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United States Declaration of Independence: The Continental Congress ratifies the declaration by the United States of its independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain
Construction begins on a stone-built London Bridge.
Alexander Graham Bell is granted a United States patent for an invention he calls the telephone (patent #174,466).
Vlad the Impaler declares himself reigning Prince of Wallachia for the third and last time. He is killed on the march to Bucharest, probably before the end of December. His head is sent to his old enemy, Sultan Mehmed of the Ottomans.
Romulus Augustulus, Roman usurper of the Western Roman Empire, is deposed by Odoacer at Ravenna. Odoacer spares the boy's life and gives him a pension of 6,000 solidi, but exiles him to the "Castellum Lucullanum" (Castel dell'Ovo), on the island of Megaride in the Gulf of Naples. His father Orestes had been arrested a week earlier near Piacenza, and swiftly executed. This event will later be romanticized in Western literature and history as the Fall of Rome, and is traditionally used by historians to mark the beginning of the European Middle Ages.
Battle of the Little Bighorn: 300 men of the U.S. 7th Cavalry Regiment under Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer are wiped out by 5,000 Lakota, Cheyenne and Arapaho led by Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse.
Emperor Marcus Aurelius and his son Commodus enter Rome after a campaign north of the Alps and receive a triumph for their victories over the Germanic tribes.
Scottish economist Adam Smith publishes The Wealth of Nations in London.
Apple Computer Company is formed by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak.
The dying Prince Edward summons his father, Edward III, and brother, John of Gaunt, and makes them swear to uphold the claim to the throne of his son Richard; Edward is the first "English" Prince of Wales not to become King of England.
Anton van Leeuwenhoek discovers microorganisms.
Pope Gregory VII excommunicates Henry IV, Holy Roman Emperor.
King Charlemagne spends Easter in Treviso (Northern Italy), after putting down a rebellion in Friuli and Spoleto. He removes Hrodgaud of Friuli from power, and reforms the duchy as the March of Friuli (military frontier district). Co-conspirators who support the revolt are Arechis II, duke of Benevento, and Adalgis, son of former Lombard king Desiderius. Frankish counts are placed in the cities of Friuli.
Battle of Legnano: Frederick I, Holy Roman Emperor, is defeated by the Lombard League, leading to the pactum Anagninum (the Agreement of Anagni).
Adolphus Busch's brewery, Anheuser-Busch in St. Louis, Missouri, first markets Budweiser, a pale lager, as a nationally sold beer.
The only year of four popes. Gregory X, Innocent V, Adrian V, John XXI
Byzantine–Sassanid War: A Persian army under King Khosrau I breaks through the Caucasus into Anatolia (modern Turkey). They attack the cities of Theodosiopolis and Caesarea, but are thwarted. Khosrau is forced to retreat and sacks Sebasteia. On the way home, he is intercepted by a Byzantine force under Justinian (magister militum of the East), and severely defeated near Melitene. The royal baggage is captured and many Persians drown while escaping across the Euphrates.
English navigator Martin Frobisher, on his search for the Northwest Passage, enters the bay now named after him.
Frampton Comes Alive!, the multi-platinum selling live album by English rock musician Peter Frampton hits #1 in the Billboard 200 and remains there for 10 weeks, becoming the best-selling album of the year.
Captain James Cook sets off from Plymouth, England, in HMS Resolution on his third voyage, to the Pacific Ocean and Arctic, which will be fatal.