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1488 - The Portuguese navigator Bartholomeu Diaz landed at Mossal Bay in the Cape, the first European known to have landed on the southern extremity of Africa.

1783 - Spain recognized the independence of the United States.

1815 - The world's first commercial cheese factory was established in Switzerland.

1941 - In Vichy, France, the Nazis used force to restore Pierre Laval to office.

1945 - Russia agreed to enter World War II against Japan.

1966 - The first rocket-assisted controlled landing on the Moon was made by the Soviet space vehicle Luna IX.

1969 - At the Palestinian National Congress in Cairo, Yasser Arafat was appointed leader of the PLO.

1972 - The first Winter Olympics in Asia were held at Sapporo, Japan.

1984 - Challenger 4 was launched as the tenth space shuttle mission.

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