William IV (1765–1837) was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain
and Ireland and of Hanover from 26 June 1830 until his death. William,
the third son of George III and younger brother and successor to George
IV, was the last king and penultimate monarch of the House of Hanover.
He served in the Royal Navy in his youth and was, both during his reign
and afterwards, nicknamed the Sailor King. He served in North America
and the Caribbean, but saw little actual fighting. Since his two older
brothers died without leaving surviving legitimate issue, he inherited
the throne when he was sixty-four years old. His reign saw several
reforms: the poor law was updated, child labour restricted, slavery
abolished throughout the British Empire, and the Reform Act 1832
refashioned the British electoral system. Though William did not engage
in politics as much as his brother or his father, he was the last
monarch to appoint a Prime Minister contrary to the will of Parliament.
At his death William had no surviving legitimate children, though he
was survived by eight of the ten illegitimate children he had by the
popular actress, Dorothea Bland. He was succeeded in the United Kingdom
by his niece, Victoria, and in Hanover by his brother, Ernest Augustus.
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Today's selected anniversaries:
The U.S. Congress passed the Coinage Act, authorizing the minting of a
two-cent coin , the first U.S. coin to bear the phase "In God We
Over 50,000 people rushed to claim a piece of the available two million
acres (8,000 km²) in the Unassigned Lands, the present-day U.S. state
of Oklahoma. Within hours, both Oklahoma City and Guthrie had
established cities of around 10,000 people.
The Germans released chlorine gas as a chemical weapon in the Second
Battle of Ypres, killing over 5,000 soldiers within ten minutes by
asphyxiation in the first large-scale successful use of poison gas in
World War I.
About 600 prisoners of the Jasenovac concentration camp in the
Independent State of Croatia revolted, but only 80 managed to escape
while the other 520 were killed by the Croatian Ustaše regime.
The first version of Mosaic, created by computer programmers Marc
Andreessen and Eric Bina at the National Center for Supercomputing
Applications of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, was
released, becoming the first popular World Wide Web browser and Gopher
Wiktionary's word of the day:
Cooked with onions, especially caramelized onions
Wikiquote quote of the day:
There are no passengers on Spaceship Earth. We are all crew.