Saturday, December 11, 2010
December 16, 882 AD Marinus I was elected Roman Catholic pope, replacing the murdered John VIII. 955,18-year-old Ottaviano, the only son of Duke Alberic II of Spoleto, who ruled Rome, became Pope John XII when his father ordered his election. John's pontificate lasted nine years, and he is said to have died in the arms of his mistress. 1431 Henry VI of England was crowned King of France at Notre Dame in Paris. Though young Henry had been proclaimed king at age ten months, it was not until he was ten years old that he was officially crowned at Notre Dame Cathedral. 1485 Catherine of Aragon was born. The first wife of King Henry VIII of England, Catherine was the daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain. 1497 Vasco da Gama rounded the Cape of Good Hope, the point where Bartolomeu Dias had previously turned back to Portugal. 1653 Parliamentarian general Oliver Cromwell became 'lord protector' of England, Scotland and Ireland.