49 BC Julius Caesar leads his army across the Rubicon River, plunging Rome into civil war.

    1569 1st recorded lottery in England is drawn at St Paul’s Cathedral

    1599 Jacob van Neck’s fleet leaves Bantam, Java in modern day Indonesia with 1 million pounds of pepper and cloves and a further half a ship full of nutmeg, mace and cinnamon

    1805 Michigan Territory is organized

    1861 Alabama secedes from the Union.

    1862 Lincoln accepts Simon Cameron’s resignation as Secretary of War.

    1904 British troops massacre 1,000 dervishes in Somaliland.

    1919 3 year old German communist party (Spartacus) crushed

    1922 Insulin first used on humans to treat diabetes, on Leonard Thompson, 14, of Canada

    1923 The French enter the town of Essen in the Ruhr valley, to extract Germany’s resources as war payment.

    1928 The legendary Bing Crosby records one of his first hits – “Ol’ Man River” – with the Paul Whiteman Orchestra.

    1934 The German police raid the homes of dissident clergy in Berlin.

    1940 Benjamin O. Davis, Sr., becomes the U.S. Army’s first black general, his son would later become a general as well.

    1943 China and the United States signed a treaty today that ended extraterritorial rights in China. A similar agreement was also signed on this day between Great Britain and China. For the United States, this meant that the U.S. no longer had power to “exercise jurisdiction” over its citizens residing in China.

    1948 President Harry S. Truman proposes free, two-year community colleges for all who want an education.

    1953 J Edgar Hoover declines 6 figure offer to become president of the International Boxing Club

    1964 1st government report warning by US Surgeon General Luther Terry that smoking may be hazardous

    1973 Baseball’s American League adopted the “designated hitter” rule which allowed another player to bat for the pitcher.

    1973 Trial of the Watergate burglars begins in Washington DC

    1980 Honda announces it will build the first Japanese-owned passenger-car assembly plant in the United States–in Ohio.

    1984 Supreme Court reinstated $10M award to Karen Silkwood’s family

    1989 Kindergarten student caught with loaded handgun at Bronx school

    1993 British Airways apologises for an alleged “dirty tricks” campaign against Virgin Atlantic and agrees to pay damages of £500,000 to Virgin boss Richard Branson and £110,000 to his airline, plus legal costs of £3m

    1994 The Irish Government announces an end to a 15-year ban on broadcasting by the IRA and its political branch, Sinn Fein.

    2002 The first al-Qaeda prisoners arrive at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

    2003 Illinois Gov. George Ryan commutes the death sentences of 167 prisoners on the state’s death row in the wake of allegations that Chicago police detective and commander Jon Burge tortured confessions from some 200 suspects over a 19 year period.

    2011 The Arab Spring movement begins in Tunisia when demonstrators take to the streets to protest chronic unemployment and police brutality.

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