[Scheduled to be held at Cleveland Arena on this day in 1952 the first Moondog Coronation Ball - organized by promoter Lew Platt and Alan Freed, the man who coined the term 'rock and roll' - was something of a fiasco. As many as 20,000 tickets (many of them counterfeit) were sold for an event whose venue had a capacity of 10,000; after one song by Paul 'Hucklebuck' Williams authorities shut it down. Now an annual event for the nostalgia minded, run in conjunction with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at the city's Quicken Loans Arena, things go a little more smoothly.]
717 CE - At the Battle of Vincy Austrasian forces led by Charles Martel were victorious over Frankish King Chilperic II and his mayor of the palace Ragenfrid.
1413 - Henry V became King of England following the death of his father Henry IV.
1556 - Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Cranmer was burned at the stake at St. Mary's Church in Oxford; Cranmer had played a pivotal role in the English Reformation under Henry VIII and Edward VI, but was found guilty of heresy for his troubles by their staunchly Catholic successor Mary I. He was succeeded by Reginald Cardinal Pole.
1788 - The Great New Orleans Fire destroyed 856 of the 1,100 buildings in that city.
1800 - With the church leadership driven out of Rome during an armed conflict with Napoleon, Pius VII was crowned Pope in Venice with a temporary papal tiara made of papier-mâché, the original - along with his papal predecessor Pius VI - having been pilfered by the French.
1801 - The Battle of Alexandria was fought between British and French forces near the ruins of Nicopolis in Egypt.
1804 - The Code Napoléon was adopted as the basis of French civil law.
1844 - This, the original date predicted by William Miller for the return of Christ, came and went without incident.
1871 - Otto von Bismarck was appointed Chancellor of the German Empire, the first ever to hold that post.
1913 - Over 360 were killed and 20,000 homes destroyed in the Great Dayton Flood in Dayton, Ohio.
1952 - Disc jockey Alan Freed presented the Moondog Coronation Ball - considered to be the first rock and roll concert - in Cleveland, Ohio.
1960 - During what came to be known as the Sharpeville Massacre, South African police opened fire on a group of unarmed black demonstrators, killing 69 and wounding 180. The day is now commemorated as Human Rights Day in that nation; the event was pivotal in South Africa's removal from the Commonwealth of Nations in May 1961.
1963 - Alcatraz - the famed Federal Penitentiary located on an island in San Francisco Bay - closed.
1965 - NASA launched Ranger 9, the last in a series of unmanned lunar space probes, at the close of its Ranger program.
1970 - The first Earth Day proclamation was issued by San Francisco Mayor Joseph Alioto.
1980 - President Jimmy Carter announced a US boycott of the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow to protest the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan, something a certain previous President didn't have the stones to do in regards to the 2008 Summer Olympics and its host country's ongoing theft of Tibet.
1985 - Canadian paraplegic athlete and humanitarian Rick Hansen began his circumnavigation of the globe in a wheelchair in the name of spinal cord injury medical research.
1989 - Sports Illustrated first reported allegations tying baseball player Pete Rose to gambling on the sport, which would eventually spoil his chances of ever entering the Hall of Fame.
1990 - Namibia became independent after 75 years of South African rule.
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