[Located on the grounds of Bangkok's Grand Palace, the temple of Wat Phra Kaew contains the most precious treasure in Thai Buddhism - namely the Emerald Buddha - which only the King is allowed near.]
238 CE - Gordian I and his son Gordian II were jointly proclaimed Roman Emperor.
1622 - Algonquian Indians massacred 347 English settlers at Jamestown - a full third of that colony's population.
1765 - Britain passed the Stamp Act, which introduced a tax to be levied directly on its American colonies without offering them representation at Westminster; reaction to the legislation was mixed - some colonists were outraged, while others were merely furious - and a new nation was born...
1784 - Thailand's Emerald Buddha was moved with great ceremony to its current place in Wat Phra Kaew.
1849 - Austrian forces commanded by Joseph Radetzky von Radetz defeated the Piedmontese of the Kingdom of Sardinia under Wojciech Chrzanowski at the Battle of Novara.
1871 - Although North Carolina Republican William Woods Holden (shown, at left) was the second governor of a US state to be impeached* he was the first to be removed from office because of that impeachment - which he was for attempting to limit the activities of the Ku Klux Klan who, during Reconstruction, had been denying blacks their right to vote by the various heinous methods they've been known to employ. Despite being defended by well-known attorneys such as Nathaniel Boyden and William Nathan Harrell Smith, the governor's involvement in the Kirk-Holden War left him on the wrong side of victory but on the right side of history**. There's a moral to the story somewhere in there I'm sure...
*Charles L. Robinson of Kansas of course being the first, in February 1862, for opposing the extension of slavery into his state during the tragic series of events known today as Bleeding Kansas.
**How different things were in the olden days, when Republicans were removed from office for fighting the good fight in support of minority rights. Maybe if a modern-day Republican wanted to wrest control of the Grand Old Party back from the Great Big Windbag (uh, Rush Limbaugh!) they could follow the example of these two men rather than the tar-hearted Cheneys and ethically-challenged Roves of the world.
1894 - The first Stanley Cup playoff series was won when Montreal Hockey Club beat the Ottawa Generals, 3–1.
1895 - Auguste and Louis Lumière held a private screening of motion pictures, a prelude to their first public showing in December of that year.
1916 - The last Emperor of China, Yuan Shikai, abdicated the throne and the Republic of China was restored.
1923 - Canada's legendary Foster Hewitt gave the first radio play-by-play in his esteemed career as a hockey announcer, or at least according to his memoirs; nevertheless, there was no scheduled game that day. The actual date of his broadcast debut was likely on February 16th, during a game between the Toronto Argonaut Rowing Club and the Kitchener Greenshirts.
1942 - In the Mediterranean Sea, Britain's Royal Navy confronted Italy's Regia Marina at the Second Battle of Sirte.
1943 - The entire population of Khatyn in Belarus was burnt alive by Nazi occupation forces.
1945 - The Arab League was founded when its charter was adopted in Cairo.
1975 - A fire at the Browns Ferry Nuclear Power Plant in Decatur, Alabama, caused a dangerous lowering of cooling water levels.
1978 - Karl Wallenda of the The Flying Wallendas died after falling off a tight-rope strung between two hotels in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
1979 - Opposition Leader Margaret Thatcher put down an early day motion censuring the government, which led to the defeat of the Labour government of British Prime Minister James Callaghan.
1989 - Goalie Clint Malarchuk of the Buffalo Sabres suffered a near-fatal injury when another player accidentally slit his throat with a skate blade in one of the most gruesome sports injuries of all time.
1997 - The Comet Hale-Bopp made its closest approach to Earth.
2006 - BC Ferries' M/V Queen of the North ran aground near British Columbia's Gil Island and sank with 101 on board; two passengers remain unaccounted for and are presumed dead. It took two years to determine that human error was to blame.
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