[Is it merely that hindsight is 20/20, or were Charles' and Diana's problems obvious from the start? When asked by a particularly impudent reporter on this day in 1981 if he was in love, the Prince replied: 'Yes. Whatever in love means...' Anyway, their engagement, marriage, separation, and divorce (not to mention her August 1997 death and his April 2005 re-marriage) kept the waters chummed for a generation of tabloid reporters, paparazzi, and various other media bottom feeders - myself included.]
303 CE - Roman Emperor Galerius published an edict that began the persecution of Christians in his portion of the Empire, which would uphold the Diocletianic Persecution for the next decade.
1387 - King Charles III of Naples and Hungary was assassinated at Visegrád on the orders of Elisabeth of Bosnia, widow of the late King Louis I and mother of the rightful heir Mary of Hungary; although he was succeeded as King of Naples by his son Ladislas, Mary was reinstated as Queen of Hungary.
1538 - The secret Treaty of Nagyvarad between Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand I and the Ottoman Empire following the Ottoman victory at the Battle of Mohács allowed for John Zápolya to become King of Hungary while the Emperor would retain control of the western parts of the Hungarian Kingdom.
1582 - Pope Gregory XIII announced the Gregorian calendar.
1607 - One of the first works recognized as an opera, L'Orfeo - with music by Claudio Monteverdi and libretto by Alessandro Striggio - premiered at the ducal palace in Mantua before the Accademia degl'Invaghiti during that year's carnival.
1711 - The premiere of Rinaldo by George Friderich Handel - the first Italian opera written for the London stage - was held at Haymarket.
1804 - London's third Drury Lane Theatre burnt to the ground, leaving owner Richard Brinsley Sheridan destitute.
1826 - The signing of the Treaty of Yandaboo marked the end of the First Burmese War.
1848 - France's King Louis-Philippe abdicated.
1875 - The SS Gothenburg hit the Great Barrier Reef and sank off of eastern Australia's Queensland coast, with the loss of approximately 102 lives - not to mention the damage it did to the coral.
1893 - Western Washington University was established by Governor John McGraw, with the first class officially entered six years later to the day.
1909 - The Hudson Motor Car Company was founded.
1942 - During the ersatz Battle of Los Angeles, an indeterminate number of UFOs flying over wartime LA caused a blackout order at 2:25 AM, attracting a barrage of anti-aircraft fire which ultimately killed 3 civilians in a city still skittish just three months after the attack on Pearl Harbor.
1945 - Egyptian Premier Ahmed Maher Pasha was assassinated by 28-year-old Mustafa Essawy in the Egyptian Parliament after reading a decree; although originally thought to belong to the Muslim Brotherhood, which Pasha had recently tried to suppress, it was later revealed that the assassin was a member of the country's dominant political organization, the Wafd Party. Essawy's motive remains unclear.
1970 - National Public Radio was founded in the United States.
1981 - Buckingham Palace announced the engagement of The Prince of Wales to Lady Diana Spencer.
1989 - United Airlines Flight 811 - bound for New Zealand from Honolulu - ripped open during flight, sucking 9 passengers out of the business-class section.
2006 - Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo declared Proclamation 1017, placing the country in a state of emergency in attempt to subdue a possible military coup led by Brigadier Gen. Danilo Lim.
2008 - Fidel Castro retired as the President of Cuba after nearly fifty years.
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