[Currently housed in the cathedral at Monza, the Iron Crown of Lombardy was already ancient when it was used in the coronation of Charlemagne on Christmas Day 800 CE; not merely regalia but a reliquary as well, it is reputed to have been fashioned in part out of one of the nails from the cross upon which Christ was crucified.]
451 CE - The Battle of Avarayr took place near Vaspurakan between Armenian rebels led by Vartan Mamikonian against their overlords the Sassanid Empire of Yazdegerd II; while the Armenians were defeated militarily they were subsequently guaranteed the freedom to openly practice Christianity.
1637 - During the Pequot War a combined force of English colonists and Mohegan led by German Captain John Mason attacked the Pequot village of Misistuck in Connecticut, massacring approximately 500 Native Americans.
1647 - Alse Young became the first person executed as a witch in the American colonies when she was hanged in Hartford, Connecticut.
1736 - At the Battle of Ackia British and Chickasaw soldiers repelled a French and Choctaw attack on the Chickasaw village of Ackia, near present-day Tupelo, Mississippi; the French, under Louisiana governor Jean Baptiste Le Moyne, Sieur de Bienville, had been seeking to link Louisiana with Acadia and the other northern colonies of New France.
1805 - Napoléon I assumed the title of King of Italy and was crowned with the Iron Crown of Lombardy in the Duomo di Milano.
1828 - Mysterious feral child Kaspar Hauser was discovered wandering the streets of Nuremberg.
1857 - Dred Scott was emancipated by his owners, the Blow family.
1868 - The impeachment trial of President Andrew Johnson ended, with Johnson being found not guilty by one vote.
1879 - Russia and the United Kingdom signed the Treaty of Gandamak, establishing an Afghan state.
1896 - James Dunham murdered six people in Campbell, California; following the slayings of his wife, her family and their servants Dunham disappeared, and was never seen again. Only his infant son and a farmhand survived the massacre.
1906 - London's Vauxhall Bridge was opened by The Prince of Wales, the future George V.
1913 - Emily Duncan became Britain's first woman magistrate.
1917 - A powerful F4 tornado blew through Mattoon, Illinois, killing 101 people and injuring 689; for the record books, it was the world's longest tornado, lasting for over 7 hours and traveling 293 miles, spreading death and destruction along its path.
1927 - The Ford Motor Company ceased manufacturing the Ford Model T and began to retool their plants to increase production of the Ford Model A.
1966 - British Guiana gained its independence from the United Kingdom, becoming Guyana; representing The Queen (who had visited the country the previous February aboard the HMY Britannia) at the ceremony were the Duke and Duchess of Kent.
1972 - Australia's Willandra National Park was established.
1977 - George Willig climbed the South Tower of New York City's World Trade Center.
1992 - Charles Geschke, co-founder of Adobe Systems, Inc., was kidnapped at gunpoint from the company's parking lot in Mountain View, California, and held hostage for $650,000 at a rented house in Hollister, an hour's drive away; the FBI rescued him four days later.
2004 - US Army veteran Terry Nichols was found guilty of 161 state murder charges for helping carry out the Oklahoma City bombing.
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