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1492 - Columbus discovered Hispaniola (now Haiti) and the Dominican Republic.

1774 - Austria became the first nation to introduce a state education system.

1917 - Finland proclaimed independence from Russia.

1926 - In Italy, Benito Mussolini introduced a tax on bachelors.

1990 - Iraq announced that it would release all its 2,000 foreign hostages.

1992 - In India, thousands of Hindu extremists destroyed a mosque. The following two months of Hindu-Muslim rioting resulted in at least 2,000 people being killed.

1998 - Astronauts aboard the space shuttle Endeavour connected the first two building blocks of the international space station in the shuttle cargo bay. 
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