[As depicted by Jean Froissart in his famous Chronicles (which principally concerns itself with the events of the Hundred Years' War, albeit from a French perspective) peasants from Essex and Kent opposed to the poll tax stormed into the capital across London Bridge and temporarily seized the Tower of London - summarily executing Simon of Sudbury, the Lord Chancellor and Archbishop of Canterbury, as well as the Lord Treasurer Robert de Hales, both of whom were behind the tax's implementation and had taken refuge there in the (mistaken, as it turns out) belief they would be safe within its sturdy walls; whether or not the rebels had been let in to the Tower by sympathetic keepers remains one of history's great unanswered questions... Meanwhile, in nearby Westminster, another group was responsible for destroying John of Gaunt's Savoy Palace on the Strand.]
1381 - England's 15 year-old King Richard II met with the leaders of the Peasants' Revolt - including a face-to-face confrontation with Wat Tyler - on Blackheath, near London; at the meeting Tyler was mortally wounded by London mayor William Walworth, and without Tyler's leadership the revolt soon dispersed.
1645 - At the Battle of Naseby - the key battle of the first English Civil War - 12,000 Cavalier troops loyal to King Charles I were badly beaten by 15,000 Roundheads of the New Model Army commanded by Sir Thomas Fairfax and Oliver Cromwell.
1775 - At the outset of the American Revolution the Continental Army was established by the Continental Congress, marking the birth of the US Army.
1777 - The Stars and Stripes was adopted by Congress for use as the American Flag, today the source of the little-observed Flag Day.
1807 - Emperor Napoleon I's French Grande Armee defeated its Russian counterpart at the Battle of Friedland in Poland (near the modern-day Russian enclave of Kaliningrad Oblast) ending the War of the Fourth Coalition.
1821 - Badi VII, king of Sennar, surrendered his throne and realm to Ismail Pasha, general of the Ottoman Empire, ending the existence of that Sudanese kingdom.
1846 - The Bear Flag Revolt began when English-speaking settlers in Sonoma, California, started a rebellion against the Mexican government of Alta California and proclaimed the California Republic.
1919 - John Alcock and Arthur Whitten Brown departed St. John's, Newfoundland, on the first nonstop transatlantic flight.
1934 - James J. Braddock scored one of the most upsetting victories of his boxing career - not to mention riveted an America deep in the throes of the Great Depression - by defeating the 'Ozark Cyclone' John 'Corn' Griffin in three rounds. The bout marked the beginning of one of boxing's greatest comeback stories - for Braddock, that is; for Griffin... Not so much. In the days after the fight noted wag Damon Runyon dubbed Braddock 'Cinderella Man', much to his manager Joe Gould's delight; and to think it only took seventy years to be made into a movie!
1937 - The US House of Representatives passed the 1937 Marihuana Tax Act effectively rendering pot illegal.
1941 - The Soviet Union's so-called June Deportation - a series of mass deportations and murder of Estonians, Lithuanians and Latvians - began.
1951 - UNIVAC I was dedicated by the US Census Bureau.
1952 - The keel of the nuclear submarine USS Nautilus was laid by US President Harry S. Truman.
1954 - US President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed a bill into law placing the words 'under God' into the Pledge of Allegiance, thereby ruining the nation and all it once stood for.
1962 - Albert DeSalvo, better known as the Boston Strangler, murdered his first victim, Anna Slesers.
1966 - The Vatican announced the abolition of its Index Librorum Prohibitorum - an index of prohibited books originally instituted in 1557.
1967 - Mariner 5 was launched toward Venus.
1982 - The Falklands War ended when Argentine forces in the capital Stanley unconditionally surrendered to Britain.
2002 - The near-Earth asteroid 2002 MN came within 75,000 miles (120,000 km) of the Earth, which is about one-third of the distance between the Earth and the Moon.
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