of Chancellor Helmut Kohl's Christian Democrats, won the decisive third round of presidential voting to become Germany's head of state.
1996 - In response to accusations that her popular clothing line was made by sweatshop workers abroad and in the U.S., talk show host Kathie Lee Gifford sent husband Frank Gifford to a New York factory with cash-filled envelopes. Workers at Seo Fashions were owed several hundred dollars in back pay, officials said. Gifford gave a dozen workers $300 each.
1998 - Official returns showed two convincing "yes" votes for the Northern Ireland peace accord.