[Ippolit Giliarovsky's refusal to eat maggoty meat during the Russian Revolution of 1905 may have only indirectly led to the Revolution of 1917, but it directly led to the creation of Russian cinema which, in the hands of such visionary filmmakers as Sergei Eisenstein, extended the national knack for storytelling to an entirely new medium.]
1082 - Ramon Berenguer II, Count of Barcelona, was assassinated; he was succeeded by his twin brother and co-ruler Berenguer Ramon II, who may have orchestrated the killing.
1484 - Pope Innocent VIII issued the Summis desiderantes, a papal bull that deputized Heinrich Kramer and James Sprenger as inquisitors to root out alleged witchcraft in Germany, leading to genocide, courtesy of one of the most oppressive witch hunts in European history.
1492 - Christopher Columbus became the first European to set foot on the island of Hispaniola.
1590 - Niccolò Sfondrati was elected Pope Gregory XIV following the death of Urban VII.
1766 - James Christie held the first sale at his auction house.
1776 - Phi Beta Kappa - the first scholastic fraternity in the United States - was founded in the Apollo Room of the Raleigh Tavern in Williamsburg, Virginia, by students from the College of William and Mary.
1892 - Conservative Sir John Thompson became the fourth Prime Minister of Canada upon the retiremet of his predecessor, John Abbott; not only was he Canada's first Roman Catholic premier, he was the only one to die at Windsor Castle.
1926 - Sergei Eisenstein's classic film The Battleship Potemkin had its American debut.
1932 - Albert Einstein was granted a US visa, apparently.
1933 - Prohibition was repealed in the United States when Utah ratified the 21st Amendment to the US Constitution, which itself repealed the 18th Amendment, which had mandated Prohibition in 1919 and introduced it in 1920.
1945 - Flight 19 disappeared into the Bermuda Triangle.
1952 - During what came to be known as the Great Smog, a cold fog descended upon London which, when combined with an inversion layer and the greater burning of coal necessitated by the chill temperatures, caused fatal air pollution which killed at least 12,000 - many of them children, the elderly, and infirm - in the weeks and months that followed. The calamity brought about the Clean Air Acts of 1956, which went a long way to preventing similar conditions from recurring in the future.
For an informative account of the Great Smog, why not visit our blog friend Another Nickel in the Machine?
1958 - Subscriber Trunk Dialling was inaugurated in the UK by Queen Elizabeth II when she spoke to the Lord Provost in a call from Bristol to Edinburgh without first having to go through an operator.
1970 - Dario Fo's play Morte accidentale di un anarchico received its world premiere in the Italian city of Varese.
1979 - Sonia Johnson was formally excommunicated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for her outspoken criticism of the church concerning its position on the proposed Equal Rights Amendment. Because that's what Jesus would have done.
1983 - ICIMOD was established and inaugurated with its headquarters in Kathmandu, and legitimized through an Act of Parliament in Nepal later the same year.
2005 - The UK's Civil Partnership Act came into effect.
2006 - Commodore Frank Bainimarama overthrew the government of Fiji.
2007 - Nineteen-year-old Robert A. Hawkins opened fire with a semi-automatic rifle at Westroads Mall in Omaha, Nebraska, killing eight people and wounding four others (two critically) before taking his own life.
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