[Thailand's King Bhumibol has had the great good fortune throughout the five decades of his reign to have mastered the art of kingship, to have earned the adoration of his people and, most importantly, to have married the right woman. Queen Sirikit has been more than a consort, though; in December 1956 she served as the country's regent as well - only the second woman to do so, after Queen Saovabha, wife of Chulalongkorn - during the King's service as a monk, which is a customary rite of passage for Buddhist males in Thailand. As well, her unwavering understanding of the country's Muslim minority has earned her as much respect as has her ever-present smile...]
1192 - Conrad of Montferrat, King of Jerusalem, was assassinated in Tyre, two days after his claim to the throne was confirmed by election; the killing was carried out by Hashshashin - possibly under orders from England's King Richard I...
1253 - Nichiren, a Japanese Buddhist monk, propounded the chanting of Nam Myoho Renge Kyo for the first time, declaring it to be the essence of Buddhism, and in effect founding Nichiren Buddhism.
1789 - The crew of the HMS Bounty mutinied, following which Captain William Bligh and 18 sailors were set adrift; the rebel crew returned to Tahiti briefly and then set sail for Pitcairn Island. The story of the Mutiny on the Bounty has been captivating the imagination of readers and movie-goers alike ever since...
1947 - Thor Heyerdahl and five crew mates set out from Peru on the Kon-Tiki to prove that Peruvian natives could have settled Polynesia; the expedition was later the basis for a wildly successful book, from which was made an Oscar-winning documentary.
1950 - Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej married Sirikit after a quiet 10-month engagement in Lausanne.
1952 - The US occupation of Japan ended.
1967 - Expo 67 opened to the public in Montreal, having been ceremonially opened the previous day by Canadian Governor-General Roland Michener.
1969 - Charles de Gaulle resigned as President of France.
1978 - Afghanistan's President Mohammed Daoud Khan was overthrown and assassinated in a coup led by pro-communist rebels.
1988 - Flight attendant Clarabelle 'C.B.' Lansing was blown out of Aloha Flight 243 and fell to her death over Maui when part of the plane's fuselage ripped open in mid-flight; Lansing was later played by Nancy Kwan in the TV-movie Miracle Landing, which starred Connie Sellecca.
1996 - Martin Bryant went on a shooting spree in Tasmania - now known as the Port Arthur Massacre - killing 35 people and seriously injuring 37 more.
2001 - Billionaire and former NASA employee Dennis Tito became the world's first space tourist.
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