585 BC – A solar eclipse occurs, as predicted by Greek scientist Thales, while the Lydian King Alyattes was fighting against the Median army under King Cyaxares in the Battle of the Eclipse. The eclipse was taken as a sign from the gods that the fighting should stop and the two sides agreed to a truce. This is one of the cardinal dates from which other dates can be calculated.
1533 – The Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Cranmer declares the marriage of King Henry VIII of England to Anne Boleyn valid. Cranmer, along with Thomas Cromwell, supported the principle of Royal Supremacy, in which the king was considered sovereign over the Church within his realm. After the break with Rome, Cranmer organized the Anglican Church. He would later be executed for heresy when "Bloody Mary" ascended to the throne.
1588 – The Spanish Armada, with 130 ships and 30,000 men, sets sail from Lisbon heading for the English Channel. The Armada was harried by the great Sea Lord, Francis Drake who then defeated the superior Spanish force in the Battle of Gravelines. As the Spanish attempted to return to port in Spain, the majority of ships were lost to storm off the Irish Coast.
1644 – In one of the most brutal acts of the English Civil War, Royalist troops under the command of the Earl of Derby slaughtered some 1,600 soldiers and civilians at the Bolton Massacre.
1754 – In the first engagement of the French and Indian War, 22-year-old Lieutenant Colonel George Washington led a force of Virginia militia to defeat a French reconnaissance party in the Battle of Jumonville Glen.
1774 – The first Continental Congress convenes.
1905 – At the Battle of Tsushima, Japan shocked the Western world when they destroyed the Russian Baltic Fleet.
1937 – The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California, is officially opened by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
1982 – British forces defeat the Argentines at the Battle of Goose Green in the Falklands War.
1738 – Joseph-Ignace Guillotin, French physician and creator of the guillotin, meant as a humane method of execution.
1888 – Jim Thorpe, American Olympian and football player.
1908 – Ian Fleming, English WWII spy and later author of the James Bond novels.
1971 – Audie Murphy, American actor and war hero. He lied about his age and enlisted in the Army in 1942 at the age of 16. In 27 months of combat action, Murphy became one of the most highly decorated United States soldiers of World War II. He received the Medal of Honor, the U.S. military's highest award for valor, along with 32 additional U.S. and foreign medals and citations
Holidays and Feasts
Today is Republic Day in both Azerbaijan and Armenia.
Today is the Feast day of the following St. Lanfranc. He was a very influential monk who befriended William the Bastard and accompanied him to England where he was later named Archbishop of Canterbury.
Art: A frame from the Bayeux Tapestry that documents the Norman invasion of Britain.