[Isn't it cunning, the number of ways I have
of sneaking pictures of the Queen onto this blog?]
1028 - Future Byzantine empress Zoe married Romanus Argyrus in accordance with the wishes of the dying Constantine VIII.
1793 - Jean Sylvain Bailly, the first Mayor of Paris, was guillotined during the Reign of Terror.
1892 - William 'Pudge' Heffelfinger became the first professional American football player when he was paid $500 for participating in a game for the Allegheny Athletic Association.
1893 - The treaty of the Durand Line - so named after British Foreign Secretary Sir Mortimer Durand - was signed between present day Pakistan and Afghanistan; the Durand Line has gained international recognition as an international border between the two nations.
1912 - The frozen bodies of Robert Scott and his men were found on the Ross Ice Shelf in Antarctica; Scott had died in March while on the Terra Nova Expedition, having attained the South Pole only to discover Roald Amundsen's team of Norwegians had already been and gone.
1920 - Representatives of Italy and the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes signed the Treaty of Rapallo in order to settle various boundary disputes concerning a portion of the upper Adriatic known as the Julian March.
1922 - The Sigma Gamma Rho sorority was founded on the campus of Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana.
1936 - The San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge opened to traffic, six months before its more famous cousin, the Golden Gate Bridge.
1944 - As part of one of the most successful precision bombing attacks of the war - Operation Catechism, commanded by Group Captain James Brian Tait - Britain's Royal Air Force launched 30 Avro Lancaster bombers from No. 9 Squadron and No. 617 Squadron intent on sinking the German battleship Tirpitz with Tallboy bombs at her moorings in the Norwegian port of Tromsø; the mission was a success, with either two or three of the bombs scoring a direct hit, capsizing what had been the largest warship ever built in Europe and killing 1,000 of the 1,900 crew onboard.
1948 - In Tokyo the International Military Tribunal for the Far East sentenced seven Japanese military and government officials - including General Hideki Tojo - to death for their roles in World War II.
1969 - Independent investigative journalist Seymour Hersh broke the story of the My Lai Massacre.
1970 - Near Florence, Oregon, that state's Highway Division attempted to destroy a rotting beached sperm whale using half a ton of dynamite, with the entirely predictable results caught on film.
1980 - The NASA space probe Voyager I made its closest approach to Saturn and took the first 'close-up' images of its rings.
1981 - NASA's STS-2 mission, utilizing the Space Shuttle Columbia, marked the first time a manned spacecraft had been launched into space twice.
1982 - Yuri Andropov became the general secretary of the Soviet Communist Party's Central Committee, succeeding Leonid I. Brezhnev; on the same day Solidarity leader Lech Wałęsa was released from prison after eleven months' incarceration. Just under a year earlier the Soviet Union had come close to invading Poland because of the pro-democracy movement championed by Solidarity, compelling Polish dictator Wojciech Jaruzelski to impose martial law.
1984 - Nigel Lawson, Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer, announced that the country's pound notes would be phased out in favour of coins.
1990 - Japan's Crown Prince Akihito was formally installed as Emperor, becoming the 125th Japanese monarch.
1991 - At the Dili Massacre, Indonesian forces opened fire on a crowd of student protesters in East Timor, killing at least 250 and as many as 400; the incident came to light principally due to the presence of American journalists Amy Goodman and Allan Nairn - who were both injured in the ensuing melee - and was covertly filmed by Yorkshire Television's Christopher Wenner (working under the name Max Stahl).
1997 - Ramzi Yousef was found guilty of masterminding the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.
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