[The Regency TR-1 was the iPod of its day.]
1009 - The Church of the Holy Sepulchre, one of the most important of all Christian churches in Jerusalem, was completely destroyed by the Fatimid caliph Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah, who hacked the Church's foundations down to bedrock.
1016 - Marauding Danes under Canute the Great, Thorkell the High, and Eiríkr Hákonarson defeated the Saxon forces of English King Edmund Ironside and Eadric Streona at the Battle of Ashingdon, which paved the way for Canute to become King of England.
1081 - The Normans defeated the Byzantine Empire at the Battle of Dyrrhachium.
1356 - An earthquake destroyed the Swiss town of Basel.
1386 - The University of Heidelberg opened, making it Germany's oldest such institution.
1685 - Legend has it France's King Louis XIV revoked the Edict of Nantes, which had protected French Protestants from religious intolerance; following the revocation, hundreds of thousands of Huguenots fled France, causing an early example of brain drain which may have contributed to the French Revolution.
1748 - The signing of the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle ended the War of the Austrian Succession.
1775 - African-American poet Phillis Wheatley freed herself from slavery.
1851 - Herman Melville's novel Moby Dick was first published as The Whale by Richard Bentley in London.
1867 - The US formally took possession of Alaska from Russia, a deal conducted by Secretary of State William Seward; despite secessionist views held by former Alaska governor Sarah Palin, she never did undo the deal.
1922 - The BBC was founded.
1925 - The Grand Ole Opry began broadcasting on WSM, where it's been broadcasting every Saturday night since, making it the longest-running radio program in US history.
1929 - Women were considered persons under Canadian law thanks to the participation of Emily Murphy, Henrietta Muir Edwards, Nellie McClung, Louise McKinney and Irene Parlby - known as the Famous Five - in the Persons Case.
1945 - A group of the Venezuelan Armed Forces, led by Mario Vargas, Marcos Pérez Jiménez and Carlos Delgado Chalbaud, staged a coup d'etát against then president Isaías Medina Angarita, who was overthrown by the end of the day.
1954 - The first transistor radio - the Regency TR-1 - was announced by Texas Instruments; when it went on sale a month later it retailed for $49.95, and despite the price (akin to $350 in today's money) 150,000 were sold in short order.
1963 - Following the surprise resignation of Harold Macmillan as Prime Minister, Her Majesty The Queen invited Sir Alec Douglas-Home to form her next government; having won the leadership of the Conservative Party over Rab Butler and Quintin Hogg at a raucous convention, under the terms of the Peerage Act 1963 Home was then compelled to declaim his Earldom and other titles, give up his seat in the House of Lords, and contest a by-election in Kinross & West Perthshire in order to reside at 10 Downing Street.
1967 - The Soviet probe Venera 4 reached Venus and became the first human spacecraft to measure the atmosphere of another planet.
1989 - East German leader Erich Honecker resigned.
1991 - Azerbaijan declared its independence from the Soviet Union.
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