Just a few events for today, which are here because 1) they were listed on Wikipedia, and 2) I found them significant/interesting. 871 - Battle of Reading - Ethelred of Wessex fights, and is defeated by, a Danish invasion army. 1493 - Christopher Columbus leaves the New World, ending his first journey. 1642 - English Civil War: King Charles I of England attacks Parliament. 1698 - Most of the Palace of Whitehall in London, the main residence of the English monarchs, is destroyed by fire. 1847 - Samuel Colt sells his first revolver pistol to the United States government. 1865 - The New York Stock Exchange opens its first permanent headquarters at 10-12 Broad near Wall Street in New York City. 1885 - The first successful appendectomy is performed by Dr. William W. Grant on Mary Gartside. 1896 - Utah is admitted as the 45th U.S. state. 1936 - Billboard magazine publishes its first pop music charts. 1951 - Korean War: Chinese and North Korean forces capture Seoul. 1959 - Luna 1 becomes the first spacecraft to reach the vicinity of the Moon. 1989 - A pair of Libyan MiG-23 "Floggers" are shot down by a pair of US Navy F-14 Tomcats during an air-to-air confrontation. 2004 - Spirit, a NASA Mars Rover, lands successfully on Mars at 04:35 UTC.