1861 – Alexander II of Russia signs the Emancipation Manifesto, which ended serfdom in Russia. The act gave about 23 million people freedom from the lords they worked for.
1904 – The first sound recording of a political document is made when Kaiser Wilhelm II reads an address to the people, which is recorded in Edison’s phonograph machine.
1905 – Russian Tsar Nicholas II agrees to the formation of an elected assembly, called the Duma.
1455 – John II of Portugal is born in Lisbon as the son of King Afonso V and Queen Isabella. He would come to full power in 1481 and would go to great lengths, including murder and executions of rebellious nobles to consolidate power. He would also start Portugal’s exploration of the oceans again, and rescue their economy from the brink of bankruptcy.
1778 – Frederica of Mecklenburg-Strelitz is born in Hanover to the Grand Duke and Duchess of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. She would later marry Ernst Augustus I, King of Hanover in 1815. It was her third marriage, and he was her first cousin. Ernst was also a member of the British Royal family, as the fifth son of King George III.
No major deaths.