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On this day, 16 October in 1834, most of the medieval royal palace used as the home of the British parliament, The Palace of Westminster, was burnt to the ground. The blaze was caused by the burning of small, wooden tally sticks which had been used in the accounting procedures of the Exchequer until 1826. The sticks were disposed of in a careless manner in the two furnaces under the House of Lords, which caused a chimney fire in the two flues that ran under the floor of the Lords' chamber and up through the walls. The fire spread rapidly throughout the complex, and developed into the biggest conflagration to occur in London between the Great Fire of 1666 and the Blitz of the Second World War.

Lasting most of the night, the fire destroyed areas of the palace including the converted St Stephen's Chapel which was the meeting place of the House of Commons, the Lords Chamber, the Painted Chamber, and the official residences of the Speaker and the Clerk of the House of Commons. The actions of Superintendent James Braidwood of the London Fire Engine Establishment ensured Westminster Hall in addition to a few other parts of the old Houses of Parliament survived the blaze. A competition was held 1836 for designing the new palace, won by Charles Barry in collaboration with Augustus Pugin. The competition established Gothic Revival as the predominant national architectural style, and has been categorised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, of outstanding universal value.

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On this day, 10 October in 732, the Battle of Tours-Poitiers was fought between Frankish and Burgundian forces under Charles Martel against an army of the Umayyad Caliphate led by 'Abdul Rahman Al Ghafiqi, Governor-General of al-Andalus. It ended in decisive Frankish victory, and the Umayyad army’s withdrawal. The battle was part of the Umayyad invasion of Gaul and took place near the cities of Poitiers and Tours, in north-central France. The battle is considered by modern historians as the decisive turning point in the struggle against Islam to preserve Christianity as the religion of Europe, and helped to lay the foundations of the Carolingian Empire and Frankish domination of Europe for the next century.

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On this day, 7 October in 1403, the Battle of Modon was fought between old rivals Venice and Genoa just off modern day Methoni in Messenia, Greece. Tensions grew as Venice received reports of Genoese pirates attacking Venetian merchant ships. As of April the same year, Genoa, then under French control and French Marshal Boucicaut, had sent several galleys and ships to Cyprus to strengthen their influence there. Boucicaut, a “fervent crusader”, wasted no opportunity to also launch attacks on Muslim cities along the Levantine coast. Venice had authorized the captain-general of the Sea, Carlo Zeno, to mobilise in response. Zeno waited at Modon for Boucicaut, but Boucicaut instead anchored at the offshore island of Sapienza then attempted to sail north early in the morning to avoid the anticipated battle. The battle ended in Venetian victory. Due to the internal instability of Genoa, this was the last major conflict between the two Republics. Genoa could no longer challenge the Venetian maritime hegemony and dominance of the eastern trade routes.

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On this day, 6 October in 1908, Austria-Hungary announced the annexation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Bosnia and Herzegovina had fallen under Austro-Hungarian rule in 1878 when the Congress of Berlin approved the occupation of the Bosnia Vilayet, however, the territory officially remained part of the Ottoman Empire until this declaration of formal annexation. The declaration was timed to coincide with Bulgaria's declaration of independence from the Ottomans, sparking protests from all the Great Powers, Serbia, and Montenegro. The crisis created permanently damaged relations between Austria-Hungary and Serbia, Austria-Hungary and Italy, and between Austria-Hungary and the Russian Empire. In April 1909, the Treaty of Berlin was amended to reflect the fait accompli, and brought the crisis to an end. The crisis appeared to end in complete diplomatic victory for Austria-Hungary, however, Russia was unwilling to back down and so hastened the growth of their military. The event is considered to be part of the groundwork​ and build up to World War I.

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On this day, 3 October, Gaecheonjeol, or National Foundation Day, is celebrated in South Korea as an official holiday. According to Korean national mythology, this was the date in 2457 BCE when Hwanung descended from heaven to live with mankind. Gaecheon means the “opening to heaven” which is reflected in the name of the day. Hwanung yearned to live on the earth amongst​ the valleys and the mountains. His father, Hwanin the Lord of Heaven, permitted Hwanung and three thousand followers to descend from heaven near a sandalwood tree on Baekdu Mountain. Hwanung founded Sinsi, the City of God, and gave himself the title Heaven King.

A tiger and a bear came to the sandalwood tree daily to pray to Hwanung, so he gave them twenty bulbs of garlic and some divine mugwort with the promise that if they ate only what was given them and remained in a cave out of the sunlight for one hundred days, he would make them human. They agreed to these terms, but the tiger was too hungry and impatient to wait. The bear, however, remained, and was transformed into a beautiful woman on the twenty-first day. She gratefully honoured Hwanung with offerings in thanks. When she eventually grew lonely, she asked Hwanung for a child. He took her as his wife and gave her a son called Dangun.

This date in 2333 BCE, Dangun founded the state Gojoseon and ruled for about two thousand years. Some Koreans consider this as the earliest Korean state, and Dangun as the ancestor of Koreans. In 1909, Gaecheonjeol was enacted as a national holiday. Originally the holiday was observed on the third day of the tenth month on the lunar calendar, but it has been fixed on 3 October of the solar Gregorian calendar since 1949. Gaecheonjeol is also recognised in North Korea, though, not as a public holiday.

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On this day, 29 September in 1864, the Treaty of Lisbon was signed between Spain and Portugal to establish the boundaries between both nations. The treaty specifies the border from the mouth of the Minho River down to the junction of the Caia River with the Guadiana River. As part of the treaty, the microstate of Couto Misto was entirely abolished. Couto Misto, located on the northern border between Spain and Portugal, consisted of three villages Santiago de Rubiás, Rubiás, and Meaus, all located in the Salas Valley, Ourense, Galicia as well as a small uninhabited strip now part of the Portuguese municipality of Montalegre.

As a result of complex medieval manorial relations, the de facto independent country enjoyed several privileges including exemption from military service, the right to bear arms, official postage stamps, self-government, and right to asylum. It is unclear exactly when this microstate came to be, however, it is speculated its emergence was around the same time as the emergence of the Kingdom of Portugal in the twelfth century. With the extinction of coutos in Portugal, initiated in 1692, concluded in 1790, Couto Misto was freed from its feudal ties and began functioning as a de facto independent state up to its annexation in 1868.

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On this day, 27 September in 1998, the Google internet search engine was “born”. The company has retroactively claimed this date as its birthday. Google is nineteen this year. The Google Doodle this year features a "surprise spinner" with nineteen different games to play depending on your spin results. The games are previous interactive Google Doodles.

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On this day, 27 September in 1822, Jean-François Champollion announced he has deciphered the Rosetta Stone which had been discovered in 1799. Study of the decree was already under way when the first full translation of the Greek text appeared in 1803. The transliteration of the two Egyptian scripts came twenty years later by Champollion.

The inscription of the Stone is three versions of a decree issued at Memphis, Egypt in 196 BC during the Ptolemaic dynasty on behalf of King Ptolemy V written in Ancient Egyptian and Ancient Greek. The top potion of the Stone is written using hieroglyphic script, and the middle is written in Demotic script; both are Egyptian scripts. The bottom portion is Ancient Greek. The stone itself is black ganodiorite, a phaneritic-textured intrusive igneous rock similar to granite, but containing more plagioclase feldspar than orthoclase feldspar, and was carved during the Hellenistic period. It is believed the Stone was originally displayed within a temple, possibly at nearby Sais.

Ever since its rediscovery at the end of the eighteenth century, the stone has been the focus of nationalist rivalries, including its transfer from French to British possession during the Napoleonic Wars. It currently resides in the British Museum. As of July 2003, Egypt has requested the Stone be returned as an “icon of our Egyptian identity” along with several other items in museums across the world.

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On this day, 25 September in 1790, Peking opera, sometimes called Beijing opera, was born when the Four Great Anhui Troupes introduced Anhui opera, now called Huiji, to Beijing in honor of the Qianlong Emperor's eightieth birthday. Peking opera is a form of Chinese opera which combines music, vocal performance, mime, dance, and acrobatics. Rising in the late eighteenth century, the opera became fully developed and recognized by the mid nineteenth century.

It features four main types of performers: Sheng, Dan, Jing, and Chou. Each with additional subtypes. Sheng is the primary male role, with Dan as the primary female. Jing is a painted face male role, and Chou is a male clown type of role. Performing troupes often have several of each variety, as well as numerous secondary and tertiary performers. With their elaborate and colorful costumes, performers are the only focal points on the characteristically sparse stage. They use the skills of speech, song, dance, and combat in movements that are symbolic and suggestive, rather than realistic. Above all else, the skill of performers is evaluated according to the beauty of their movements. Performers also adhere to a variety of stylistic conventions that help audiences navigate the plot of the production. The layers of meaning within each movement must be expressed in time with music. Melodies include arias, fixed-tune melodies, and percussion patterns. Peking opera has come to be considered as one of the cultural treasures of China.

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On this day, 21 September in 1792, the National Convention declared France a republic then abolished the absolute monarchy following the Conventions establishment the day before. The National Convention was the third government of the French Revolution, following the two year National Constituent Assembly and the one year Legislative Assembly, and the first French government to abandon the monarchy entirely.

Ordered to put an end to the crisis following the prevented flight to Varennes of Louis XVI and the bloody capture of Tuileries, the Convention’s deputes proposed abolition of the monarchy. In their middle class origins and political activity, they held no sympathy for the monarchy. The proposal for abolition was met with little resistance. The victory at Valmy, same day, confirmed this conviction. Following a debate, the proposal was unanimously approved, giving birth to the First French Republic.

Following the proclamation, efforts were increased to eliminate the ancien regime going as far as introducing a new system of measurement and even an end to the Christian calendar due to the growing wave of anticlericalism seeking the dechristianisation of France.

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