[It was a vast and jubilantly rowdy crowd like this one who were on hand to witness Abraham Lincoln's Cooper Union Address - at which he opposed the pro-slavery views of Stephen A. Douglas, his greatest political rival - in advance of the Republican National Convention, which was set for mid-May.]
1617 - Sweden and Russia signed the Treaty of Stolbovo - ending the Ingrian War and shutting Russia out of the Baltic Sea.
1700 - The island of New Britain was discovered by William Dampier.
1801 - Pursuant to the District of Columbia Organic Act of 1801 Washington, DC, was placed under the jurisdiction of the US Congress.
1812 - Poet Lord Byron gave his first address as a member of Britain's House of Lords, one of the few ever in defense of the Luddites - a radical rabble of textile workers who had been destroying looms in his home county of Nottinghamshire. A strong advocate of social reform, during his time in the upper house Byron also supported greater rights for Catholics.
1844 - The Dominican Republic gained its independence from Haiti.
1860 - Abraham Lincoln made a speech at Manhattan's Cooper Union which was later seen as largely responsible for his election to the Presidency the following November.
1900 - The British Labour Party was founded.
1902 - Australian Harry 'Breaker' Morant was executed during the Second Boer War under controversial circumstances - accused of the summary murder of prisoners under his command which may or may not have happened. A film was made about the life and death of 'Breaker' Morant in 1980 which starred Edward Woodward as its doomed hero; the film's director, Bruce Beresford, adapted the 1978 play Breaker Morant: A Play in Two Acts, written by Kenneth G. Ross, for the screen and was Oscar-nominated for his efforts.
1922 - Leser v. Garnett - a challenge to the US Constitution's Nineteenth Amendment, which had allowed American women the right to vote in 1920 - was rebuffed by the Supreme Court.
1940 - Martin Kamen and Sam Ruben discovered carbon-14.
1943 - The Rosenstrasse protest started in Berlin following a more general resistance to Nazi anti-Semitism by trades unionists during Fabrikaktion.
1951 - The Twenty-second Amendment to the US Constitution - limiting Presidents to two terms - was ratified.
1963 - Juan Bosch became the Dominican Republic's first democratically elected president since the assassination of Rafael Trujillo in May 1961.
1973 - The American Indian Movement occupied Wounded Knee, South Dakota.
1976 - The formerly Spanish territory of Western Sahara, under the auspices of the Polisario Front, declared the country's independence as the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic.
1989 - Venezuela was rocked by the Caracazo.
1996 - Satoshi Tajiri created Pokémon.
2003 - Rowan Williams was enthroned as the 104th Archbishop of Canterbury.
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