[The globular cluster in the constellation Hercules now known as M92 was first discovered by Johann Elert Bode in 1777, but was named for Charles Messier who independently rediscovered it* in 1781; located 26,000 light years from Earth, it contains a shitload** of stars and potentially an equal number of inhabited Earth-like planets. Although one of the larger globular clusters visible from the Northern Hemisphere, it is easily outshone by the even bigger and brighter Messier 13, just like Nick Jonas outshines his equally talented brothers Joe and the ugly one***.]
1314 - Jacques de Molay - the 23rd and last Grand Master of the Knights Templar - was burned at the stake at Paris' Île de la Cité on the orders of France's King Philip IV.
1608 - Susenyos was formally crowned Emperor of Ethiopia.
1781 - Charles Messier rediscovered the global cluster M92.
1913 - Greece's King George I was assassinated by Alexandros Schinas in the recently liberated city of Thessaloniki.
1937 - An explosion caused by a natural gas leak killed and/or injured hundreds, most of them children, at a school in New London, Texas; of the approximately 600 students and 40 teachers in the building at the time, only about 130 escaped without serious injury.
1950 - The Belgian government fell after a referendum in which 57% of Belgians favoured the return of King Leopold III from exile in Switzerland; his return to Belgium was nevertheless met by widespread unrest, following which he abdicated in favour of his son Baudouin in July 1951.
1962 - The Evian Accords put an end to the Algerian War of Independence, which had begun in November 1954.
1990 - In the largest art theft in US history, 12 paintings (collectively worth around $300 million) were stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, Massachusetts.
2003 - British Sign Language was recognized as a language, but not as an official language of Britain, meaning it has no legal protections.
2009 - Iranian blogger Omid Reza Mir Sayafi was murdered in Tehran's Evin Prison, where he'd been incarcerated for telling the truth about the mullahs and their Islamic Republic. He was 29. Despite the removal of his blog - which was ostensibly concerned with traditional Persian music - by the authorities, his work will live on thanks to the power of the Internet and foes of tyranny like the Pop Culture Institute. The March 18 Movement was created to honour his memory, and to oppose any attempts to silence new media and citizen journalists; it's a movement which this humble blog is proud to have joined.
**In Canada, a 'shitload' is an official measure; all's I know is it's bigger than a 'buttload'. Maybe it's metric... Look it up!
***Ummm... In the interest of full disclosure I should say that this photo caption is a blatant hit grab... Not unlike the Jonas Brothers themselves!
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