A bit of lazy birthday blogging via wikipedia:
1041 – Empress Zoe of Byzantium elevates her adoptive son to the throne of the Eastern Roman Empire as Michael V.
1508 – The League of Cambrai is formed by Pope Julius II, Louis XII of France, Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor and Ferdinand II of Aragon as an alliance against Venice.
1520 – Martin Luther burns his copy of the papal bull Exsurge Domine outside Wittenberg’s Elster Gate.
1541 – Thomas Culpeper and Francis Dereham are executed for having affairs with Catherine Howard, Queen of England and wife of Henry VIII.
1684 – Isaac Newton’s derivation of Kepler’s laws from his theory of gravity, contained in the paper De motu corporum in gyrum, is read to the Royal Society by Edmund Halley.
1817 – Mississippi becomes the 20th U.S. state.
1836 – Emory College (now Emory University) is chartered in Oxford, Georgia.
1861 – American Civil War: the Confederate States of America accept a rival state government’s pronouncement that declares Kentucky to be the 13th state of the Confederacy.
1864 – American Civil War: Sherman’s March to the Sea – Major General William Tecumseh Sherman’s Union Army troops reach Savannah, Georgia.
1868 – The first traffic lights are installed outside the Palace of Westminster in London. Resembling railway signals, they use semaphore arms and are illuminated at night by red and green gas lamps.
1869 – Wyoming grants women the right to vote.
1869 – The first American chapter of Kappa Sigma is founded at the University of Virginia.
1898 – Spanish-American War: The Treaty of Paris is signed, officially ending the conflict.
1899 – The Delta Sigma Phi fraternity is founded at the City College of New York.
1901 – The first Nobel Prizes are awarded.
1902 – Women are given the right to vote in Tasmania.
1904 – The Pi Kappa Phi fraternity is founded at the College of Charleston in Charleston, South Carolina.
1906 – U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt wins the Nobel Peace Prize, becoming the first American to win a Nobel Prize.
1907 – The worst night of the Brown Dog riots in London, when 1,000 medical students clash with 400 police officers over the existence of a memorial for animals who have been vivisected.
1932 – Thailand adopts a Constitution and becomes a constitutional monarchy.
1935 – The Downtown Athletic Club Trophy, later renamed the Heisman Trophy, was given to halfback Jay Berwanger of the University of Chicago. This award was given to the best college football player east the Mississippi River.
1936 – Abdication Crisis: Edward VIII signs the Instrument of Abdication.
1941 – World War II: The Royal Navy capital ships HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Repulse are sunk by Imperial Japanese Navy torpedo bombers near Malaya.
1941 – World War II: Battle of the Philippines – Imperial Japanese forces under the command of General Masaharu Homma land on the Philippine mainland.
1948 – The UN General Assembly adopts the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Today is also International Human Rights Day.
1949 – Chinese Civil War: The People’s Liberation Army begins its siege of Chengdu, the last Kuomintang-held city in mainland China, forcing President of the Republic of China Chiang Kai-shek and his government to retreat to Taiwan.
1963 – The United States Air Force’s X-20 Dyna-Soar spaceplane program is cancelled by Robert McNamara.
1968 – Japan’s biggest heist, the still-unsolved “300 million yen robbery”, occurs in Tokyo.
1970 – I was born
1972 – Jim Hart throws a football for a record 98 yards, the longest recorded throw.
1978 – Arab-Israeli conflict: Prime Minister of Israel Menachem Begin and President of Egypt Anwar Sadat are jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
1981 – The United Nations General Assembly approves Pakistan’s proposal for establishing nuclear free-zone in South Asia.
1983 – Democracy is restored in Argentina with the assumption of President Raúl Alfonsín.
1989 – Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj announces the establishment of Mongolia’s democratic movement that peacefully changed the second oldest communist country into a democratic society.
1996 – Rwandan Genocide: Military advisor to the United Nations Secretary-General and head of the Military Division of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations of the United Nations Maurice Baril recommends that the UN multi-national forces in Zaire stand down.
2006 – One million Lebanese opposition supporters gather in downtown Beirut, calling for the government to resign.
Oh, and happy Human Rights Day too.