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|1721||The Peace of Nystad ends the Second Northern War between Sweden and Russia, giving Russia considerably more power in the Baltic region.|
|1781||The French fleet arrives in the Chesapeake Bay to aid the American Revolution.|
|1813||Creek Indians massacre over 500 whites at Fort Mims, Alabama.|
|1861||Union General John Fremont declares martial law throughout Missouri and makes his own emancipation proclamation to free slaves in the state. Lincoln overrules the general.|
|1932||Nazi leader Hermann Goering is elected president of the Reichstag.|
|1944||Ploesti, the center of the Rumanian oil industry, falls to Soviet troops.|
|1963||A Hot Line communications link is installed between Moscow and Washington, DC.|
|1967||The US Senate confirms Thurgood Marshall as the first African-American Supreme Court justice.|
|1982||Yasser Arafat, leader of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) is forced out of Lebanon after 10 years in Beirut during the Lebanese Civil War.|
|1983||Lieutenant Colonel Guion S. Bluford, Jr., becomes the first African-American astronaut to travel in space.|
|1986||The KGB arrests journalist Nicholas Daniloff (US News World Report) on a charge of spying and hold him for 13 days.|
Despite his destitution, Van Gogh spent whatever money he had on two beds, which he set up in the same small bedroom. Seeking to make his modest sleeping quarters “as nice as possible, like a woman’s boudoir, really artistic,” he resolved to paint a set of giant yellow sunflowers onto its white walls. He wrote beseeching letters to Gauguin, and when the French artist sent him a self-portrait as part of their exchange of canvases, Van Gogh excitedly showed it around town as the likeness of a beloved friend who was about to come visit.During that time, Gauguin saw Van Gogh descend into his mental illness. Things came to a head two days before Christmas, when Gauguin went to a hotel for the night. Gauguin had escaped being cut by a razor by Van Gogh, who instead went home and cut off his own ear. Read Gauguin's account of that night and the aftermath, from the book Paul Gauguin’s Intimate Journals, at Brain Pickings.
Gauguin finally agreed and arrived in Arles in mid-October, where he was to spend about two months, culminating with the dramatic ear incident.