[The fact that ignorant pagan savages could be capable of such an engineering marvel as Mesa Verde without knowing anything about Jesus might give certain people cause to think, and maybe even to see beyond their hateful mythology, but somehow I doubt it.]
218 BCE - During the Second Punic War - at the Battle of the Trebia, in fact - Hannibal's Carthaginian forces defeated those of the Roman Republic, commanded by Tiberius Sempronius Longus.
1620 - The 120 passengers on board the Mayflower, having discovered the placid waters of Plymouth Harbor, prepared to establish their Plymouth Colony in present-day Plymouth, Massachusetts; although the exact date for their landing on Plymouth Rock has been lost to history - if, that is, history ever had it, since the event isn't mentioned in either William Bradford's Of Plymouth Plantation or that other contemporary account of the Pilgrim voyage, Mourt's Relation, and in fact wasn't mentioned at all until 1741 - we do know this was their first full day in their new home.
1642 - Abel Tasman became the first European to visit New Zealand when he came ashore at Golden Bay.
1787 - New Jersey became the third state to ratify the US Constitution, making it the third US state.
1793 - French royalists surrendered the frigate La Lutine to the Royal Navy's Admiral Sir Samuel Hood, on the final day of an occupation known as the Fall of Toulon; renamed HMS Lutine, in October 1799 she was sunk in a storm, and became a famous treasure wreck.
1865 - The 13th Amendment to the US Constitution was declared ratified in a proclamation by Secretary of State William Henry Seward.
1888 - Richard Wetherill and his brother in-law discovered the ancient Anasazi Indian ruins of Mesa Verde in Colorado; now both a national park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the 13th Century cave city features a treasure trove of pre-Colombian architecture, including the Cliff Palace.
1892 - Tchaikovsky's ballet The Nutcracker premiered at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg.
1898 - Gaston de Chasseloup-Laubat set the first land speed record by going as fast as 39.245 mph (63.159 km/h), in a Jeantaud electric car; not only was this the first recognized land speed record but many modern-day commuters would give their right arm to match it.
1912 -The Piltdown Man (later discovered to be a hoax) was found by Charles Dawson in the Piltdown Gravel Pit.
1915 - US President Woodrow Wilson married Edith Bolling Galt.
1935 - The Lanka Sama Samaja Party was formed in Sri Lanka, then called Ceylon.
1961 - The government of India undertook Operation Vijay with the intention of retaking the Portugese colonies of Goa, Daman and Diu, and the Andjiv Islands; it took one day to accomplish.
1966 - Richard L. Walker discovered Epimetheus, one of the more than 60 moons of Saturn.
1971 - Capitol Reef National Park was established in Utah.
1988 - The Liberal government of Quebec Premier Robert Bourassa passed Bill 178.
1996 - The school board of Oakland, California, declared Ebonics a language.
1999 - NASA launched into orbit the Terra platform, carrying five Earth Observation instruments, including ASTER, CERES, MISR, MODIS and MOPITT.
2006 - Donald Rumsfeld resigned as US Secretary of Defense.
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