What happened on this day in history: A domestic servant attempts to assassinate King Louis XV, Amelia Earhart is legally declared dead after disappearing two years prior, and more.
1531: Pope Clement VII Tells Henry VIII He May Not Remarry
Pope Clement VII writes King Henry VIII of England a letter informing him that he is forbidden to remarry. Henry VIII was married to Catherine of Aragon at the time, but he wanted out of the marriage because she didn’t provide him a male heir. Henry divorced Catherine anyway and founded the Church of England, a major event in the ongoing Protestant Reformation — and went on to have six wives.
1757: Robert-François Damiens Attempts to Assassinate King Louis XV
Louis XV of France is stabbed in the chest with a penknife while entering his carriage at the Palace of Versailles. Robert-François Damiens was arrested for attempted regicide. At the time, the traditional punishment for regicide was drawing and quartering, in which an executioner publicly disembowels and dismembers a criminal. Three months later, Damiens became the last person in France to be executed in this manner.
1933: Construction Begins On The Golden Gate Bridge
Workers begin excavating the dirt that will hold the anchorages for the Golden Gate Bridge, marking the beginning of its construction in San Francisco, California.
When construction was finished four years later in 1937, it was the longest suspension bridge in the world, spanning 4,200 feet. The project cost $35 million (equivalent to $500 million today) to complete.
1939: Amelia Earhart Is Legally Declared Dead
A court order declares Amelia Earhart legally dead two years after her mysterious disappearance. In 1937, Earhart was making a historic attempt to become the first woman to circumnavigate the globe.
That July, she and her navigator took off from New Guinea for one of the final legs of their trip, but they never arrived at their next destination. They were never found, and some scientists believe their bodies were consumed by coconut crabs on a remote Pacific island.
2006: Police Search Joyce Vincent’s Apartment In London
Police find the body of Joyce Vincent in her London apartment. In one of the most bizarre cases in history, police find the badly decomposed body of Joyce Vincent laying on her apartment floor. An autopsy would confirm that she had died two years prior.