[In The Great Dictator Charlie Chaplin played Adenoid Hynkel, a European tyrant who disguises his ambition with bigotry; Chaplin's was the first work from a serious artist to decry the rise of National Socialism in Germany, and its effort blazed a trail for subsequent generations of satirists to render the bad-guy impotent by means of mockery - a technique which last worked, to great effect, on Kim Jong-Il in the film Team America: World Police.]
1764 - Edward Gibbon was moved to write his six-volume masterpiece The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire during a stroll amongst the ruins of Rome, apparently.
1815 - Napoleon Bonaparte was exiled for a second time, to Saint Helena - a British holding in the South Atlantic.
1863 - The H. L. Hunley, the first submarine to sink a ship, itself sank during a test, killing its inventor, Horace L. Hunley.
1864 - The Battle of Glasgow was fought during the American Civil War, resulting in the surrender of Glasgow, Missouri - along with the Union garrison of Chester Harding, Jr. - to the Confederate forces of John Bullock Clark, Jr. and Joe Shelby.
1888 - The 'From Hell' letter, apparently sent by Jack the Ripper, was received by investigators; unlike the earlier Dear Boss letter, the Saucy Jack postcard, and their imitators, though, it wasn't signed by him - although most Ripperologists concur that the killer probably did write it. So, obviously, does writer Alan Moore, whose Ripper-themed comic book series-cum-graphic novel (and the 2001 film starring Johnny Depp derived from it) is entitled From Hell.
1894 - Alfred Dreyfus was arrested for spying, beginning 'L'affaire Dreyfus'.
1928 - The Graf Zeppelin landed in Lakehurst, New Jersey, having completed its first trans-Atlantic flight.
1939 - New York's Glenn H. Curtiss Airport was rededicated by Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia, giving the place its more familiar name.
1940 - Charlie Chaplin's The Great Dictator premiered.
1944 - The Arrow Cross Party, which was similar to Hitler's NSDAP, assumed power in Hungary.
1946 - On the eve of the Nuremberg Trials, Hermann Göring committed suicide by taking potassium cyanide.
1951 - I Love Lucy made its television debut.
1956 - Fortran - the first modern computer language - was shared with the coding community for the first time, apparently.
1966 - The Black Panther Party was created by Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale.
1970 - Thirty-five construction workers were killed when a section of Melbourne's West Gate Bridge collapsed.
1987 - The Great Storm of 1987 hit France and England.
1989 - Wayne Gretzky became the all-time highest scoring player in NHL history, apparently.
1990 - Mikhail Gorbachev was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
2003 - The Staten Island Ferry Andrew J. Barberi collided with a pier, killing 10 instantly and injuring 71; an eleventh victim would die of her injuries later that year.
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