1633 – The Holy Office in Rome forced Galileo Galilei to recant his view that the Sun, not the Earth, is the center of the Universe in the form he presented it in, after heated controversy.
1807 – In the Chesapeake–Leopard affair, the British warship HMS Leopard attacked and boarded the American frigate USS Chesapeake.
1813 – War of 1812: After learning of American plans for a surprise attack on Beaver Dams in Ontario, Laura Secord set out on a 30 kilometer journey on foot to warn Lieutenant James FitzGibbon.
1839 – Cherokee leaders Major Ridge, John Ridge, and Elias Boudinot were assassinated for signing the Treaty of New Echota, which had resulted in the Trail of Tears.
1870 – The United States Department of Justice was created by the U.S. Congress.
1893 – The Royal Navy battleship HMS Camperdown accidentally rammed the British Mediterranean Fleet flagship HMS Victoria which sank and took 358 crew with her, including the fleet’s commander, Vice-Admiral Sir George Tryon.
1898 – Spanish–American War: In a chaotic operation, 6,000 men of the U.S. Fifth Army Corps began landing at Daiquirí, Cuba, about 16 miles east of Santiago de Cuba. Lt. Gen. Arsenio Linares y Pombo of the Spanish Army outnumbered them two-to-one, but did not oppose the landings.
1918 – The Hammond Circus Train Wreck killed 86 and injured 127 near Hammond, Indiana.
1940 – World War II: France was forced to sign the Second Compiègne armistice with Germany in the same railroad car in which the Germans signed the Armistice in 1918.
1940 – The first Dairy Queen restaurant opened (in Joliet, Illinois).
1941 – World War II: Nazi Germany invaded the Soviet Union in Operation Barbarossa.
1942 – World War II: Erwin Rommel was promoted to Field Marshal after the Axis capture of Tobruk.
1942 – The Pledge of Allegiance was formally adopted by US Congress.
1944 – U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed into law the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944, commonly known as the G.I. Bill.
1945 – World War II: The Battle of Okinawa ended.
1955 – Walt Disney’s animated film “Lady & the Tramp” was released.
1959 – “Along Came Jones” by The Coasters peaked at #9.
1969 – The Cuyahoga River caught fire in Cleveland, Ohio, which drew national attention to water pollution, spurred the passing of the Clean Water Act and the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency.
1969 – Aretha Franklin was arrested in Detroit for creating a disturbance.
1971 – Reprise Records released “Blue”, Canadian singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell’s 4th studio album.
1973 – George Harrison released his fourth studio album “Living in the Material World” in the UK.
1977 – Walt Disney’s “Rescuers” was released. It was the first Disney film to get a sequel.
1978 – Charon, the first of Pluto’s satellites to be discovered, was first seen at the United States Naval Observatory by James W. Christy.
1979 – Little Richard quit rock & roll for religious reasons.
1981 – Mark David Chapman pled guilty to killing former Beatle John Lennon.
1984 – Virgin Atlantic launched with its first flight from London to Newark.
1985 – “Smuggler’s Blues” by Glenn Frey peaked at #12.
1990 – Adam Sandler joined “Saturday Night Live”.
1992 – Two skeletons excavated in Yekaterinburg, Russia were identified as Tsar Nicholas II and Tsarina Alexandra.
2009 – A Washington D.C Metro train traveling southbound near Fort Totten station collided into another train waiting to enter the station. Nine people were killed in the collision (eight passengers and the train operator) and at least 80 others were injured.
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