October 20

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1720 – Caribbean pirate Calico Jack is captured by the Royal Navy. 1803 – The United States Senate ratifies the Louisiana Purchase. 1827 – In the Battle of Navarino, a combined Turkish and Egyptian fleet is defeated by British, French, and Russian naval forces in the last significant battle fought with wooden sailing ships. 1910 […]

October 18

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320 – Pappus of Alexandria, Greek philosopher, observes an eclipse of the Sun and writes a commentary on The Great Astronomer (Almagest). 1009 – The Church of the Holy Sepulchre, a Christian church in Jerusalem, is completely destroyed by the Fatimid caliph Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah, who hacks the Church’s foundations down to bedrock. 1081 – […]

October 17

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1091 – London tornado of 1091: A tornado thought to be of strength T8/F4 strikes the heart of London. 1558 – Poczta Polska, the Polish postal service, is founded. 1604 – Kepler’s Supernova: German astronomer Johannes Kepler observes a supernova in the constellation Ophiuchus. 1610 – French King Louis XIII is crowned in Reims Cathedral. […]

October 16

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690 – Empress Wu Zetian ascends to the throne of the Tang dynasty and proclaims herself ruler of the Chinese Empire. 1384 – Jadwiga is crowned King of Poland, although she is a woman. 1590 – Carlo Gesualdo, composer, Prince of Venosa and Count of Conza, murders his wife, Donna Maria d’Avalos, and her lover […]

October 13

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54 – Emperor Claudius is poisoned to death under mysterious circumstances. His 17-year-old stepson Nero succeeds him. 1307 – Hundreds of Knights Templar in France are simultaneously arrested by agents of Phillip the Fair, to be later tortured into a “confession” of heresy. 1773 – The Whirlpool Galaxy is discovered by Charles Messier. 1792
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October 11

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1138 – A massive earthquake strikes Aleppo. 1614 – Adriaen Block ( of Block Island fame ) and 12 Amsterdam merchants petition the States General for exclusive trading rights in the New Netherland colony. 1809 – Along the Natchez Trace in Tennessee, explorer Meriwether Lewis dies under mysterious circumstances at an inn called Grinder’s Stand. […]

October 10

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680 – Battle of Karbala: Husayn ibn Ali, the grandson of the Islamic prophet, Muhammad, is decapitated by forces under Caliph Yazid I. This is commemorated by Muslims as Aashurah. 1780 – The Great Hurricane of 1780 kills 20,000-30,000 in the Caribbean. 1846 – Triton, the largest moon of the planet Neptune, is discovered by […]

October 6

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23 – Rebels kill and decapitate the Xin dynasty emperor Wang Mang two days after the capital Chang’an is sacked during a peasant rebellion. 1539 – Spanish conquistador Hernando de Soto and his army enter the Apalachee capital of Anhaica (present-day Tallahassee, Florida) by force.. 1600 – Jacopo Peri’s Euridice, the earliest surviving opera,
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October 5

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456 – The Visigoths under King Theodoric II, acting on orders of the Roman emperor Avitus, invade Iberia with an army of Burgundians, Franks and Goths, led by the Kings Chilperic I and Gondioc. They defeat the Suebi under King Rechiar on the river Urbicus near Astorga (Gallaecia). 816 – King Louis the Pious is […]

September 29

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1227 – Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor, is excommunicated by Pope Gregory IX for his failure to participate in the Crusades. 1717 – An earthquake strikes Antigua Guatemala, destroying much of the city’s architecture and making authorities consider moving the capital to a different city. 1789 – The United States Department of War first establishes
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