[If this photo of Mike the Headless Chicken with his executioner-exploiter Lloyd Olsen doesn't turn you into a vegetarian, nothing will; the story behind the picture - literally, click on the picture, it's back there - is too crazy not to be true.]
1167 - Empress Matilda - daughter of England's King Henry I, widow of the Holy Roman Emperor Henry V, wife of Geoffrey V, Count of Anjou, mother of another English King (Henry II), and would-be Queen-regnant of England herself, whose abortive attempts to claim her father's throne from her cousin King Stephen led to a civil war in England called The Anarchy - died.
1419 - John the Fearless, Duke of Burgundy, was assassinated by adherents of the Dauphin, the future Charles VII of France; turns out being fearless isn't so great for your health after all.
1547 - The Battle of Pinkie Cleugh - the last full scale military confrontation between England and Scotland - resulted in a decisive victory for the forces of Edward VI, commanded by the Duke of Somerset, over those of Scotland's Earl of Arran.
1608 - John Smith was elected council president of Jamestown, Virginia.
1823 - Simón Bolívar was named President of Peru.
1846 - Elias Howe was granted a patent for the sewing machine.
1858 - George Mary Searle discovered the asteroid 55 Pandora; however, it's not the largest object in our galaxy named Pandora, not by a long shot. There's a moon of Saturn named Pandora, and then there's this...
1897 - During the so-called Lattimer Massacre a sheriff's posse killed twenty unarmed immigrant miners in Pennsylvania.
1919 - The Republic of Austria and the Allies of World War I signed the Treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye, which recognized the independence of the former Austro-Hungarian possessions of Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia and the State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs.
1945 - Mike the Headless Chicken was decapitated; he survived for another 18 months by being fed with an eyedropper via his neck before eventually choking to death at a motel in Phoenix.
1961 - At the Italian Grand Prix a crash caused the death of German driver Wolfgang von Trips and 15 spectators, who joined him when his Ferrari crashed into Jim Clark's Lotus.
1967 - Gibraltar voted to remain a British holding rather than join Spain.
1974 - Portugal recognized the independence of Guinea-Bissau, which had been declared in September 1973.
1977 - Hamida Djandoubi was the last person in France to be executed by the guillotine. [Insert tasteless Mike the Headless Chicken joke here.]
2000 - The musical Cats closed on Broadway; they've been trying to get that smell out of the Winter Garden Theatre ever since.
2001 - Ignorance was bliss.
2003 - Sweden's Foreign Minister Anna Lindh was fatally stabbed while shopping outside the Nordiska Kompaniet department store in Stockholm by a man later identified as Mijailo Mijailović; she died the following day.
2008 - The Large Hadron Collider at CERN, described as the biggest scientific experiment in the history of mankind, was powered up in Geneva, although it did not bring about the end of the universe as some nutjobs - the same ones who were to blame for all that Y2K mishegas, I'll bet - had feared.
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