[It's too late to help Martha here, but as a helpful hint to any currently
endangered species - a) don't be tasty, and b) humans suck.]
1752 - The Liberty Bell arrived in Philadelphia.
1763 - Russia's Catherine the Great endorsed Ivan Betskoy's plans for a Foundling Home in Moscow.
1772 - Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa was founded by Junípero Serra in San Luis Obispo, California.
1807 - Former US Vice President Aaron Burr was acquitted of treason for conspiring to establish his own nation.
1836 - Narcissa Whitman, one of the first white women to settle west of the Rocky Mountains, arrived at Walla Walla, Washington.
1894 - A forest fire in Hinckley, Minnesota, which came to be known as the Great Hinckley Fire killed more than 400 people.
1897 - The Green Line of Boston's subway opened, making it the first underground metro in the United States; today it remains one of the most heavily used subway lines in the country.
1905 - The provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan joined the Canadian confederation.
1914 - Martha, the last passenger pigeon (and named after Martha Washington), died at the Cincinnati Zoo; although today her taxidermied remains reside in the archives of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, she is not currently on display.
1923 - What came to be known as the Great Kantō Earthquake, centred on Tokyo and Yokohama in Japan, killed between 100,000 and 142,000 people and left a further 1.9 million homeless.
1928 - Ahmet Zogu declared Albania a monarchy, and named himself King Zog.
1939 - Nazi Germany invaded Poland, precipitating the deadliest armed conflict of modern times and indeed of all time; more than 70 million people, most of them civilians, died as a result of the hostilities of World War II.
1969 - A revolution in Libya brought Moammar Khadaffy to power, deposing King Idris I in the process; although he holds no official title in Libya he remains, to this day, owner of the least spellable name in the world.
1970 - Several attempted assassinations of King Hussein by members of the Palestine Liberation Organization were thwarted, at the start of what became known in Jordan as Black September.
1982 - Canada adopted a Charter of Rights and Freedoms as part of its Constitution; the inspiration of Liberal Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, the Tories have been trying to undermine it for years, to no avail.
1985 - A joint American-French team led by Jean-Louis Michel of IFREMER and Dr. Robert Ballard out of the Wood's Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts discovered the wreckage of the RMS Titanic.
1991 - Uzbekistan seceded from the Soviet Union.
2004 - Chechen separatists and Islamic fundamentalists took more than 1200 people - many of them schoolchildren - hostage in the town of Beslan, Russia; according to official counts, 344 civilians (including 186 children) were killed during two days of heavy fighting, and hundreds more were injured.
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