1765 – After a campaign by the writer Voltaire, judges in Paris posthumously exonerated Jean Calas of murdering his son. Calas had been tortured and executed in 1762 on the charge, though his son may have actually committed suicide.
1776 – The Wealth of Nations by Scottish economist and philosopher Adam Smith was published.
1796 – Napoléon Bonaparte married his first wife, Joséphine de Beauharnais.
1815 – Francis Ronalds described the first battery-operated clock in the Philosophical Magazine.
1841 – The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the United States v. The Amistad case that captive Africans who had seized control of the ship carrying them had been taken into slavery illegally.
1842 – The first documented discovery of gold in California occurred at Rancho San Francisco, six years before the California Gold Rush.
1847 – Mexican–American War: The first large-scale amphibious assault in U.S. history was launched in the Siege of Veracruz.
1862 – American Civil War: USS Monitor and CSS Virginia fought to a draw in the Battle of Hampton Roads, the first battle between two ironclad warships.
1916 – Mexican Revolution: Pancho Villa led nearly 500 Mexican raiders in an attack against the border town of Columbus, New Mexico.
1933 – Great Depression: President Franklin D. Roosevelt submitted the Emergency Banking Act to Congress, the first of his New Deal policies.
1954 – McCarthyism: CBS television broadcasted the See It Now episode, “A Report on Senator Joseph McCarthy”, produced by Fred Friendly.
1956 – Soviet forces suppressed mass demonstrations in the Georgian SSR, reacting to Nikita Khrushchev’s de-Stalinization policy.
1959 – The Barbie doll maked its debut at the American International Toy Fair in New York.
1959 – The Coasters’ single “Charlie Brown” peaked at #2 on the Billboard Top 100.
1960 – Dr. Belding Hibbard Scribner implanted for the first time a shunt he invented into a patient, which allowed the patient to receive hemodialysis on a regular basis.
1961 – Sputnik 9 successfully launched and carried a dog and a human dummy. This demonstrated that the Soviet Union was ready to begin human spaceflight.
1964 – The first Ford Mustang was produced.
1967 – Trans World Airlines Flight 553 crashed in a field in Concord Township, Ohio following a mid-air collision with a Beechcraft Baron. The crash killed 26 people.
1974 – The Mars 7 Flyby bus released the descent module too early and missed Mars.
1976 – Forty-two people died in the Cavalese (Italy) cable car disaster, the worst cable-car accident to date.
1977 – The Hanafi Siege: In a thirty-nine-hour standoff, armed Hanafi Muslims seized three Washington, D.C., buildings.
1981 – Dan Rather became the primary anchorman of CBS News.
1986 – NASA announced that searchers had found remains of the Challenger astronauts.
1987 – Chrysler announced its acquisition of American Motors Corporation.
1987 – U2 released their fifth album “The Joshua Tree”.
1997 – Comet Hale–Bopp: Observers in China, Mongolia and eastern Siberia were treated to a rare double feature as an eclipse permitted Hale-Bopp to be seen during the day.
1997 – The Notorious B.I.G. was murdered in Los Angeles after attending the Soul Train Music Awards. He was gunned down leaving an after party at the Petersen Automotive Museum. His murder remains unsolved.
1998 – Dr. Dre’s Aftermath Entertainment signed then unknown rapper Eminem.
2011 – Space Shuttle Discovery made its final landing after 39 flights.
To report an issue or typo with this article – CLICK HERE