On this day

In 1483, Richard III was crowned King of England. Shakespeare immortalized Richard's brief reign in his historical play Richard III. Richard died in the Battle of Bosworth Field, the decisive and penultimate battle of the War of the Roses. He remains to this day the last English King to die on the battlefield.

In 1785, the United States adopted the dollar as its official monetary unit.

In 1835, John Marshall, the fourth Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, died in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

In 1854, the Republican Party of the United States held its first convention in Jackson, Michigan. The event signaled the demise of the Second Party System in the United States.

In 1855, the chemist and microbiologist Louis Pasteur successfully tested his rabies vaccine.

In 1887, the Monarch of the Kingdom of Hawaii, David Kalākaua, signed the so-called Bayonet Constitution. The Constitution acquired its peculiar name because King Kalākaua signed the document under duress. The Constitution as imposed rendered the King a figurehead and disenfranchised much of the native population and all of the non-European and -American foreign born. Hawaii, because of this imposed Constitution, became a colony dominated by the United States and Great Britain.

In 1892, strikers in Homestead, Pennsylvania battled agents of the Pinkerton National Detective Agency on the banks of the Monongahela River near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The skirmish left 10 strikers dead and many more wounded.

In 1946, George W. Bush, the 43rd President of the United States, was born in New Haven, Connecticut.

In 1947, the first of the soon to be ubiquitous AK-47 assault rifles goes into production in the Soviet Union.

In 1959, the German painter, social critic of the Weimar Republic and revolutionary socialist George Grosz died in Berlin, West Germany.

In 1961, the jazz bassist Scott LaFaro died in an automobile accident in Flint, New York. LaFaro is best known for his work with the pianist Bill Evans.

In 1962, the novelist and Nobel Laureate William Faulkner died in Byhailia, Mississippi.

In 1967, Nigerian forces entered Biafra, thus initiating the Biafran or Nigerian-Biafran Civil War.

In 1971, the jazz trumpeter and singer Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong died in Corona, Queens, New York City.

In 1976, Zhu De, a Chinese Communist leader and the founder of the Chinese Red Army, died in Beijing, the People's Republic of China.

In 1989, the Hungarian communist leader János Kádár died in Budapest, Hungary.

In 2009, the one-time American Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara died in Washington, DC.

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