[Every year Canada House is the site of London's largest Canada Day celebration, drawing thousands of revellers to Trafalgar Square to celebrate the culture of Britain's quiet, well-behaved Commonwealth offspring; unlike Australia - which has pretty thoroughly insinuated itself into the rich tapestry of English life in the tried-and-true manner of a middle child - Canada and Canadians whether in the Mother Country or on the world stage have been content to sit back and not draw too much attention to themselves...]
1194 - Sverre was crowned King of Norway.
1252 - Denmark's King Abel was murdered by a wheelwright named Henner on Husum Bridge near Eiderstedt, following the shortest reign in that country's history; since his son Valdemar was being held prisoner by the Archbishop of Cologne at the time, Abel's brother would be crowned Christopher I at Lund Cathedral on Christmas Day.
1444 - Albania's national hero Skanderbeg defeated an Ottoman invasion force commanded by Ali Pasha at the Battle of Torvioll.
1613 - London's Globe Theatre burnt to the ground during a performance of William Shakespeare's play Henry VIII when a shot from a prop cannon set the thatched roof on fire.
1644 - England's King Charles I defeated a Parliamentarian detachment under Sir William Waller at the Battle of Cropredy Bridge - making it the last battle won by an English King on English soil.
1659 - The Russians, led by Prince Trubetskoy were defeated by the Ukrainian armies of Ivan Vyhovsky in the Battle of Konotop.
1888 - George Frideric Handel's Israel in Egypt became the first music ever recorded, when the oratorio was preserved on a wax cylinder at The Crystal Palace by Col. George Gouraud.
1914 - Jina Guseva attempted to assassinate Grigori Rasputin while he was on a visit to his Siberian home town of Pokrovskoye; Rasputin survived the knife attack, and history does not record what became of Guseva following her placement in an asylum for having committed it.
1925 - Canada House was opened, in London's Trafalgar Square, by King George V and Queen Mary.
1926 - Arthur Meighen (shown, at right) returned to office as Prime Minister of Canada; unlike his first term, which lasted a comparably lengthy 17 months between July 1920 and December 1921, this second term would not last twelve weeks*, at which time the fragile Conservative-Unionist coalition assembled by his predecessor Sir Robert Borden would topple before the mighty Liberal Party and its indefatigable leader, Mackenzie King.
*In addition to owning the historical footnote of Canada's shortest-serving head of government, Meighen was also the first Prime Minister to serve as a Member of Parliament from Manitoba.
1928 - The Outerbridge Crossing and Goethals Bridge in the New York City borough of Staten Island both opened.
1956 - The Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956 was signed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, officially creating America's Interstate Highway System.
1967 - Hollywood actress Jayne Mansfield died when when the car in which she was a passenger struck the rear of a tanker truck on US Highway 90 outside New Orleans... Also killed was her driver, Ronnie Harrison; her three children - Miklós, Zoltán, and Mariska, who were passengers in the back seat of the 1966 Buick Electra 225 belonging to Mansfield's latest employer, supper club impresario Gus Stevens - were uninjured. Mansfield, on the other hand, was scalped* as part of a massive head injury caused when the front end of the vehicle went under the truck.
*Not decapitated, as legend would have it.
1976 - The Seychelles became independent from the United Kingdom.
1995 - During NASA's STS-71 space shuttle mission Atlantis docked with the Russian space station Mir for the first time.
2001 - The British government announced that a £3.6m memorial fountain - designed by Kathryn Gustafson and dedicated to Diana, Princess of Wales - would be placed in London's Hyde Park; it was opened by HM The Queen in July 2006.
2006 - The US Supreme Court ruled, in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, that President George W. Bush's plan to try Guantanamo Bay detainees in military tribunals violated US and international law.
2007 - Apple Inc. released the iPhone for the United States market, resulting in the widespread tizzification of Apple acolytes everywhere.
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