[The ceiling of the Sistine Chapel - created under the patronage of
Pope Sixtus IV - contains many iconic images such as this one, which
depicts God giving life to Adam; rendered in a naturalistic style
which had begun emerging as a result of the High Renaissance, the
ceiling thus contains even more dicks than the College of Cardinals.]
1179 - France's Phillip II was crowned junior King at the behest of his ailing father Louis VII; the ceremony took place at the Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Rheims and was conducted by Archbishop William Whitehands.
1512 - The ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, painted by Michelangelo, was exhibited to the public for the first time, despite its having been completed in 1480; located within the Apostolic Palace, the Sistine Chapel is where papal convocations are held. Since their restoration - unveiled by Pope John Paul II in April 1994 - the frescoes have been so popular the Vatican is now attempting to curtail access to them.
1520 - The Strait of Magellan - the passage immediately south of mainland South America, connecting the Pacific and the Atlantic Oceans in the vicinity of Antarctica - was first navigated by Ferdinand Magellan during his global circumnavigation.
1604 - The first known performance of William Shakespeare's tragedy Othello was given at Whitehall Palace in London.
1611 - The first known performance of William Shakespeare's romantic comedy The Tempest was given at Whitehall Palace in London.
1755 - Lisbon was destroyed by a massive earthquake, tsunami, and fire beginning at 9:40 AM - killing between sixty thousand and ninety thousand people as they attended church services.
1800 - President John Adams became the first US President to live in the Executive Mansion (later renamed the White House).
1894 - Nicholas II became the new Tsar of Russia after the death of his father, Alexander III.
1918 - The worst rapid transit accident in US history - the Malbone Street Wreck - occurred under the intersection of Malbone Street and Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn; at least 93 died.
1922 - Mehmed VI - the last sultan of the Ottoman Empire - abdicated.
1938 - Seabiscuit faced War Admiral at a horse race dubbed 'The Match of the Century' - in which the 5 year-old stallion, facing long odds in more ways than one, came from behind to eventually win by four clear lengths - events thrillingly recounted in the 2003 film Seabiscuit*, starring Tobey Maguire as Seabiscuit's jockey Red Pollard and Jeff Bridges as his owner Charles S. Howard.
*Which was itself based on Laura Hillenbrand's 2000 book, Seabiscuit: An American Legend.
1950 - Puerto Rican nationalists Griselio Torresola and Oscar Collazo attempted to assassinate US President Harry S. Truman, who was living at Blair House while his usual digs were being renovated. Police officer Leslie Coffelt was killed in the attack, but not before himself killing Torresola; Collazo was shot in the melee, captured, and sentenced to the electric chair, but Truman commuted the sentence to life imprisonment in 1952.
1954 - The Front de Libération Nationale fired the first shots in the Algerian War of Independence.
1963 - The largest radio telescope ever constructed - the Arecibo Observatory in Arecibo, Puerto Rico - officially opened.
1968 - The Motion Picture Association of America's film rating system was officially introduced, originating with the ratings G, M, R, and X.
1973 - Leon Jaworski was appointed as the new Special Prosecutor to look into the Watergate Scandal.
1981 - Antigua and Barbuda gained its independence from the United Kingdom.
1991 - Three faculty and one staff member of the department of physics and astronomy, along with one administrator, were killed when physics graduate student Gang Lu went on a shooting rampage at the University of Iowa.
1993 - The Maastricht Treaty took effect, formally establishing the European Union.
share on: facebook