The Roman Emperor Claudius was poisoned on this date in 54 A.D. His fourth wife, Agrippina, was the murderess. She wanted to see her son Nero, adopted by Claudius, on the throne. Nero did become emperor upon his stepfather's death -- only to suffer a similar fate in 68 A.D.
It was on this date in 1775, the Revolutionary War only months old, that the Continental Congress ordered construction of America's first naval fleet.
On other war-related history: Italy -- having been conquered by the Allies -- declared war on Germany, its former Axis partner, on this date in 1943.
On a more peaceful note, it was on this date in 1987 that Costa Rican President Oscar Arias Sanchez was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his Central American peace treaty efforts. Arias Sanchez was the first Nobel Peace laureate from Central America.
A grand jury in Boulder, Colo., announced on this date in 1999 that it had insufficient evidence to charge anyone in the Dec. 26, 1996, murder of 6-year-old beauty queen JonBenet Ramsey. The little girl had been found beaten and strangled in the basement of her family's upscale home.
And the Boston Pilgrims (who became the Red Sox four years later) beat the Pittsburgh Pirates to win the first World Series -- five games to three -- on this date in 1903.
We now return you to the present, already in progress.