660 BC. This is the traditional founding date of the Empire of Japan, by the first Emperor, Jimmu. While that is the traditional date and name, there is no concrete proof of his existence or that anything really special happened on this date.
1752. Pennsylvania Hospital, the first hospital in the United States, opens.
1808. Anthracite coal is first burned for fuel, experimentally.
1812. Massachusetts Governor Elbridge Gerry, a signer of the Declaration of Independence and Articles of Confederation, and future Vice President of the United States (under Madison), leads the Massachusetts legislature into redrawing district maps in Massachusetts such that the Federalists were concentrated into a few districts that they won. His party, the Democratic-Republicans, won all the other districts. His name lives on infamy as in the United STates, having given birth to the term "Gerrymandering".
1861. As the Southern states secede, the US House of Representatives passes a unanimous resolution guaranteeing noninterference with slavery in any state. This was part of a series of relatively desperate actions early in the war to try to keep key border slave states, such as Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky, Tennessee and others, in the Union.
1929. the Empire of Italy and the Vatican sign the Treaty of Lateran, thereby ending the "Roman question". As a result, the Vatican is henceforth an indepedent sovereignty within Italy.
1963. Julia Childs' show, The French Chef, debuts.
1978. China lifts a ban on the works of those radical Chinese dissidents, Aristotle, Shakespeare and Dickens.
1978. Forces loyal to Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeni completely overthrow the government of the old Shah of Iran, signaling the rise of Islamic radicalism.
1990. Nelson Mandela, a political prisoner for 27 years, is released in South Africa. In 1993 he would win the Nobel Peace Prize, and in 1994 become President of South Africa.
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