['If Pac-Man had affected us as kids we'd be running around in dark rooms, munching pills and listening to repetitive music.' So says comedian Marcus Brigstocke, whose insights into the effects of various media on those who partake of it are gobbled up by the denizens of the Pop Culture Institute as greedily as Pac-Man goes after ghosts...]
732 CE - At the Battle of Tours Charles Martel, leader of the Franks, defeated a force of the Umayyad Caliphate, thus preventing the further invasion of Europe by the forces of Islam.
1868 - Carlos Céspedes issued the Grito de Yara from his plantation, La Demajagua, proclaiming Cuba's independence.
1910 - The Tau Epsilon Phi fraternity was established at Columbia University.
1911 - The Wuchang Uprising led to the demise of Qing Dynasty (the last Imperial court in China) and the founding of the Republic of China.
1919 - Richard Strauss' opera Die Frau ohne Schatten - with a libretto by Hugo von Hofmannsthal - had its debut performance in Vienna.
1920 - The Carinthian Plebiscite determined that the larger part of Carinthia should remain part of Austria.
1933 - A United Airlines Boeing 247 exploded in mid-air between Cleveland and Chicago, crashing near Chesterton, Indiana, making it the first verifiable incident of sabotage against a passenger airliner. All three crew and four passengers aboard died, including Alice Scribner, who was the first flight attendant ever killed in a plane crash. The investigator, famed FBI man Melvin Purvis, concluded that nitrolglycerin in the baggage compartment caused the two explosions that brought down the plane, though no culprit has ever been identified.
1938 - The Blue Water Bridge opened between Port Huron in Michigan and Sarnia, Ontario.
1943 - The Double Tenth Incident occurred in Japanese occupied Singapore, in which the Kempeitai arrested and tortured 57 civilians suspected of involvement in Operation Jaywick.
1957 - The UK's Windscale fire was the world's first major nuclear accident.
1964 - The opening ceremony of the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo was broadcast live, the first Olympic telecast ever to be relayed by geostationary communication satellite.
1967 - The Outer Space Treaty, signed on January 27th by more than sixty nations, came into force.
1969 - King Crimson released In the Court of the Crimson King, thought by many to be the first example of progressive, or 'prog', rock.
1970 - Fiji gained its independence from the United Kingdom.
1971 - Sold to oil tycoon Robert McCulloch, carefully dismantled and moved to the United States, the London Bridge reopened in Lake Havasu City, Arizona.
1973 - Spiro Agnew resigned as US Vice-President amid charges of tax evasion.
1975 - Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor married for the second time while on safari in Botswana.
1979 - The Pac-Man arcade game was released in Japan.
1985 - US Navy F-14 fighter jets intercepted an Egyptian plane carrying the Achille Lauro cruise ship hijackers and forced it to land at Naval Air Station Sigonella in Sicily, where they were arrested.
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