[Vancouver's sylvan Point Grey neighbourhood (in the foreground) is possessed of some of the city's finest homes, which are themselves occupied by some of the city's most insufferably stuck-up people - and that's really saying something, given the massive influx of nouveau-riche douchebags the city as a whole has seen over the last decade.]
1804 - French rule ended in Haiti, which became the world's first black republic and the first colony in the West Indies to gain its independence, under Jean-Jacques Dessalines - one of two generals who served under Toussaint L'Ouverture. (The other was Henri Christophe.)
1810 - Major-General Lachlan Macquarie officially became Governor of New South Wales.
1880 - Ferdinand de Lesseps began the French phase of construction on the Panama Canal.
1912 - The Republic of China was established.
1929 - The former municipalities of Point Grey and South Vancouver were amalgamated into Vancouver.
1950 - The state of Ajaigarh was ceded to the Government of India.
1956 - The Republic of the Sudan gained its independence from the Egyptian Republic and the United Kingdom.
1959 - Fulgencio Batista, president of Cuba, was overthrown by Fidel Castro's forces during the Cuban Revolution.
1960 - The Republic of Cameroon gained its independence from France and the United Kingdom.
1962 - Western Samoa gained its independence from New Zealand and changed its name to the Independent State of Western Samoa.
1965 - The People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan was founded in Kabul.
1966 - Following a coup, Colonel Jean-Bédel Bokassa assumed power as president of the Central African Republic.
1982 - Peruvian Javier Pérez de Cuéllar became the first Latin American to hold the title of Secretary General of the United Nations.
1986 - Aruba gained its independence from Curaçao, though it remains in free association with the Kingdom of the Netherlands to this day.
1994 - The Zapatista Army of National Liberation initiated twelve days of armed conflict in the Mexican State of Chiapas.
1997 - Ghanaian diplomat Kofi Annan was appointed Secretary General of the United Nations.
2000 - As the world celebrated, no major crisis arose from the dreaded Y2K computer 'millennium bug'.
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