[Among the more bizarre aspects of the Century of Progress Fair included having its lights turned on by the star Arcturus, whose beams had been said to leave their source during Chicago's previous fair, the World's Columbian Exposition in 1893. (Although owing to an error in calculation, they would have actually left in 1896... Oops!) Unlike the earlier fair - the so-called 'White City', which was built to a neo-classical Grecian design and featured an all-white colour scheme - this one was both a riot of colour and a triumph of ultra-modern Art Deco. The fair's principal attraction was the Sky Ride, a transporter bridge running parallel to Lake Michigan and designed to ferry visitors from one end of the 171.5 hectare (424 acre) grounds to the other while offering outstanding views of the entire site along the way.]
927 CE - During the Battle of the Bosnian Highlands the forces of Bulgarian Tsar Simeon the Great led by Duke Alogobotur were decisively defeated by those of Tomislav, first King of Croatia.
1153 - Malcolm IV became King of Scotland following the death of his grandfather, David I; the 12 year-old who came to be known as Malcolm the Maiden was crowned at Scone.
1647 - Peter Stuyvesant was inaugurated as Director-General of New Netherland; there might have been a party, but one of his first official acts was closing all the taverns.
1703 - Russia's Tsar Peter the Great founded the city of Saint Petersburg.
1798 - At the outset of the Irish Rebellion of 1798 the Battle of Oulart Hill took place in Wexford.
1860 - Giuseppe Garibaldi entered the Sicilian capital of Palermo with his Redshirts as part of his campaign for Italian Unification known as the Expedition of the Thousand, following both a successful siege of the city and a plebiscite by its population to forsake the Kingdom of Two Sicilies for the Kingdom of Italy.
1896 - The F4-strength St. Louis-East St. Louis Tornado struck, killing at least 255 people; it has the distinction of being one of the first tornadoes whose devastation was extensively photographed after the fact.
1905 - The Battle of Tsushima - the last and most decisive sea battle of the Russo-Japanese War - began; Japanese admiral Heihachiro Togo destroyed two-thirds of the Russian Fleet, commanded by Zinovy Rozhestvensky.
1933 - The Century of Progress World's Fair opened at Chicago's Burnham Park.
1937 - San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge - creating a vital link between the city and neighbouring Marin County - was opened to pedestrian traffic by Mayor Angelo Rossi; more than 200,000 people walked across on that day to the lilting strains of the bridge's specially written theme song, There's a Silver Moon on the Golden Gate.
1939 - DC Comics published Detective Comics #27, which introduced Batman - co-created by artist Bob Kane and writer Bill Finger - who went on to become one of the most popular comic book superheroes of all time.
1941 - The German battleship Bismarck was sunk during a fierce fight in the North Atlantic, killing almost 2,100 men - fortunately, all of them Nazis. The event is dramatized in the enthusiastically titled if factually inaccurate 1960 film Sink the Bismarck!, directed by Lewis Gilbert, which was itself based on the book The Last Nine Days of the Bismarck by C. S. Forester.
1942 - During Operation Anthropoid a combined Czechoslovakian-British effort to assassinate Reichssicherheitshauptamt Chief Reinhard Heydrich carried out by Jan Kubiš and Jozef Gabčík near Bulovka Hospital in Prague failed to kill him on that day, although he did die eight days later of blood poisoning. As for the assassins, they committed suicide three weeks later during a siege on Prague's Church of St. Cyril and St. Methodius rather than surrender.
1957 - Toronto's 1050 CHUM AM became the first radio station in Canada to broadcast a Top 40 rock n' roll format.
1960 - In Turkey, a military coup led by General Cemal Gürsel removed President Celal Bayar and the rest of his democratically elected government from office.
1967 - The US Navy aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy was christened by his widow Jacqueline Kennedy and their daughter Caroline at Newport News, Virginia.
1980 - During the Gwangju Massacre, airborne and army troops retook the South Korean city of Gwangju from civil militias, killing at least 207.
1995 - Actor Christopher Reeve was paralyzed from the neck down after falling from his horse Eastern Express (eerily nicknamed Buck) during the Commonwealth Dressage and Combined Training Association finals at the Commonwealth Park equestrian center in Culpeper, Virginia.
1998 - Michael Fortier was sentenced to 12 years in prison and fined $200,000 for failing to warn authorities about the Oklahoma City bombing terrorist plot.
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