[Currently called the Duke of York's Picture House, Britain's
oldest extant cinema now shows art house and repertory films.]
66 CE - Roman Emperor Nero created a legion which, following his death in 69 CE during the Year of the Four Emperors, was officially named I Italica, or 'Italian First'. They remained in existence for much of the next five centuries, and were stationed at the Danube when Goths overran what remained of the Western Roman Empire.
1236 - Lithuanian Samogitians and Semigallians under Vykintas defeated the Livonian Brothers of the Sword in Battle of Šiauliai (or The Battle of the Sun); the Livonian commander, Volkwin, died in battle.
1499 - Although the foundation of Switzerland is traditionally measured from August 1st, 1291, it was the Treaty of Basel (signed on this day) that awarded the Swiss their independence from the Holy Roman Empire following the Battle of Dornach.
1598 - Writer Ben Jonson was indicted for manslaughter when he killed an actor, Gabriel Spenser, during a duel in what is now Hoxton. Jonson was incarcerated in Newgate Prison, where he converted to Roman Catholicism; he later avoided a death sentence because he was literate.
1692 - Based solely on the testimony of a group of young girls Martha Corey was hanged during the Salem witch trials, three days after her husband Giles Corey was ordered to be crushed to death by the same judicial body... Despite their early tragic deaths at the hands of a bunch of paranoid religious zealots, the Coreys attained a kind of immortality when they were made main characters in Arthur Miller's 1953 play The Crucible.
1761 - England's King George III was crowned alongside his consort Queen Charlotte at Westminster Abbey.
1774 - Pope Clement XIV died; he was succeeded by Pius VI in February 1775.
1776 - Nathan Hale was hanged by the British for spying; whether or not he ever uttered his famous last words - 'I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country' - they became a rallying cry for Patriot forces.
1851 - The city of Des Moines, Iowa, was incorporated as Fort Des Moines.
1869 - Richard Wagner's opera Das Rheingold premiered at the National Theatre in München.
1910 - The Duke of York's Cinema opened in Brighton; that it is still in use today makes it the oldest continually operating cinema in Britain.
1919 - The steel strike of 1919, led by the Amalgamated Association of Iron and Steel Workers, began in Pennsylvania and spread across the United States before collapsing in January 1920.
1927 - Jack Dempsey lost the Long Count boxing match to Gene Tunney at Chicago's Soldier Field.
1955 - British television network ITV went on the air, effectively turning the BBC's media monopoly into a media oligarchy.
1960 - The Sudanese Republic was renamed Mali after the withdrawal of Senegal from the Mali Federation; the newly renamed nation then gained its independence from France.
1970 - Tunku Abdul Rahman resigned as Prime Minister of Malaysia in favour of Tun Abdul Razak.
1975 - Sara Jane Moore was thwarted in her attempt to assassinate President Gerald Ford by Oliver Sipple; admiration for Sipple in GOP ranks was later quashed when it was revealed - by no less than Harvey Milk - that the Vietnam vet was gay.
1980 - Iraq invaded Iran, precipitating the eight-year Iran-Iraq War.
1985 - The Plaza Accord was signed in New York City.
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