1542 - Catherine Howard was executed for adultery. She was the fifth wife of England's King Henry VIII.
1633 - Galileo Galilei arrived in Rome for trial before the Inquisition.
1635 - The Boston Public Latin School was established. It was the first public school building in the United States.
1741 - "The American Magazine," the first magazine in the U.S., was published in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
1875 - Mrs. Edna Kanouse gave birth to America’s first quintuplets. All five of the baby boys died within two weeks.
1880 - Thomas Edison observed what became known as the Edison Effect for the first time.
1889 - Norman Coleman became the first U.S. Secretary of Agriculture.
1900 - The Anglo-German accord of 1899 was ratified by Reichstag, in which Britain renounced rights in Samoa in favor of Germany and the U.S.
1914 - The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (known as ASCAP) was formed in New York City. The society was founded to protect the copyrighted musical compositions of its members.
1920 - The League of Nations recognized the continued neutrality of Switzerland.
1920 - The National Negro Baseball League was organized.
1935 - In Flemington, New Jersey, a jury found Bruno Richard Hauptmann guilty of the kidnapping and death of the infant son of Charles and Anne Lindbergh. Hauptmann was later executed for the crimes.
1937 - The comic strip "Prince Valiant" appeared for the first time.
1939 - Virginia Payne became a new character in NBC’s soap opera, "The Carter’s of Elm Street". She played the part of Mrs. Carter.
1945 - During World War II, the Soviets captured Budapest, Hungary, from the German army.
1945 - During World War II, Allied aircraft began bombing the German city of Dresden.
1947 - "Family Theatre" was heard for the first time on Mutual radio.
1955 - Israel acquired 4 of the 7 Dead Sea scrolls.
1960 - France detonated its first atomic bomb.
1965 - Sixteen-year-old Peggy Fleming won the ladies senior figure skating title at Lake Placid, NY.
1971 - South Vietnamese troops invaded Laos. They were backed by U.S. air and artillery support.
1984 - Konstantin Chernenko was chosen to be general secretary of the Soviet Communist Party's Central Committee, succeeding the late Yuri Andropov.
1985 - The Dow Jones industrial average closed at a record high of 1297.92 after it topped the 1300 mark earlier in the trading session.
1990 - In Ottawa, the United States and its European allies forged an agreement with the Soviet Union and East Germany on a two-stage formula to reunite Germany.
1991 - Hundreds of Iraqis were killed by two laser-guided bombs that destroyed an underground facility in Baghdad. U.S. officials identified the facility as a military installation, but Iraqi officials said it was a bomb shelter.
1997 - Astronauts on the space shuttle Discovery brought the Hubble Space Telescope aboard for a tune up. The tune up allowed the telescope to see further into the universe.
1997 - The Dow Jones industrial average passed the 7,000 mark for the first time. The day ended at 7,022.44.
1999 - A bomb exploded just outside a government-owned bank in southern Kosovo. Nine people were killed.
2000 - Charles M. Schulz's last original Sunday "Peanuts" comic strip appeared in newspapers. Schulz had died the day before.
2001 - El Savador was hit with an earthquake that measured 6.6 on the Richter Scale. At least 400 people were killed.
2002 - In Alexandria, VA, John Walker Lindh pled innocent to a 10-count federal indictment. He was charged with conspiring to kill Americans and aiding Osama bin Laden's terrorist network.
2002 - Former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani received an honorary knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II.
2008 - Roger Clemens denied having taken performance-enhancing drugs in testimony before Congress.
2008 - Hollywood writers ended a 100-day strike.