Geoffrey Chaucer first told some of the Canterbury Tales at the court of Richard II in 1397. The Republic of Ireland came into being at midnight in 1949. A group of CIA funded and trained Cuban exiles landed at the Bay of Pigs to attempt to overthrow Castro's government in 1961. The republics of Bangladesh and Sierra Leone were created in 1971 and the 335 year-old, casualty-free war between the Netherlands and the Scilly Isles came to an end in 1986.
Born today: Karen Blixen (1885-1962), Thornton Wilder (1897-1975), William Holden (1918-1981), Jan Hammer (1948), Olivia Hussey (1951), Nick Hornby (1957), Sean Bean (1959) and Victoria Beckham (1974).