[Napoleon's invasion of Russia didn't go so well - for Napoleon, that is; for Russian culture, though, it proved a boon - being responsible for both Tolstoy's War and Peace and Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture plus the above painting of the French dictator's calamitous retreat from Moscow by Adolph Northen.]
1216 - England's King John died; he was succeeded by his 9 year-old son Henry III, whose early reign would be guided by the regency of William Marshal.
1469 - Ferdinand II of Aragon married Isabella of Castile; famed as the sponsors of Christopher Columbus, their marriage would forge the modern nation of Spain under their grandson Charles I of Spain, who later became Holy Roman Emperor as Charles V.
1781 - At Yorktown, Virginia, representatives of British commander Lord Cornwallis handed over Cornwallis' sword and formally surrendered in person to George Washington and the comte de Rochambeau, ending the American Revolutionary War.
1812 - Napoleon retreated from Moscow.
1813 - The Battle of Leipzig concluded, giving Napoleon one of the worst defeats of his military career.
1864 - At the Battle of Cedar Creek the Union Army under Philip Sheridan destroyed its Confederate rival under Jubal Early.
1914 - The First Battle of Ypres began in Belgium during the terrible conflict known at the time as the Great War, which we now know as World War I.
1917 - Love Field opened in Dallas, Texas; the smaller of two airports now serving the city was the only one in town until 1974. Love Field would later become famous for the role it played in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in November 1963.
1921 - António Granjo, the Prime Minister of Portugal, was one of three politicians killed during a coup in Lisbon, since known as Noite Sangrenta; the other two were Machado Santos and Carlos da Maia.
1943 - Streptomycin, the first antibiotic remedy for tuberculosis, was isolated by Albert Schatz, a graduate student, in the laboratory of Selman Abraham Waksman at Rutgers University.
1954 - The first ascent of Cho Oyu - the sixth-highest peak on Earth - was made by Herbert Tichy, Joseph Jöchler, and Sherpa Pasang Dawa Lama as part of an Austrian expedition.
1960 - The first partial embargo was put on Cuban goods by President Dwight D. Eisenhower.
1974 - Niue became a self-governing colony of New Zealand.
1983 - Maurice Bishop, Prime Minister of Grenada, was overthrown and executed in a military coup d'état led by Bernard Coard.
1985 - The first Blockbuster Video opened in Dallas.
1986 - Samora Machel, President of Mozambique and a prominent leader of FRELIMO, died along with 33 others when their Tupolev 134 plane crashed into the Lebombo Mountains.
1987 - On the so-called Black Monday the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell by 22%, or 508 points, to 1738.74 in one day.
1989 - The convictions of the so-called Guildford Four were overturned by the Court of Appeal; by then the four - Paul Michael Hill, Gerard 'Gerry' Conlon, Patrick 'Paddy' Armstrong, and Carole Richardson - had already spent 15 years in prison owing to a miscarriage of justice.
2005 - Saddam Hussein went on trial, convicted of crimes against humanity by the Iraqi Special Tribunal.
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