*960 – The coronation of Zhao Kuangyin as Emperor Taizu of Song, initiating the Song dynasty period of China that would last more than three centuries.
*1555 – John Rogers is burned at the stake, becoming the first English Protestant martyr under Mary I of England.
*1703 – In Edo (now Tokyo), all but one of the Forty-seven Ronin commit seppuku (ritual suicide) as recompense for avenging their master’s death.
*1789 – George Washington is unanimously elected as the first President of the United States by the U.S. Electoral College.
*1801 – John Marshall is sworn in as Chief Justice of the United States.
*1846 – The first Mormon pioneers make their exodus from Nauvoo, Illinois, westward towards Salt Lake Valley.
*1859 – The Codex Sinaiticus is discovered in Egypt.
The Codex Sinaiticus or “Sinai Bible” is one of the four great uncial codices, ancient, handwritten copies of the Greek Bible. It came to the attention of scholars in the 19th century at Saint Catherine’s Monastery on the Sinai Peninsula.
While large portions of the Old Testament are missing, it is assumed that the codex originally contained the whole of both Testaments. About half of the Greek Old Testament survived, along with a complete New Testament, the entire Deuterocanonical books, the Epistle of Barnabasand portions of The Shepherd of Hermas.
The codex consists of parchment, originally in double sheets, which may have measured about 16 x 30 inches. The whole codex consists, with a few exceptions, of quires of eight leaves, a format popular throughout the Middle Ages
The folios are made of vellum parchment primarily from calf skins, secondarily from sheep skins. It was once thought the parchment had been made from antelope skins, but modern microscopic examination has shown otherwise. It is estimated that the hides of about 360 animals were employed for making the folios of this codex. As for the cost of the material, time of scribes and binding, it equals the lifetime wages of one individual at the time.
*1861 – American Civil War: In Montgomery, Alabama, delegates from six break-away U.S. states meet and form the Confederate States of America.
*1938 – Adolf Hitler appoints himself as head of the Armed Forces High Command.
*1967 – Lunar Orbiter program: Lunar Orbiter 3 lifts off from Cape Canaveral’s Launch Complex 13 on its mission to identify possible landing sites for the Surveyor and Apollo spacecraft.
*1974 – The Symbionese Liberation Army kidnaps Patty Hearst in Berkeley, California.
*1999 – Unarmed West African immigrant Amadou Diallo is shot 41 times by four plainclothes New York City police officers on an unrelated stake-out, inflaming race relations in the city.
*1677 – Johann Ludwig Bach, German violinist and composer (d. 1731)
*1831 – Oliver Ames, American financier and politician, 35th Governor of Massachusetts (d. 1895)
*1902 – Charles Lindbergh, American pilot and explorer (d. 1974)
*1906 – Clyde Tombaugh, American astronomer and academic, discovered Pluto (d. 1997)
*1921 – Betty Friedan, American author and feminist (d. 2006)
*1947 – Dan Quayle, 44th Vice President of the United States
*1590 – Gioseffo Zarlino, Italian composer and theorist (b. 1517)
*1987 – Liberace, American singer-songwriter and pianist, (b. 1919)
*2000 – Carl Albert, American lawyer and politician, 54th Speaker of the United States House of Representatives (b. 1908)
*2006 – Betty Friedan, American author and activist (b. 1921)
*2016 – Edgar Mitchell, American captain, pilot, and astronaut (b. 1930)
This list is compiled from many internet and other sources of information including wikipedia, the New York Times, a multitude of websites and old books.
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