[On this day in 1957 Allen Ginsberg (pictured above, with his longtime lover Peter Orlovsky in a raggedy toque) stared down the forces of censorship and won both the public relations battle and the latest skirmish in the war on freedom of expression over his poem Howl with the able assistance of attorney Jake Ehrlich. The story of the trial and the issues it raised is rumoured to be receiving the celluloid treatment, with über-hunky Jon Hamm as Ehrlich.]
1199 - England's King Richard I (better known as Richard the Lionhearted) was wounded by a crossbow bolt while attempting to suppress a revolt by Aimar V of Limoges at the castle of Chalus-Chabrol in France; the King's injury resulted in his agonizing death from gangrene eleven days later.
1306 - Robert the Bruce was crowned King of Scotland by Isabella MacDuff.
1655 - Saturn's largest moon, Titan, was discovered by Christian Huygens.
1802 - The Treaty of Amiens was signed as a 'Definitive Treaty of Peace' between France and United Kingdom; as a 'treaty of peace' it broke down almost instantly, which is what made it so 'definitive'.
1807 - The Slave Trade Act became law, abolishing the slave trade in the British Empire; it was an important step in the abolition of slavery throughout British territory, which occurred in 1833 with the passage of the Slavery Abolition Act.
1811 - Percy Bysshe Shelley was expelled from the University College, Oxford, for his publication of the pamphlet The Necessity of Atheism; Shelley's friend (and future biographer) Thomas Jefferson Hogg was also expelled for his involvement in the matter.
1894 - Coxey's Army, led by Jacob Coxey, departed Massillon, Ohio, for Washington, DC; protesting the widespread economic recession brought on by the Panic of 1893, it is thought that their story was later adapted allegorically by L. Frank Baum in his book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.
1908 - Brazilian football club Clube Atletico Mineiro was founded in Belo Horizonte.
1918 - The Belarusian People's Republic was established.
1941 - The Kingdom of Yugoslavia joined the Axis powers when Prince Paul - that country's regent - signed the Tripartite Pact; his actions inspired a coup, and two days later the 18-year-old King Peter II seized power.
1949 - An extensive campaign known as the March deportation was conducted in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania to force collectivization by way of terror; all told, Stalinist authorities deported more than 92,000 people from the Baltic states to remote areas of the Soviet Union.
1957 - US Customs officials seized 520 copies of Allen Ginsberg's poem Howl as obscene, bringing charges against its publisher Lawrence Ferlinghetti and his business, San Francisco's iconic City Lights Bookstore, for publishing it.
1958 - Canada's legendary jet fighter, the Avro Arrow, made its debut flight.
1969 - During their honeymoon, John Lennon and Yoko Ono held their first Bed-In for Peace in the Hilton Hotel in Amsterdam; a publicity stunt designed to exploit media interest in their recent marriage, it lasted until the end of March.
1975 - Saudi Arabia's King Faisal was shot and killed by his nephew Faisal bin Musa'id, who was immediately captured, declared mentally ill, found guilty of regicide, and beheaded in Riyadh in June; the King was succeeded by his half-brother Khalid.
1979 - The first fully functional space shuttle orbiter, Columbia, was delivered to the John F. Kennedy Space Center to be prepared for its first launch.
1988 - The Candle Demonstration in Bratislava was the first mass demonstration of the 1980s against the communist regime in the former Czechoslovakia; it is commemorated today in Slovakia as the Struggle for Human Rights Day.
1990 - A fire set by Julio González at the illegal Happy Land social club in the Bronx killed 87 people, many of them Hondurans celebrating Carnival.
2006 - During the Capitol Hill massacre Kyle Aaron Huff killed six people before taking his own life at a party in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood; it was one of the largest crime scenes that city had ever seen.
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