[The church we now know as 'Old St. Paul's' was actually the fourth dedicated to St. Paul the Apostle on the same site; it was built after a fire burned the third one in 1087, which had been built after the Vikings sacked the second one in 961, which replaced the first one - burnt down in 675 - which had been the first Saxon church on the site when it was established by Mellitus in 604.]
1666 - The Great Fire of London was finally brought under control, but not before destroying 10,000 buildings, including Old St Paul's Cathedral.
1774 - The First Continental Congress assembled in Philadelphia.
1793 - Fifteen months into the French Revolution the French National Convention initiated the Reign of Terror, pitting the Girondins against the Jacobins and sending as many as 60,000 to their deaths beneath the blade of a guillotine.
1816 - France's King Louis XVIII had to dissolve the so-called Chambre introuvable in that country's Chamber of Deputies after the Second Bourbon Restoration due to an impasse caused by the country's Ultra-royalists, who were then briefly replaced by the Doctrinaires.
1836 - Sam Houston was elected President of Texas.
1840 - Giuseppe Verdi's opera Un giorno di regno received its debut at Teatro La Scala in Milan.
1877 - Oglala Sioux chief Crazy Horse was fatally bayoneted by an American soldier after resisting confinement in a guardhouse at Nebraska's Fort Robinson during the Indian Wars.
1905 - The Treaty of Portsmouth - mediated by US President Theodore Roosevelt and signed at New Hampshire's Portsmouth Naval Shipyard - ended the Russo-Japanese War.
1938 - A group of youths affiliated with the fascist National Socialist Movement of Chile were assassinated in the Seguro Obrero massacre; it's now more than seventy years on, and I have yet to work up the ability to feel bad about it.
1944 - Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxembourg formed Benelux.
1945 - Iva Toguri D'Aquino - a Japanese-American suspected of being wartime radio propagandist Tokyo Rose - was arrested in Yokohama.
1957 - Jack Kerouac's novel On the Road was published by Viking Press.
1960 - The poet Léopold Sédar Senghor was elected the first President of Senegal.
1972 - Black September - a group with ties to Fatah who had previously tried to kill King Hussein of Jordan - kidnapped and murdered 11 Israeli athletes at the Summer Olympics in Munchen, Germany. These events form the basis of Steven Spielberg's 2005 film Munich.
1975 - Lynette 'Squeaky' Fromme attempted to assassinate President Gerald Ford but was thwarted by Secret Service agent Larry Buendorf without firing a shot.
1977 - Hanns Martin Schleyer was kidnapped by the Red Army Faction in Cologne, West Germany, and was later murdered.
1979 - Earl Mountbatten of Burma was given a state funeral at Westminster Abbey.
1980 - The St. Gotthard Tunnel opened in Switzerland; the world's longest highway tunnel at 16.224 km (10.14 miles) in length, it connects Goschenen to Airolo.
1997 - Mother Teresa died; for a rebuttal to the popular notion that she was some kind of living saint, try this book by Christopher Hitchens.
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