960. The coronation of Emperor Zhao Kuangyin occurs, beginning the Song dynasty in China that would last for nearly 300 years until thrown down by the Kublai Khan (grandson of Genghis), and the Mongols. The Song Dynasty was the first government to issue paper currency and established China's first standing navy. The Song also made significant discoveries in military warfare, including the use of gunpowder.
1703. In Edo, the 47 Ronin commit Seppuku. The story of the ronin is one of the foremost legends of Japan. The ronin were former samurai who had become leaderless (and therefore ronin) after their feudal lord was forced to commit seppuku for assaulting a court official. The ronin patiently plotted and then murdered the court official over a year later. The ronin then committed the ritualistic suicide -- seppuku -- that they knew their murder were force upon them.
1789. George Washington is elected the first President of the United States by the Electoral College.
1801. John Marshall is sworn in as Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court. Greatly enhancing the powers of the Supreme Court during his lengthy tenure, Marshall is generally considered the most influential justice and one of the msot influential of the founding fathers in terms of his effect on American governance.
1861. In Montgomery, Alabama, the six states that have to date seceded from the United States meet and agree to form the Confederate States of America.
1945. The Yalta Conference begins. Lingering questions would arise as a result of the soon-to-die President Roosevelt's conduct at the conferencel and whether certain decisions later criticized resulted from his poor health.
1969. Yasser Arafat assumes Chairmanship of the Palestine Liberation Organization.
2004. Facebook is founded by Mark Zuckerberg.
"I love signature blocks on the Internet. I get to put whatever the hell I want in quotes, pick a pretend author, and bang, it's like he really said it." George Washington