[Although Mary Queen of Scots was one of the beauties of her age - and thanks to the tutelage of her mother Marie de Guise was intellectually capable of good governance - her terrible taste in men (both romantically and in her choice of advisors) as much as her warped distrust of her cousin Elizabeth I proved to be her undoing.]
1014 - During the Byzantine-Bulgarian Wars, at the Battle of Kleidion, Byzantine Emperor Basil II inflicted a decisive defeat on the Bulgarian army; news of his subsequent savage treatment of 15,000 prisoners reportedly caused Bulgaria's Tsar Samuil to die of shock.
1030 - During the Ladejarl-Fairhair succession wars, at the Battle of Stiklestad, Norway's King Olaf II fought and died trying to regain his throne from the Danes; His Majesty was later canonized, and is commemorated from Norway to Minnesota as Saint Olaf, although he may be best remembered today as the namesake of Rose Nylund's hometown...
1567 - 13-month-old James VI was crowned King of Scotland at The Church of the Holy Rude in Stirling following the deposition of his mother, Mary Queen of Scots; the sermon at his coronation was preached by John Knox.
1693 - During the War of the Grand Alliance, at the Battle of Landen, French commander Marshal Luxembourg won a Pyrrhic victory over Allied English-Dutch forces under the Dutch Republic's stadtholder William III.
1830 - France's King Charles X abdicated following the July Revolution; he was succeeded by Louis-Philippe I, who reigned as King of the French from the period of instability known as the July Monarchy until February 1848.
1848 - In the midst of the Irish Potato Famine the Tipperary Revolt - an unsuccessful nationalist uprising in that Irish city against British rule - was put down by police.
1851 - Annibale de Gasparis discovered the asteroid 15 Eunomia in the inner main asteroid belt.
1858 - The United States and Japan signed the Harris Treaty at the Ryōsen-ji temple in Shimoda.
1864 - Confederate spy Belle Boyd was arrested by Union troops and detained at the Old Capitol Prison in Washington, DC.
1900 - Italy's King Umberto I (shown, at right) was assassinated by Italian-born anarchist Gaetano Bresci while on a visit to Monza; His Majesty had previously survived an assassination attempt at the hands of Giovanni Passanante in November 1978, and another in April 1897 following an attack by Pietro Acciarito. Bresci later claimed he was avenging those killed in the Bava-Beccaris massacre, of which the King had approved - going so far as to specifically commend its architect, General Fiorenzo Bava Beccaris; Bresci's actions also inspired a similar killing, that of US President William McKinley in September 1901 by Leon Czolgosz.
1920 - Construction of Oregon's Link River Dam began as part of the Klamath Reclamation Project.
1948 - After a hiatus of 12 years caused by World War II, the first Summer Olympics to be held since the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin - The Games of the XIV Olympiad - opened in London.
1957 - The International Atomic Energy Agency is established.
1958 - US President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the National Aeronautics and Space Act into law, creating the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
1966 - Bob Dylan was injured in a motorcycle accident near Woodstock, New York.
1967 - Off the coast of North Vietnam the USS Forrestal caught fire, causing the worst US naval disaster since World War II, killing 134.
1976 - In New York City David Berkowitz - the soon-to-be so-called Son of Sam - killed Donna Lauria and seriously wounded Jody Valenti in the first of a series of attacks which had women in that city on edge for the next year. The story of the killings was the subject of Spike Lee's 1999 film Summer of Sam, in which Berkowitz was played by Michael Badalucco.
1993 - The Israeli Supreme Court acquitted accused Nazi death camp guard John Demjanjuk of all charges and he was set free.
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