[While the city of Rio de Janeiro was founded in March 1565 by Estácio de Sá, the area where it was eventually established was first explored by Gaspar de Lemos on this day in 1502, 63 years earlier. Which begs the question: what the heck were they waiting for? More paradise?]
250 CE - Emperor Decius began a widespread persecution of Christians in Rome with the martyrdom of Pope Fabian; thanks to his efforts, not only do most Christians still have an entirely unfounded persecution complex but ever since then around the world they've been complicit in the persecution of millions of people over the past two millenia - what with the Crusades and the witch-burnings, missionaries and sectarianism and being all judgemental against the express orders of Jesus, leading to the murders and suicides of untold numbers, many of them their fellow Christians. So thanks for that half-assed effort, Emperor Decius, you shit... At least Diocletian put a little effort into it.*
*While it's not entirely tongue-in-cheek, my tongue was in the vicinity of my cheek when I wrote this. ~ MSM
1320 - Duke Wladyslaw Lokietek became King of Poland.
1356 - Scotland's Kind Edward Balliol abdicated.
1502 - The location of the present-day city of Rio de Janeiro was first explored, giving the area its name.
1523 - Christian II was forced to abdicate as King of Denmark and Norway; after he'd gone into exile the crown was offered to his uncle, Frederick of Holstein, who reigned as Frederick I.
1576 - The Mexican city of León was founded by order of the viceroy Don Martín Enríquez de Almanza.
1649 - England's King Charles I went on trial for treason and other 'high crimes'.
1839 - At the Battle of Yungay, Chile defeated an alliance between Peru and Bolivia.
1841 - Hong Kong Island was occupied by the British when Captain Charles Elliot of the Royal Navy landed at Possession Point; the occupation was formalized by the Treaty of Nanking in August 1842.
1921 - The first Constitution of Turkey was ratified; the country had until recently been part of the Ottoman Empire.
1936 - Edward VIII was proclaimed King of England following the death of his father, George V.
1942 - At the Wannsee Conference - held in the Berlin suburb of Wannsee at the height of World War II - senior Nazi officials decided on the 'Final Solution to the Jewish Question', accelerating The Holocaust.
1972 - After British Prime Minister Edward Heath rose in the House of Commons and announced unemployment figures of 1,023,583 - the highest rate of joblessness in the United Kingdom since the 1930s - Speaker of the House of Commons Selwyn Lloyd was forced to suspend the sitting for ten minutes before order could be restored.
1987 - Church of England envoy Terry Waite was kidnapped in Lebanon, where he was held captive for 1,763 days; he was finally released in November 1991.
1990 - The Black January crackdown of Azerbaijani pro-independence demonstrations was undertaken by the Soviet army in Baku.
1994 - Telesat Canada's Anik E-1 communications satellite spun out of control, forcing newspapers and radio and TV broadcasters to scramble to re-establish their news feeds.
2001 - Philippine president Joseph Estrada was ousted in the EDSA II Revolution and was succeeded by Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
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