[Under the motto Preserving History, Honoring Excellence, Connecting Generations the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York, is charged with both preserving the relics and honouring the legacies of those men who have most excelled at playing the American pastime. But have they been too over-zealous in this latter pursuit? Author Zev Chafets thinks so; his book, Cooperstown Confidential: Heroes, Rogues, and the Inside Story of the Baseball Hall of Fame seeks to blow the white-wash off of some of the worst d-bags, bastards, and blackguards ever to shag a fly, swing the ash, or hurl the pearl.]
1381 - During England's so-called Peasants' Revolt rebels from Essex - led by John Ball, Wat Tyler and Jack Straw - arrived at Blackheath, which was then on the outskirts of London.
1429 - Joan of Arc led the French army in their capture of the city and the English commander, William de la Pole, 1st Duke of Suffolk, in the second day of the Battle of Jargeau.
1653 - During the First Anglo-Dutch War the Battle of the Gabbard began; it would last into the next day.
1776 - The Virginia Declaration of Rights was adopted.
1860 - The State Bank of the Russian Empire was established.
1864 - During the Overland Campaign portion of the US Civil War, at the Battle of Cold Harbor, General Ulysses S. Grant gave Confederate forces under Robert E. Lee a victory when he pulled his Union troops from their positions at Cold Harbor, Virginia, and moved south.
1889 - 78 people were killed and 260 injured in the Armagh rail disaster - a crash involving a Sunday School excursion train near Armagh in what is now Northern Ireland.
1898 - General Emilio Aguinaldo declared the Philippines' independence from Spain, appropriately enough with the Philippine Declaration of Independence.
1899 - The New Richmond Tornado - the eighth deadliest tornado in US history - killed 117 people and injured around 200 in that Wisconsin town.
1939 - The Baseball Hall of Fame was dedicated in Cooperstown, New York.
1940 - 13,000 British and French troops surrendered to Nazi Germany's Major General Erwin Rommel at Saint-Valery-en-Caux.
1963 - Civil rights leader Medgar Evers (shown, at left) was murdered in front of his Jackson, Mississippi, home by Ku Klux Klan member Byron De La Beckwith - a story told cinematically* by Rob Reiner in the 1996 film Ghosts of Mississippi, which contains a chilling Oscar-nominated performance by James Woods as de la Beckwith... In the film Whoopi Goldberg as Evers' widow Myrlie and Alec Baldwin as her lawyer Bobby DeLaughter fight for justice at de la Beckwith's third trial - the first two (in 1964) having ended in mistrials resulting in acquittal. As per usual, any attempt to stop or even slow down the Civil Rights Movement with the murder of Medgar Evers was met with a redoubled effort by those more determined than ever to continue his work by preserving his legacy. In 1970 Medgar Evers College opened in Brooklyn, a fitting tribute to the man who once helped the first black student, James Meredith, attend the University of Mississippi, which had a strict whites-only policy.
*An earlier film - For Us the Living: The Medgar Evers Story starring Howard Rollins Jr. and Irene Cara - was made for American television and aired in 1983; Phil Ochs also tells Evers' story in the song Too Many Martyrs.
1964 - Anti-apartheid activist and African National Congress leader Nelson Mandela was sentenced to life in prison by a court in South Africa for engaging in acts of sabotage.
1967 - The US Supreme Court unanimously decided in the case of Loving v. Virginia, declaring all state laws which prohibited inter-ethnic marriage to be unconstitutional, making today a big one for all fans of miscegenation.
1975 - India's Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was found guilty of corruption by the High Court of Allahabad based largely on complaints made by Raj Narain. Her punishment was being barred from holding elective office for six years; her response was to compel Indian President Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed to declare a state of emergency which held for 21 months, during which time she rounded up and jailed her critics and clamped down on press freedoms - events most chillingly described in Salman Rushdie's Booker Prize-winning 1981 novel Midnight's Children.
1978 - David Berkowitz - New York City's notorious 'Son of Sam' killer - was sentenced to 365 years in prison for committing six killings - those of Donna Lauria, Christine Freund, Virginia Voskerichian, Alexander Esau, Valentina Suriani, and Stacy Moskowitz; his other victims - Jody Valenti, Carl Denaro, Rosemary Keenan, Donna DeMasi, Joanne Lomino, John Diel, Sal Lupo, Judy Placido, and Robert Violente - survived his attacks, although in many cases were left severely injured. Berkowitz's bloody rampage is chronicled in Spike Lee's 1999 film Summer of Sam, in which the murderer was portrayed by Michael Badalucco.
1979 - Bryan Allen won the second Kremer prize - a none-too-shabby £100,000 - for a man-powered flight across the English Channel in the Gossamer Albatross; he'd also won the first Kremer prize as well - only £50,000, but still nice - in August 1977, also piloting a plane owned by Dr. Paul MacCready.
1987 - The Central African Republic's former self-proclaimed Emperor Jean-Bédel Bokassa was sentenced to death for crimes he had committed during his 13-year rule.
1990 - On a day now celebrated as Russia Day, the parliament of the Russian Federation formally declared its sovereignty.
share on: facebook