Today in History ...

561 – King Chlothar I dies at Compiègne. The Merovingian dynasty is continued by his four sons — Charibert I, Guntram, Sigebert I and Chilperic I — who divide the Frankish Kingdom. 618 – The Tang dynasty scores a decisive victory over their rival Xue Rengao at the Battle of Qianshuiyuan. 800 – Charlemagne arrives at Rome to investigate the alleged crimes of Pope Leo III. 903 – The Abbasid army under Muhammad ibn Sulayman al-Katib deals a crushing defeat on the Qarmatians at the Battle of Hama. 1394 – The Korean king Yi Seong-gye, founder of the Joseon dynasty, moves the capital from Kaesŏng to Hanyang, today known as Seoul. 1549 – The papal conclave of 1549–50 begins. 1612 – The Battle of Swally takes place, which loosens the Portuguese Empire's hold on India. 1729 – Natchez Indians massacre 138 Frenchmen, 35 French women, and 56 children at Fort Rosalie, near the site of modern-day Natchez, Mississippi. 1776 – American Revolutionary War: The Battle of Fort Cumberland, Nova Scotia, comes to an end with the arrival of British reinforcements. 1777 – San Jose, California, is founded as Pueblo de San José de Guadalupe by José Joaquín Moraga. It is the first civilian settlement, or pueblo, in Alta California. 1781 – The crew of the British slave ship Zong murders 133 Africans by dumping them into the sea to claim insurance. 1783 – A 5.3 magnitude earthquake strikes New Jersey. 1807 – Transfer of the Portuguese Court to Brazil: John VI of Portugal flees Lisbon from advancing Napoleonic forces during the Peninsular War, transferring the Portuguese court to Brazil. 1830 – November Uprising: An armed rebellion against Russia's rule in Poland begins. 1847 – The Sonderbund is defeated by the joint forces of other Swiss cantons under General Guillaume-Henri Dufour. 1847 – Whitman massacre: Missionaries Dr. Marcus Whitman, his wife Narcissa, and 15 others are killed by Cayuse and Umatilla Indians, causing the Cayuse War. 1850 – The treaty, Punctation of Olmütz, is signed in Olomouc. Prussia capitulates to Austria, which will take over the leadership of the German Confederation. 1864 – American Indian Wars: Sand Creek massacre – Colorado volunteers led by Colonel John Chivington massacre at least 150 Cheyenne and Arapaho noncombatants inside Colorado Territory. 1864 – American Civil War: Battle of Spring Hill – A Confederate advance into Tennessee misses an opportunity to crush the Union Army. General John Bell Hood is angered, which leads to the Battle of Franklin. 1872 – American Indian Wars: The Modoc War begins with the Battle of Lost River. 1877 – Thomas Edison demonstrates his phonograph for the first time. 1885 – End of Third Anglo-Burmese War and of the Burmese monarchy. 1890 – The Meiji Constitution goes into effect in Japan, and the first Diet convenes. 1893 – The Ziqiang Institute, today known as Wuhan University, is founded by Zhang Zhidong, governor of Hubei and Hunan Provinces in late Qing dynasty China, after his memorial to the throne is approved by the Qing Government. 1899 – FC Barcelona Association football club is founded. 1902 – The Pittsburgh Stars defeated the Philadelphia Athletics, 11–0, at the Pittsburgh Coliseum, to win the first championship associated with an American national professional football league. 1929 – U.S. Admiral Richard E. Byrd leads the first expedition to fly over the South Pole. 1943 – World War II: The second session of the Anti-Fascist Council for the National Liberation of Yugoslavia (AVNOJ), held to determine the post-war ordering of the country, concludes in Jajce (present-day Bosnia and Herzegovina). 1944 – The first surgery (on a human) to correct blue baby syndrome is performed by Alfred Blalock and Vivien Thomas. 1944 – World War II: Albania is liberated by partisan forces. 1945 – The Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia is declared. 1946 – The All Indonesia Centre of Labour Organizations (SOBSI) is founded in Jakarta. 1947 – Partition Plan: The United Nations General Assembly approves a plan for the partition of Palestine. 1947 – First Indochina War: French forces carry out a massacre at Mỹ Trạch, Vietnam. 1950 – Korean War: North Korean and Chinese troops force United Nations forces to retreat from North Korea. 1952 – Korean War: U.S. President-elect Dwight D. Eisenhower fulfills a campaign promise by traveling to Korea to find out what can be done to end the conflict. 1961 – Project Mercury: Mercury-Atlas 5 Mission – Enos, a chimpanzee, is launched into space. The spacecraft orbits the Earth twice and splashes down off the coast of Puerto Rico. 1963 – U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson establishes the Warren Commission to investigate the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. 1963 – Trans-Canada Air Lines Flight 831 crashes shortly after takeoff from Montreal-Dorval International Airport, killing all 118 people on board. 1965 – The Canadian Space Agency launches the satellite Alouette 2. 1967 – Vietnam War: U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara announces his resignation. 1972 – Atari announces the release of Pong, the first commercially successful video game. 1986 – The Surinamese military attacks the village of Moiwana during the Suriname Guerrilla War, killing at least 39 civilians, mostly women and children. 1987 – Korean Air Flight 858 explodes over the Thai–Burmese border, killing 115. 1990 – Gulf War: The United Nations Security Council passes two resolutions to restore international peace and security if Iraq does not withdraw its forces from Kuwait and free all foreign hostages by January 15, 1991. 2007 – The Armed Forces of the Philippines lay siege to the Peninsula Manila after soldiers led by Senator Antonio Trillanes stage a mutiny. 2007 – A 7.4 magnitude earthquake occurs off the northern coast of Martinique. This affects the Eastern Caribbean as far north as Puerto Rico and as far south as Trinidad. 2009 – Maurice Clemmons shoots and kills four police officers inside a coffee shop in Lakewood, Washington. 2012 – The United Nations General Assembly voted to accord non-member observer state to Palestine.


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