1525 – The Swiss Anabaptist Movement is born when Conrad Grebel, Felix Manz, George Blaurock, and a dozen others baptize each other in the home of Manz’s mother in Zürich, breaking a thousand-year tradition of church-state union.
1789 – 1st American novel, WH Brown’s “Power of Sympathy” is published.
1952 – Jawaharlal Nehru’s Congress party wins general election in India.
1968 – The Battle of Khe Sanh – one of the most publicized and controversial battles of the Vietnam War – begins at the Khe Sanh Air Base.
1996 – Cleanup of 1.8 million gallons (6.8 million litres) of oil began near Block Island National Wildlife Refuge, Rhode Island, two days after the barge North Cape had run aground and created a 12-mile (19-km) oil slick.
2008 – Black Monday in worldwide stock markets. FTSE 100 had its biggest ever one-day points fall, European stocks closed with their worst result since 9/11, and Asian stocks drop as much as 15%.
2010 – In Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled (5–4) that laws preventing corporations and unions from using general treasury funds for independent electioneering communications violated the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of speech.
2017 – Demonstrations, known collectively as the Women’s March, were held throughout the world to support gender equality, civil rights, and other issues that were expected to face challenges under newly inaugurated U.S. President Donald Trump; it was widely believed to be the largest single-day demonstration in U.S. history.
Film: 1991 – CBS News correspondant Bob Simon and four TV crew captured and held for 40 days by Iraqis in the Persian Gulf
Music: 1978 – Bee Gees’ album “Saturday Night Fever” goes #1 for 24 weeks
Births & Deaths: 1793 – Louis XVI of France is executed by the guillotine in Paris, following his conviction for high treason.
1885 – Leadbelly—an African American folk-blues singer, songwriter, and guitarist whose ability to perform a vast repertoire of songs, in conjunction with his notoriously violent life, made him a legend—is believed to have been born this day.
1905 – Fashion designer Christian Dior was born in Granville, France.
1924 – Vladimir Lenin, the architect of the Bolshevik Revolution and the first leader of the Soviet Union, dies of a brain hemorrhage at the age of 54.
Via Britannica / On This Day