[In a gown designed by Uffe Frank and supported by her two sisters and her best friend, Australian-born Mary Donaldson took part in her own fairytale when she became Denmark's Crown Princess, elevated with a kiss to the exalted position of second lady in the land following a discreet four-year courtship.]
1264 - The Battle of Lewes - between England's King Henry III and the rebel Simon de Montfort, 6th Earl of Leicester - began on the Sussex Downs above the village; following de Montfort's routing of the smaller force commanded by Henry's sons Prince Edward (the future Edward I) and Prince Richard, 1st Duke of Cornwall the King was forced to sign the Provisions of Oxford, while both he and Prince Edward were taken hostage (although the Prince later escaped from captivity at Kenilworth Castle).
1607 - Jamestown, Virginia, was settled as an English colony.
1610 - France's King Henri IV was assassinated by François Ravaillac, bringing his son Louis XIII to the throne.
1643 - Four-year-old Louis XIV became King of France upon the death of his father, Louis XIII; his reign would last just over 72 years, and remains the longest of any European monarch.
1747 - A British fleet under Admiral George Anson defeated a French one commanded by the Marquis de la Jonquière at the first battle of Cape Finisterre during the War of the Austrian Succession.
1804 - The Lewis and Clark Expedition departed from Camp Dubois to begin their historic journey westward by traveling up the Missouri River.
1811 - Paraguay gained its independence from Spain, under José Gaspar Rodríguez de Francia.
1913 - New York Governor William Sulzer approved the charter for the Rockefeller Foundation, which began operations with a $100 million donation from John D. Rockefeller.
1925 - Virginia Woolf's novel Mrs Dalloway was published.
1931 - Five people were killed during the Ådalen shootings when soldiers opened fire on an unarmed trade union demonstration in Sweden.
1939 - Lina Medina became the youngest confirmed mother in medical history at the age of five; she named the baby boy after the doctor who'd delivered him, Gerardo Lozada. Medina later married Raúl Jurado, but has repeatedly refused to be interviewed, and has never admitted who the father was; her son Gerardo died in 1979.
1940 - Rotterdam was bombed by the Luftwaffe, four days after the Nazi invasion; the Netherlands surrendered the same day, although fighting persisted in the southern province of Zeeland so as to enable the French to retreat and become entrenched.
1943 - The Australian Hospital Ship Centaur was torpedoed and sunk near North Stradbroke Island off the coast of Queensland by an unknown and unsighted Japanese submarine, killing 332; it took 36 hours to rescue the 64 survivors.
1955 - Eight communist countries in Eastern Europe, including the Soviet Union, signed a mutual defense treaty called the Warsaw Pact at the Presidential Palace in that city.
1991 - Winnie Mandela was jailed for her part in the kidnap of 14 year-old James Seipei (also known as Stompie Moeketsi) who later died of injuries incurred during a savage beating; her sentence was later reduced to a fine on appeal, but her personal appeal (not to mention her marriage to Nelson Mandela and revered position as "Mother of the Nation") was permanently lost.
1995 - Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, proclaimed six-year-old Gedhun Choekyi Nyima as the eleventh reincarnation of the Panchen Lama.
2002 - Ten members of the Darwin-based Network Against Prohibition invaded the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory of Australia to protest archaic and ineffective anti-drug policies.
2004 - Frederik, Crown Prince of Denmark married the Australian-born Mary Donaldson at Copenhagen Cathedral.
2005 - Pope Benedict XVI observed his first beatification, elevating Blessed Marianne of Molokai on the road to canonization into sainthood.
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