455 – Emperor Petronius Maximus is stoned to death by an angry mob while fleeing Rome.
1578 – King Henry III lays the first stone of the Pont Neuf (New Bridge), the oldest bridge of Paris, France.
1669 – Citing poor eyesight, Samuel Pepys records the last event in his diary.
1790 – The United States enacts its first copyright statute, the Copyright Act of 1790.
1859 – The clock tower at the Houses of Parliament, which houses Big Ben, starts keeping time.
1879 – Gilmore’s Garden is renamed Madison Square Garden by William Henry Vanderbilt and is opened to the public at 26th Street and Madison Avenue.
1909 – The National Negro Committee, forerunner to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), convenes for the first time.
1911 – The President of Mexico Porfirio Díaz flees the country during the Mexican Revolution.
1921 – Tulsa race riot: civil unrest in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The official death toll was given as 39, but other estimates of black fatalities vary from 55 to about 300.
1924 – The Soviet Union signs an agreement with the Beijing government, referring to Outer Mongolia as an “integral part of the Republic of China”, whose “sovereignty” therein the Soviet Union promises to respect.
1927 – The last Ford Model T rolls off the assembly line after a production run of 15,007,003 vehicles.
1961 – In Moscow City Court, the Rokotov-Faibishenko show trial begins, despite the Khrushchev Thaw to reverse Stalinist elements in Soviet society.
1981 – The burning of Jaffna library in Sri Lanka, a violent example of ethnic biblioclasm, takes place.
1985 – United States-Canada tornado outbreak: Forty-one tornadoes hit Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, and Ontario, leaving 76 dead.
2005 – Vanity Fair reveals that former top FBI official Mark Felt was “Deep Throat,” the secret source who helped The Washington Post reporters break Watergate.
2010 – Israeli Shayetet 13 commandos boarded the Gaza Freedom Flotilla while still in international waters trying to break the ongoing blockade of the Gaza Strip; nine Turkish civilians on the flotilla were killed in the ensuing violent affray.
1683 – Jean-Pierre Christin, French physicist, mathematician, and astronomer, invented the Celsius thermometer (d. 1755)
1819 – Walt Whitman, American poet, essayist, and journalist (d. 1892)
1852 – Julius Richard Petri, German microbiologist, invented the Petri dish (d. 1921)
1866 – John Ringling, one of the founders of the Ringling Brothers Circus (d. 1936)
1930 – Clint Eastwood, American actor, director, and producer
1943 – Joe Namath, American football player, sportscaster, and actor
1076 – Waltheof, Earl of Northumbria, English politician (b. 1050)
1740 – Frederick William I of Prussia (b. 1688)
Edited from various sources including historyorb.com, the NYTimes.com
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