[Robert Jenkins Onderdonk painted The Fall of the Alamo, or Crockett's Last Stand in 1903, depicting the struggle for control of the Alamo Mission at which Davy Crockett, James Bowie, and William Travis all died, on this day in 1836. Today The Alamo is a major tourist attraction in the Texas city of San Antonio.]
1046 - Naser Khosrow began the seven-year journey through the Arab world which he would later describe in his book Safarnama.
1447 - Tommaso Parentucelli became Pope Nicholas V following the death of Eugene IV.
1521 - Ferdinand Magellan arrived at Guam, more or less the midway point of his attempted circumnavigation of the globe; although he wouldn't make it (he was killed at the Battle of Mactan in the Philippines six weeks later) his first officer Juan Sebastian Elcano and three others of the original 55-man crew made it back to Spain in 1525.
1788 - The Royal Navy's First Fleet arrived at Australia's Norfolk Island in order to establish a penal colony there.
1834 - The village of York in Upper Canada was incorporated as Toronto; it became the center of the universe some time in the 1950s.
1836 - Following a 13-day siege by an army of 3,000 Mexican troops during the Texas Revolution, the 187 Texas volunteers defending the Alamo were defeated and the fort taken; more than any victory, the American defeat by Antonio López de Santa Anna at the Battle of the Alamo has been used to define the American experience, especially during that country's expansionist phase.
1853 - Giuseppe Verdi's opera La Traviata - based on the 1848 novel La dame aux Camélias by Alexandre Dumas, fils - premiered at the Teatro la Fenice in Venice.
1857 - The US Supreme Court made a ruling in the Dred Scott v. Sandford case, decreeing that persons of African descent could never be citizens of the United States; the decision was written by Chief Justice Roger Taney.
1899 - Bayer registered aspirin as a trademark; like many companies - such as Kimberly-Clark and Kleenex - Bayer has been less than vigilant in defending their rights in this instance, and aspirin has entered the common lexicon as the generic name for any ASA product. Most notably, Bayer's wonder drug was one of the last useful products ever created by a pharmaceutical company that actually helps more than it hurts; you take aspirin to relieve a headache, not to get one from worrying about whether you'll suffer anal leakage as a result of taking it. Lest you think I've gone soft on Big Pharma, Bayer is also the company most likely to bring about an end to human life, thanks entirely to their work with bee killing pesticides.
1901 - An anarchist attempted to assassinate Germany's Kaiser Wilhelm II in Bremen.
1902 - The Spanish football club Real Madrid was founded.
1927 - Fritz Lang's masterpiece Metropolis was released in the US.
1951 - The treason trial of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg opened.
1953 - Georgy Maksimilianovich Malenkov succeeded Josef Stalin as Premier and First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union following Stalin's death the previous day.
1964 - The Nation of Islam's Elijah Muhammad officially gave prizefighter Cassius Clay the name Muhammad Ali - which means 'beloved of Allah' - as well as renaming Malcolm X.
1970 - Suspected murderer Charles Manson released the album Lie: The Love & Terror Cult to help finance his defense; since his conviction in the August 1969 Tate-LaBianca murders, proceeds from its sale have gone to help victims of violent crime in California.
1981 - After 19 years presenting the CBS Evening News, Walter Cronkite signed off for the last time.
1992 - The Michelangelo virus began affecting computers.
2007 - Former Vice-Presidential Chief of Staff and White House aide I. Lewis 'Scooter' Libby, Jr. was found guilty on four of five counts of perjury and obstruction of justice; he was later sentenced to 30 years in jail and fined $250,000.
share on: facebook