771 – Charlemagne becomes the sole King of the Franks after the death of his brother Carloman
1349 – 500 Jews of Nuremberg massacred during Black Death riots
1456 – Earthquake strikes Naples; about 35,000 die
1484 – Innocent VIII condemned witchcraft this day in 1484 via papal bull, and subsequently he dispatched inquisitors to Germany to try witches and persecuted a chief exponent of Renaissance Platonism, Giovanni Pico della Mirandola.
1848 – US President James K. Polk triggers Gold Rush of 1849 by confirming a gold discovery in California
1933 – Prohibition ends in the US when 21st Amendment to the US Constitution ratified, 18th Amendment repealed (5:32 PM EST)
1967 – Pediatrician Benjamin Spock and poet Allen Ginsberg arrested in New York while protesting against the Vietnam War
1969 – Four-node ARPANET network is established
1985 – Great Britain performs nuclear test
1990 – Iraq announces willingness to speak with US about resolving the Persian Gulf crisis
1993 – Astronauts begin repair of Hubble telescope in space
2006 – Audrey Hepburn’s Givenchy little black dress from film “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” auctioned for charity for record £467,200 ($923,187) at Christie’s, London
2008 – Human remains previously found in 1991 are finally identified by Russian and American scientists as those of Tsar Nicholas II
2008 – Former NFL star O.J. Simpson is sentenced to 33 years in prison for kidnapping and armed robbery
2016 – Malta becomes the 1st country in Europe to outlaw conversion therapy
2017 – Netflix fires actor Danny Masterson from “The Ranch” after allegations of rape
2018 – Letter by Albert Einstein from 1954 on concept of religion sells for $2.9 million at Christie’s in New York
2019 – Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, announces articles of impeachment against US President Donald Trump will be drawn up for abuse of power
2019 – WHO says 142,000 people died of the measles around the world in 2018, nearly 20,000 more than in 2017
2019 – National strike in France; more than 800,000 people in 100 cities protest against proposed pension reform
Births & Deaths:
1784 – Phillis Wheatley, the first African American woman poet of note in the United States, died in Boston.
1971 – Austrian composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart died in Vienna at age 35.
1890 – Director Fritz Lang—whose films, dealing with fate and man’s inevitable working out of his destiny, are considered masterpieces of visual composition—was born in Vienna.
2012 – Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer—an early exponent of modern architecture in Latin America, especially known for the curvaceous glass-and-white-concrete buildings that he designed for Brasília—died in Rio de Janeiro
2013 – South African nationalist and statesman Nelson Mandela, who helped end the country’s apartheid system of racial segregation and ushered in a peaceful transition to majority rule, died at age 95.
2020 – Russia begins vaccinating people with its Sputnik V vaccine in Moscow, despite the vaccine not finishing clinical trials
Film & TV:
1974 – Final episode of Monty Python’s Flying Circus airs on BBC TV
2001 – “Ocean’s Eleven” directed by Steven Soderbergh, starring George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon and Julia Roberts premieres in Westwood, California
1973 – Paul McCartney & Wings release album “Band on the Run” in the US
2017 – Russia is banned from the next Winter Olympics in South Korea over state-sponsored doping
Via Britannica / On This Day