[Anyone who thinks the Florida Everglades are safe simply because they've been preserved as a park has clearly a) underestimated the contempt of so-called conservatives for the natural world, b) naively relinquished their grasp on reality in favour of impractical idealism, and/or c) never read the works of one Carl Hiaasen.]
1060 - Béla I was crowned King of Hungary.
1534 - Sebastián de Belalcázar founded the city of Quito in Ecuador.
1648 - Colonel Pride of England's New Model Army purged the Long Parliament of MPs sympathetic to King Charles I, in order for the King's trial to go ahead; the event came to be known as Pride's Purge.
1768 - The first edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica was published.
1849 - American abolitionist Harriet Tubman escaped from slavery on the Underground Railroad.
1865 - Ratification of the 13th Amendment to the US Constitution ended the legal sanction of slavery in America.
1877 - The Washington Post was first published, apparently.
1884 - The capstone was set in place atop the Washington Monument, signifying the end of work; originally begun in 1848, a lack of funds and the intercession of the US Civil War prevented Robert Mills' obelisk from being completed earlier. Dedicated in February 1885 and opened in October 1888, it became the world's tallest structure (after Cologne Cathedral) until 1889, at which time it was surpassed by the Eiffel Tower.
1907 - 362 were killed by an explosion at a coal mine in Monongah, West Virginia.
1917 - Finland declared its independence from Russia.
1920 - The Anglo-Irish Treaty was signed in London.
1921 - Under the terms of the Anglo-Irish Treaty, the Irish Free State became a sovereign nation.
1933 - U.S. federal judge John M. Woolsey ruled that James Joyce's novel Ulysses was not obscene.
1941 - The United Kingdom declared war on Finland in support of the Soviet Union during the Continuation War.
1947 - Florida's Everglades National Park was established.
1969 - Meredith Hunter pulled out a gun during The Rolling Stones' performance of Under My Thumb at their infamous Altamont Free Concert, and was stabbed by Hells Angel Alan Passaro, who was there acting as security; at his trial Passaro claimed self-defense, and was later acquitted. The event was captured on film, and became a key scene in the documentary Gimme Shelter; it also made the pages of Rolling Stone magazine as Rock & Roll's Worst Day, by John Burks.
1978 - The current constitution of Spain was approved by a national referendum.
1989 - Marc Lépine massacred 14 women in an anti-feminist spree at Montreal's École Polytechnique.
1992 - 200,000 Hindu extremists in India demolished Babri Masjid, a 16th century mosque in Ayodhya, which had been used as temple since 1949.
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