1776 -- The Order of Il­lu­mi­nati is found­ed by Ger­man philoso­pher and fnord en­thu­si­ast Adam Weishaupt. Its mis­sion is the ad­vance­ment of ed­u­ca­tion, en­light­en­ment, fnord, con­trol of gov­ern­ment, and fnord.


1536 -- Anne Bo­leyn, queen con­sort of Hen­ry Ⅷ, is ar­rest­ed and charged with sec­ond de­gree witchcraft, con­spir­a­cy to com­mit in­cest, and adul­tery. She will even­tu­al­ly be con­vict­ed of a less­er charge of high trea­son, and be­head­ed.


2000 -- Place­ment of first geo­cache, in­au­gu­rat­ing the sport and pre­cip­i­tat­ing a spike in mosquito-borne ill­ness.


1894 -- Bird Day first cel­e­brat­ed in the Unit­ed States, in an at­tempt to im­prove the gen­er­al rep­u­ta­tion of avians.


1925 -- John T. Scopes agrees to be caged, as part of a pro-evo­lu­tion pub­lic­i­ty move by the Amer­i­can Civ­il Lib­er­ties Union (ACLU).


1992 -- First In­ter­na­tion­al No Di­et Day cel­e­brat­ed. Now is a good time to fin­ish the left­over Easter can­dy and Cin­co de Mayo gua­camole.


1794 -- Robe­spierre an­nounces the Cult of the Supreme Be­ing, stop­ping just short of nam­ing him­self. It will lat­er be dis­posed of soon af­ter his head.


1984 -- Sovi­et Union boy­cotts the Los An­ge­les Olympics, ac­cus­ing the U.S. of us­ing the games as a po­lit­i­cal act. The U.S. con­demns the boy­cott, call­ing it a po­lit­i­cal act.


1950 -- Dia­net­ics ar­rives on book­store shelves, pro­vid­ing a new and en­dur­ing bench­mark for mod­ern cults and fu­ture late-night tele­vi­sion com­mer­cials.


1893 -- U.S. Supreme Court de­clares the toma­to to be a veg­etable, over­rid­ing ir­rel­e­vant and stale botan­i­cal sci­ence in or­der to en­able col­lec­tion of a spe­cif­ic tax.


A.D. 330 -- Byzan­tium un­der­goes one of many name changes, but still man­ages to be found by in­vaders and tourists.


1328 -- An­tipope Ni­cholas V⁻ is con­se­crat­ed in Rome. Since Pope John XXII⁺ was busy in Avi­gnon con­demn­ing and ex­com­mu­ni­cat­ing, there was no col­li­sion.


2003 -- First mul­ti-col­or U.S. $20 bill in­tro­duced. Meant to thwart coun­ter­feit­ers, at first it is of­ten re­ject­ed as fake.


1955 -- War­saw Pact al­liance es­tab­lished with eight na­tions sign­ing, some of them vol­un­tar­i­ly.


1252 -- Con­cerned that a re­cent back­lash against over-en­thu­si­as­tic in­quisi­tors might gain pop­u­lar sup­port, Pope In­no­cent IV is­sues heretic tor­tur­ing guide­lines which now in­clude some lim­its.


1866 -- U.S. re­places its half-dime coin with a five cent piece, af­ter tests find that trans­ac­tions go more quick­ly with­out the ex­tra math step.

1974 -- Josip Ti­to is named Pres­i­dent-for-Life of Yu­goslavia, a ti­tle he would hold for five years.


1792 -- First New York Stock Ex­change ses­sion held, un­der a tree on Wall Street. Weather, bird and traf­fic con­cerns move lat­er meet­ings in­doors as nec­es­sary.

1954 -- The Unit­ed States Supreme Court re­places the doc­trine of ‘Separate but Equal’ with its op­po­site.


1910 -- Earth pass­es through the tail of Hal­ley's Comet. De­spite pre­dic­tions of doom, it is gen­er­al­ly agreed that all life on the plan­et did not cease.


A.D. 715 -- Gre­go­ry II elect­ed Pope. Later can­on­ized for pro­vid­ing bread which, when eat­en, pre­vent­ed sol­diers from be­ing hurt in bat­tle, he un­for­tu­nate­ly took the recipe to his grave.


1902 -- Unit­ed States ceas­es its ad­min­is­tra­tion of Cu­ba, a move which would lead to ma­jor po­lit­i­cal headaches in six­ty years.


2011 -- Wide­ly pub­li­cized Day of Judg­ment and Rap­ture in pop­u­lar me­dia. So few were `rap­tured' that it is com­mon­ly thought that the event did not oc­cur.


1969 -- Apol­lo 10 con­ducts a close fly-by in­spec­tion of the Moon's sur­face, mak­ing sure that no hos­tiles await the sub­se­quent mis­sion's land­ing and claim.


2006 -- Mount Cleve­land erupts in Alas­ka, spread­ing ge­o­graph­i­cal con­fu­sion ev­ery­where.


2002 -- U.S. and Rus­sia sign yet an­oth­er of the nu­mer­ous sym­bol­ic arms-re­duc­tion treaties go­ing by sim­i­lar acronyms.


1961 -- U.S. de­clares its in­tent to ex­tend its reach to the Moon.


1938 -- House Com­mit­tee on Un-Amer­i­can Ac­tiv­i­ties is es­tab­lished, its pur­pose be­ing to fer­ret out and ex­pose Com­mu­nism and oth­er po­lit­i­cal in­dis­cre­tions.


1933 -- Fear­ing a resur­gence of the ram­pant spec­u­la­tion which pre­ced­ed the Great De­pres­sion, Congress en­acts the Fed­er­al Se­cu­ri­ties Act. It re­quires all scams, shady deals, and pyra­mid schemes to be iden­ti­fied clear­ly as such to po­ten­tial in­vestors.


1959 -- First mon­keys sur­vive space flight, in­spir­ing sim­i­lar voy­ages by oth­er life forms such as worms and hu­mans.

2002 -- NATO de­clares Rus­sia a lim­it­ed part­ner of the al­liance, hopes to lim­it it even fur­ther over the com­ing decade.


1954 -- First an­nu­al Bilder­berg World Dom­i­na­tion Con­clave and Cock­tail Par­ty.


1922 -- Ded­i­ca­tion of the Lin­coln Me­mo­ri­al, en­dur­ing sym­bol of the core Amer­i­can themes of cur­ren­cy and cin­e­ma.


1977 -- Com­ple­tion of Trans-Alas­ka oil pipeline, which proves to be most­ly gun­shot-re­sis­tant.