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1513 - Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon sighted Florida. The next day he went ashore.

1801 - During the Napoleonic Wars, the Danish fleet was destroyed by the British at the Battle of Copenhagen.

1860 - The first Italian Parliament met in Turin.

1872 - G.B. Brayton received a patent for the gas-powered streetcar.

1889 - Charles Hall patented aluminum.

1910 - Karl Harris perfected the process for the artificial synthesis of rubber.

1935 - Sir Watson-Watt was granted a patent for RADAR.

1963 - Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King began the first non-violent campaign in Birmingham, Alabama.

1990 - Iraqi President Saddam Hussein threatened to incinerate half of Israel with chemical weapons if Israel joined a conspiracy against Iraq.

1996 - Lech Walesa resumed his old job as an electrician at the Gdansk shipyard. He was the former Solidarity union leader who became Poland's first post-war democratic president.

2002 - Israeli troops surrounded the Church of the Nativity. More than 200 Palestinians had taken refuge at the church when Israel invaded Bethlehem.
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