1577 Sir Francis Drake sets sail from England on a circumnavigation of the world

    1636 The United States National Guard was created when militia regiments were organized by the General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

    1789 The National Guard is created in France.

    1812 The last remnants of Napoleon Bonaparte’s Grand Armeé reach the safety of Kovno, Poland, after the failed Russian campaign. Napoleon’s costly retreat from Moscow

    1814 General Andrew Jackson announces martial law in New Orleans, Louisiana, as British troops disembark at Lake Borne, 40 miles east of the city. The Battle of New Orleans

    1862 In America, an estimated 11,000 Northern soldiers were killed or wounded when Union forces were defeated by Confederates under General Robert E. Lee, at the Battle of Fredericksburg.

    1918 President Wilson arrived in France, becoming the first U.S. president to visit Europe while in office

    1920 League of nations establishes International Court of Justice in The Hague

    1937 Japanese forces took the Chinese city of Nanking (Nanjing). An estimated 200,000 Chinese were killed over the next six weeks. The event became known as the “Rape of Nanking.”

    1951 After meeting with FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, President Harry S Truman vows to purge all disloyal government workers.

    1964 In El Paso TX, LBJ & Mexican President Gustavo Diaz Ordaz set off an explosion diverting Rio Grande, to reshape US-México border

    1972 Astronaut Gene Cernan climbs into his lunar lander on the moon and prepares to lift off. He is the last man to set foot on the moon.

    1981 The Polish government imposed martial law in an attempt to crush the Solidarity movement.

    1985 France sues the United States over the discovery of an AIDS serum.

    1988 A bankruptcy judge in Columbia, SC, ordered the assets of the troubled PTL television ministry sold to a Toronto real estate developer for $65 million.

    1991 Both Koreas sign an accord calling for reconciliation

    2001 The U.S. government released a video tape that showed Osama bin Laden and others discussing their knowledge of the terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001.

    2002 Enlargement of the European Union: The European Union announces that Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia will become members from May 1, 2004.

    2003 Deposed Iraqi President Saddam Hussein captured; he is found hiding in near his home town of Tikrit

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