[Engineer Joseph Strauss faced many uphill battles in building his most famous structure, almost none of which were geographical; once construction got underway he was ably aided by Irving Morrow, who designed the towers, and San Francisco city engineer Michael O'Shaughnessy, who named it. It was the city's residents who persuaded them to leave the bridge International Orange, which is the colour of the sealant used.]
1463 - Poet François Villon was banished from Paris and thereafter dropped out of the historical record...
1477 - Charles the Bold was killed at the Battle of Nancy, whereupon Burgundy became part of France.
1527 - Felix Manz, a leader of the Anabaptist congregation in Zürich, was the first person to be executed by drowning under an edict aimed at outlawing adult re-baptism - which is a key precept of his religion.
1675 - At the Battle of Colmar a French army commanded by Vicomte of Turenne defeated Frederick William, Elector of Brandenburg, who headed a unified force of Brandenburgian and Austrian troops.
1757 - France's King Louis XV survived an assassination attempt by Robert-François Damiens - who then went on to become the last person executed in France by the traditional and gruesome form of capital punishment used for regicides and wannabes alike: drawing and quartering.
1895 - In the midst of the Dreyfus Affair French army officer Alfred Dreyfus was publicly stripped of his rank and sentenced to life imprisonment on French Guiana's Devil's Island following a secret court martial.
1896 - An Austrian newspaper reported that Wilhelm Roentgen had discovered a type of radiation later known as X-rays.
1933 - Construction of the Golden Gate Bridge - connecting San Francisco to Marin County across San Francisco Bay - began.
1949 - Work began on the foundation of Basildon new town, in the British county of Essex.
1968 - Alexander Dubček came to power at the head of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia, thus beginning the so-called Prague Spring.
1970 - The long-running American soap opera All My Children premiered; the show - created by Agnes Nixon - has since surpassed its 10,000th episode.
1974 - Antarctica's warmest reliably measured temperature, 59°F (15°C), was recorded at Vanda Station.
1975 - The Tasman Bridge - which spans the Derwent River, near the central business district of Hobart, in Tasmania - was struck by the bulk ore carrier Lake Illawarra, killing twelve people.
1976 - The Kingsmill Massacre occurred when 10 Protestant textile workers were murdered by the IRA in retaliation for the killing of six Catholic men the previous day.
1981 - Peter Sutcliffe was charged with committing the Yorkshire Ripper murders.
1993 - Washington state executed Westley Allan Dodd by hanging - the first legal hanging in the US since 1965.
1996 - Hamas operative Yahya Ayyash was killed by an Israeli-planted booby-trapped cell phone.
2003 - London's Metropolitan Police arrested seven suspects in connection with the Wood Green ricin plot, which had allegedly been organized as an attack against the London Underground.
2005 - Eris, the largest known dwarf planet in our solar system, was discovered by the team of Michael E. Brown, Chad Trujillo, and David L. Rabinowitz using images originally taken in October 2003 at the Palomar Observatory.
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