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Birthdays:
1372 – Louis I of Orleans is born to Charles V of France and Joanna of Bourbon. He would be a younger brother of Charles VI, or Charles the Mad. He was at one time betrothed to Catherine, heir to the throne of Hungary, but she would die before the marriage could take place. He would later become a player in the Hundred Years War, as his brother’s mental state deteriorated. He would famously have a rivalry with John the Fearless, Duke of Burgundy, who would have Louis murdered.

1741 – In Austria, the future Joseph II is born to Holy Roman Emperor Francis I and Empress Maria Theresa. He would officially become Holy Roman Emperor in 1765, but his indomitable mother would not give up power and they would rule together until 1780, when Maria Theresa died. He attempted some sweeping reforms, but he was met with opposition from the nobility, so they would never be implemented. He is considered to be one of the three rulers of the European Enlightenment.

Deaths:
1516 – Vladislaus II of Bohemia and Hungary died just two weeks after his 60th birthday. While has reign was largely stable, he left the country of Hungary in economic ruin with serious debt. He had been King of Bohemia since 1471 and King of Hungary since 1490. His ten year old son, Louis, would rule after him.

1767 – A 35 year old Maria Josepha of Saxony, Dauphine of France died at Versailles of tuberculosis. She was the wife of Louis, Dauphin of France, son to Louis XV. She was widely loved in her adopted home for her grace and piety. She and Louis would have 5 children who would survive into adulthood, three of which would become Kings of France as Louis XVI, Louis XVII, and Charles X.

1808 – Christian VII of Denmark died at age 59 of a stroke. He had been king since age 17, but due to his sometime severe mental illness, he would rule through regents. First his wife, Caroline, her lover and Christian’s personal assistant, Johann Struensee, and later his stepmother, half brother, and then his son, the future Frederick VI.

1881 – Russian Tsar Alexander II is assassinated by a bomb thrown at his carriage by an extremist group. He was 62 years old and had ruled since 1855. In 1861, he signed the Emancipation reform of 1861 which finally freed the Russian serfs. He was then known as ‘Alexander the Liberator’ by the people. Russian was on its way to a constitutional monarchy, but his son and successor, Alexander III, would cancel and undo many of his fathers reforms.

Have a great day!

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