[Nixon gave his so-called 'Checkers speech' to absolve President Dwight D. Eisenhower of the responsibility for removing him from the ticket owing to a financial scandal of Nixon's during that year's election campaign; Nixon's brilliant manipulation of the media is an object lesson in sleaze and therefore primo Republican porno. Only the first part is shown above... If you care to stomach the rest of it - like I did - here it is. Don't say I didn't warn you.]
1122 - The Concordat of Worms was signed by Pope Calixtus II and Holy Roman Emperor Henry V; it would later be confirmed by the First Council of the Lateran, which met in Rome in March 1123. Its purpose, of course, was to smooth over any wrinkles in the relationship between the papacy and the Holy Roman Empire, whilst one of its unintended benefits was in germinating the seed of nation-based sovereignty - as upheld by the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648.
1459 - The Battle of Blore Heath - the first major battle in England's Wars of the Roses - was fought (appropriately enough) at Blore Heath in Staffordshire; it gave the forces of the House of York under Richard Neville, 5th Earl of Salisbury a victory over the House of Lancaster's John Sutton, 1st Baron Dudley and James Touchet, 5th Baron Audley (who perished in battle).
1641 - The Merchant Royal, carrying a treasure valued today at over $1 billion US, was lost at sea off Land's End en route from Cadiz to London; the treasure it carried included at least 100,000 pounds of gold, 400 bars of Mexican silver, and nearly 500,000 pieces of eight and other coins. Eighteen men also drowned in the sinking, while the ship's master Captain Limbrey and 40 of his crew got away in boats and were picked up by Dover Merchant... But was the treasure also taken aboard, or is it at the bottom of the ocean still?
1779 - During the American Revolution a squadron commanded by John Paul Jones on board the USS Bonhomme Richard won the Battle of Flamborough Head, off the Yorkshire coast of England, against two British warships, HMS Serapis and HMS Countess of Scarborough.
1780 - British Major John André was arrested as a spy by John Paulding, Isaac Van Wart and David Williams, exposing Benedict Arnold's change of sides and the plot to sell West Point to the British for £20,000. Upon learning of André's arrest, Arnold barely managed to escape aboard the Royal Navy's HMS Vulture.
1806 - Lewis and Clark returned to St. Louis from their first expedition into the American West.
1818 - Border demarcation markers for Neutral Moresnet were formally installed; although the territory - wedged between Germany and Belgium - ceased to exist when it was absorbed by the latter in 1920, the World Congress of Esperanto wants to make it their homeland, with its capital at Kelmis.
1846 - The planet Neptune was discovered by French astronomer Urbain Jean Joseph Le Verrier and British astronomer John Couch Adams; their discovery was later confirmed by German Johann Gottfried Galle.
1868 - Puerto Rico's Grito de Lares (or 'Lares Revolt') occurred; the short-lived uprising against Spanish rule, planned by Ramón Emeterio Betances and Segundo Ruiz Belvis, was the first in that island's history.
1875 - Henry McCarty - aka Henry Antrim aka William Bonney aka Billy the Kid - was first arrested.
1932 - The Kingdoms of Hejaz and Nejd were merged, and renamed the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
1943 - Italy's so-called Salò Republic was born; technically a puppet state of Nazi Germany, it was headed by none other than Benito Mussolini.
1951 - Britain's King George VI underwent surgery to remove most of his left lung.
1952 - Senator and Vice Presidential candidate Richard M. Nixon made his Checkers speech.
1962 - The Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts opened in New York City with the completion of its first building, the Philharmonic Hall (now Avery Fisher Hall) home of the New York Philharmonic; the glittering evening was captured on videotape by CBS, and later broadcast as Opening Night at Lincoln Center.
1969 - The Chicago Eight trial opened; seven defendants - Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, David Dellinger, Tom Hayden, Rennie Davis, John Froines, and Lee Weiner - faced various charges arising from the acts of civil disobedience caused by them during the 1968 Democratic National Convention. An eighth defendant, Bobby Seale, was sent to jail in the midst of the proceedings by Judge Julius Hoffman due to Seale's various outbursts in court.
1973 - Juan Perón was returned to power in Argentina.
1980 - Bob Marley gave his final concert at the Stanley Theater in Pittsburgh.
2005 - The FBI killed terrorist Filiberto Ojeda Rios, head of the Boricua Popular Army or Los Macheteros, on Plan Bonito in Hormigueros, Puerto Rico; Ojeda Rios was wanted for his part in the September 1983 Wells Fargo depot robbery.
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