[Known to the French as Fort Carillon, Fort Ticonderoga* was built at a narrows near the southern end of Lake Champlain where the rapids of the La Chute River empty; strategically placed 6 km (3.5 miles) between Lake Champlain and Lake George, it was used to control crucial trade routes between the English-held Hudson River Valley and the French-held Saint Lawrence River valley, and as such came into play frequently during the French and Indian War and, to a lesser extent, the American Revolution.]
1283 - During the War of the Sicilian Vespers a fleet commanded by the Aragonese admiral Roger of Lauria defeated the Neapolitan navy at Grand Harbour in the Battle of Malta.
1579 - Our Lady of Kazan, a holy icon of the Russian Orthodox Church, was discovered underground by builders in the Tatarstan city of Kazan; the men had been led there by a small girl named Matrona, who claimed to have had a Marian apparition in which the Theotokos directed her to its location.
1663 - England's King Charles II granted John Clarke a royal charter to Rhode Island.
1709 - During the Great Northern War at the Battle of Poltava Russia's Tsar Peter I defeated Sweden's Charles XII, thus effectively ending Sweden's role as a major power in Europe.
1716 - At the Battle of Dynekilen, during the Great Northern War, Danish-Norwegian forces led by Peter Tordenskjold defeated a larger Swedish force under the command of Olof Strömstierna, taking many of the larger ships captive while scuttling others.
1758 - French forces led by Louis-Joseph de Montcalm and Francis de Gaston, Chevalier de Levis held Fort Carillon - at Ticonderoga, New York, during the Battle of Carillon - against the British forces of James Abercrombie and George Howe (who died two days earlier, during the first day of the siege).
1760 - In a last ditch effort to keep its North American colonies following the country's defeat in the French and Indian War France sent the frigate Le Machault (along with five merchant vessels) to relieve New France, where instead they were defeated by the Royal Navy's John Byron at Chaleur Bay following the 5-day Battle of Restigouche.
1853 - Commodore Matthew C. Perry sailed into Tokyo Bay's Uraga Harbor with the intention of opening up Japan to Western trade; after meeting with officials of the Tokugawa Shogunate he was directed to Nagasaki, which at the time was the only Japanese port open to trade with foreigners.
1859 - Sweden's King Charles XV (also known as Norway's Karl IV) ascended to the throne of Sweden-Norway.
1864 - The Shinsengumi sabotaged the Choshu-han shishi's planned attack on Kyoto at Ikedaya, an event known as Ikedaya Jiken, which saved the city from certain destruction.
1874 - The North West Mounted Police began their famous March West, in a group commanded by Col. George Arthur French and comprised of 22 officers, 287 men – called constables and sub-constables – 310 horses, 67 wagons, 114 ox-carts, 18 yoke of oxen, 50 cows and 40 calves. Also along was the artist Henri Julien, working for the Canadian Illustrated News, who sketched the trek from Dufferin in Manitoba to Fort Whoop-Up in western Alberta.
1889 - The first issue of the Wall Street Journal was published.
1896 - William Jennings Bryan delivered his Cross of Gold speech (advocating bimetalism) at that year's Democratic National Convention, which was held in Chicago.
1898 - The shooting death of crime boss Soapy Smith released Skagway from his iron grip.
1932 - Apparently the Dow Jones Industrial Average reached its lowest level of the Great Depression, bottoming out at 41.22.
1966 - King Mwambutsa IV Bangiriceng of Burundi was deposed by his son Prince Charles Ndizi.
1982 - Several members of Iraq's Dawa Party attacked the presidential motorcade in an assassination attempt against Saddam Hussein in Dujail.
1999 - Allen Lee Davis became the last person executed by electric chair in Florida for the May 1982 murder of Nancy Weiler, her unborn child and two daughters, Kristina (9) and Katherine (5).
2004 - American Marine Michael Brown was convicted on Okinawa for 'attempting an indecent act' and 'destruction of property', and was sentenced to one year in prison, suspended for three years, for the attempted rape of a Filipina bartender named Victoria Nakamine.
*With which I am clearly obsessed, having last posted a picture of Fort Ticonderoga here on May 10th.
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