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1521 - The Diet of Worms began, at which Protestant reformer Luther was declared an outlaw by the Roman Catholic church.

1547 - England's King Henry VIII died. He was succeeded by his 9 year-old son, Edward VI.

1788 - The first British penal settlement was founded at Botany Bay.

1807 - London's Pall Mall became the first street lit by gaslight.

1871 - France surrendered in the Franco-Prussian War.

1935 - Iceland became the first country to introduce legalized abortion.

1938 - The first ski tow started operation in Vermont.

1945 - During World War II, Allied supplies began reaching China over the newly reopened Burma Road.

1986 - The U.S. space shuttle Challenger exploded just after takeoff. All seven of its crewmembers were killed.

1999 - Ford Motor company announced the purchase of Sweden's Volvo AB for $6.45 billion.

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