2006—“The devil came here yesterday,” says Hugo Chavez at the UN, “and it smells of sulfur still today.”
2001—George W.[MD] Bush declares a War on a noun, viz., Terror, before a joint session of Congress, which somehow takes him seriously.
1968—A U.S. military spokesman in Saigon says Agent Orange has no harmful effects on human health.
1958—A deranged woman stabs Martin Luther King, Jr. while he’s autographing books in Harlem.
1945—Ex-Nazi, former SS member, and rocket scientist Werner von Braun begins working for the U.S.
1830—In Philadelphia, 38 free Blacks form the National Negro Convention to abolish slavery.
1797—The frigate Constitution is launched in Boston.
1797—Captain Pigot of HMS Hermoine orders that the bodies of three sailors who died trying to fulfill his orders be thrown overboard.
1777—British troops conduct a surprise nighttime bayonet attack near present-day Malvern, Pa. The Paoli Massacre leaves 272 dead, wounded, captured, or missing.
1565—Spanish forces slaughter 135 Frenchmen in Florida, “for heresy.” It’s the first clash between European colonialists in the New World.
1378—French cardinals elect Robert of Geneva, aka “The Butcher of Cesena,” to be Pope Clement VII, bringing the number of sitting Popes to two.