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0311 Miltiades is elected 32nd pope of the Catholic Church. During his pontificate, Christianity is finally tolerated by Rome, following the Emperor Constantine's conversion to the Christian faith.
1298 The Battle Of Goellheim: An army under Albert of Austria defeats and kills Adolf of Nassua near Worms, Germany.
1566 Uncanny: French astrologer, physician and 'prophet' Nostradamus, just as he once predicted, dies.
1776 Revolutionary War: Richard Henry Lee's righteous resolution is boldly adopted by the Continental Congress. "That these United Colonies are, and of a right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved. That it is expedient forthwith to take the most effective measures of forming foreign alliances. That a plan of confederation be prepared and transmitted to the respective Colonies for their consideration and approbation."
1777 Vermont becomes the first American colony to abolish slavery.
1787 de Sade shouts from the Bastille that prisoners are being slaughtered.
1788 It is announced in Congress that the new Constitution had been ratified by the required nine states, the ninth being New Hampshire.
1819 The first Factory Act, passed in Britian on this day, prohibits the employment of children under nine in textiles factories. Children under 16 are allowed to work only 12 hours a day.
1839 African slaves being shipped to Cuba revolt and seize the ship Amistad, leading to the eventual end of the African slave market.
1850 Abolitionist Denmark Vesey is executed in Charleston, South Carolina, for planning what would have been the largest slave revolt in US history. A former slave who bought his freedom, Vesey began plotting the insurrection in 1818, holding secret meetings, collecting disguises and buying firearms. Word got out about the plot and the authorities arrested the insurrectionists. Vesey is hanged along with 34 other African Americans. "It has since been asserted, though perhaps on questionable authority, that the Secretary of War was informed of the plot, even including some details of the plan and the leader's name, before it was known in Charleston. If so, he utterly disregarded it; and, indeed, so well did the negroes play their part, that the whole report was eventually disbelieved, while (as was afterwards proved) they went on to complete their secret organization..."
1850 Not A Porn Scene: Prussia agrees to pull out of Schlewig and Holstein, Germany.
1850 B.J. Lane patents the gas mask.
1858 Czar Alexander II frees the serfs working on imperial lands.
1863 US Civil War: Battle of Gettysburg (2nd day).
1864 US Civil War: General Early and Confederate forces reached Winchester.
1877 Birth: Hermann Hesse, in Switzerland, German novelist, poet, (Steppenwolf, Nobel 1946).
1881 Assassinations and Conspiracies: Charles J. Guiteau Shoots President A. Garfield in Washington, DC. He then sends this curious letter: "To General Sherman: I have just shot the President. I shot him several times as I wished him to go as easily as possible. His death was a political necessity. I am a lawyer, theologian, and politician. I am a stalwart of the Stalwarts. I was with Gen. Grant, and the rest of our men in New York during the canvass. I am going to the Jail. Please order out your troops and take possession of the Jail at once. Very respectfully, Charles Guiteau." Note: The same day, Sherman sent this out addressed from "Headquarters of the Army, Washington, DC. July 2, 1881," in which he states that "I don't know the writer. Never heard of or saw him to my knowledge..."
1890 Just One Of Those Coincidences: The US Congress passes the Sherman Antitrust Act.
1900 The world's first rigid airship is demonstrated by Count Ferdinand Graf von Zeppelin in Germany, when his airship LZ-1 takes to the skies.
1915 Bomb Rocks Capitol: Erich Muenter, a German instructor at Cornell University, explodes a bomb in the U.S. Senate reception room.
1916 WW1: Despite the appalling British losses of the first day, Gen. Henry S. Rawlinson's British Fourth Army and Gen. Edmund Sllenby's Third Army continue with a series of small, limited attacks. Falkenhayn, determined to check the advance, begins shifting reinforcements from the Verdun front.
1917 As many as 75 blacks are killed in rioting in St. Louis.
1921 WW1: President Harding signs a joint resolution of Congress declaring an end to the war with Germany and Austria-Hungary.
1926 The U.S. Congress establishes the Army Air Corps.
1932 Nazi Eugenics: A committee of the Prussian State Health Council advises and recommends that a law on sterilization be brought in under the title: "Eugenics in the service of public welfare." The law was to permit the "voluntary" sterilization of the same groups of persons (with the exception of alcoholics) as were later specified in the law of 14 July 1933. (Science)
1933 Church and Reich: Final agreement on the concordat is reached despite the news of continuing arrests of priests in Germany. Papen reports Pius XI "had insisted on the conclusion of the Concordat because he wanted to come to an agreement with Italy and Germany as the countries which, in his opinion, represented the nucleus of the Christian world."
1934 Wishful Thinking: German President Paul von Hindenburg sends Hitler a telegram thanking him for savings the German people from a catastrophe.
1934 Blood Purge: Hitler gives Sepp Dietrich orders to execute Roehm. The coup de grace is administered by SS-Brigadefuehrer Theodor Eicke. (Secrets)
1935 Switzerland officially bans three German anti-Jewish publications: Der Stuermer, Reichsdeutsche and Allemane
1937 Holocaust: Severe limitations are put on the number of Jewish pupils (already partially restricted in 1933) allowed to attend German schools. (Persecution)
1937 Spy Mission?: Aviatrix Amelia Earhart and her copilot Fred Noonan disappear over the Pacific Ocean during the last leg of an attempted flight around the world at the equator.
1938 For Your Own Good: Almost 40,000 Austrian Jews are taken into "protective custody."
1940 WW2: The German High Command issues an order entitled "The War Against England." Goering gives instructions for an air blockade and attacks on British shipping.
1942 Holocaust: The BBC features a broadcast by Polish-Jewish spokesman Szmul Zygielbojm, who states bluntly that the Nazis' strategy in Poland consists of the "planned extermination of a whole nation by means of shot, shell, starvation, and poison gas." (Beast)
1944 Holocaust: The SS takes the last 3,000 Jews of Vilna, laborers in a factory, and murders them at Ponary. Thousands are killed in Shauliai and Kovno. Thousands more are evacuated to labor camps near Stutthof and Dachau. (Atlas)
1944 Sowing Seeds: American bombers, as part of Operation Gardening, dropp land mines, leaflets and bombs on German-occupied Budapest.
1947 An object crashes near Roswell, NM. The U.S. Army Air Force insists it is a weather balloon, but eyewitness accounts lead to much speculation that it might be an alien spacecraft.
1957 The Grayback, the first submarine designed to fire guided missiles is launched.
1961 Ernest Hemingway shoots himself to death at his home in Ketchum, ID.
1962 James Marshall Hendrix is honourably discharged from the 101st Airborne Paratroopers, after breaking his ankle during his 26th and final parachute jump.
1964 2B4: U.S. President Lyndon 'Good Old Boy' Johnson signs the "Civil Rights Act of 1964" into law. The act makes it illegal in the U.S. to discriminate against others because of their race.
1967 Vietnam: The U.S. Marine Corps launches Operation Buffalo in response to the North Vietnamese Army's efforts to seize the Marine base at Con Thien. You'd think the fellow who comes up with some of these code names would give a little thought to possible and obvious alternate interpretations of words like 'Buffalo.'
1976 Conservative Justice: The U.S. Supreme Court rules the death penalty is not inherently cruel or unusual.
1976 Nation Building: North Vietnam and South Vietnam are reunited.
1980 U.S. President Jimmy 'Not Enough Helicopters' Carter reinstates draft registration for males 18 years of age.
1987 Death: Karl Linnas, an accused Nazi, dies of heart failure in Russia.
1993 Shiekh Omar Abdel Rahmen, whose followers are linked to two bombing plots, is taken into US federal custody.
1995 "Forbes" magazine reports that Bill 'MicroFuehrer' Gates is worth $12.9 billion, making him the world's richest man. In 1999, he'll be worth about $77 billion.
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