1496 - References in Leonardo da Vinci notebooks suggested that he
tested his flying machine. The test didn't succeed and he
didn't try to fly again for several years.
1521 - Pope Leo X excommunicated Martin Luther.
1777 - The Battle of Princeton took place in the War of Independence,
in which George Washington defeated the British forces, led by
1815 - By secret treaty, Austria, Britain, and France formed a
defensive alliance against Prusso-Russian plans to solve the
Saxon and Polish problems.
1823 - Stephen F. Austin received a grant from the Mexican government
and began colonization in the region of the Brazos River in
1825 - The first engineering college in the U.S. , Rensselaer School,
opened in Troy, NY. It is now known as Rensselaer
1833 - Britain seized control of the Falkland Islands in the South
Atlantic. About 150 years later, Argentina seized the
islands from the British, but Britain took them back after
a 74-day war.
1868 - The Shogunate was abolished in Japan and Meiji dynasty was
1871 - Henry W. Bradley patented oleomargarine.
1888 - The drinking straw was patented by Marvin C. Stone.
1924 - English explorer Howard Carter discovered the sarcophagus
of Tutankhamen in the Valley of the Kings, near Luxor, Egypt.
1925 - In Italy, Mussolini announced that he would take dictatorial
1938 - The first broadcast of "Woman in White" was presented on the
NBC Red network. The program remained on radio for 10 years.
1938 - The March of Dimes was established by U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The organization fights poliomyelitis. The
original name of the organization was the National Foundation
for Infantile Paralysis.
1947 - U.S. Congressional proceedings were televised for the first
time. Viewers in Washington, Philadelphia and New York City
saw some of the opening ceremonies of the 80th Congress.
1947 - In Trenton, NJ, Al Herrin, passed away at age 92. He had
claimed that he had not slept at all during his life.
1951 - NBC-TV debuted "Dragnet."
1953 - Frances Bolton and her son, Oliver from Ohio, became the first
mother-son combination to serve at the same time in the U.S.
1957 - The Hamilton Watch Company introduced the first electric
1959 - In the U.S., Alaska became the 49th state.
1961 - The U.S. severed diplomatic relations with Cuba.
1962 - Pope John XXIII excommunicated Cuban prime minister Fidel
1967 - Jack Ruby died in a Dallas, TX, hospital.
1973 - The Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) sold
the New York Yankees to a 12-man syndicate headed by George
Steinbrenner for $10 million.
1980 - Conservationist Joy Adamson, author of "Born Free," was killed
in northern Kenya by a servant.
1983 - Tony Dorsett (Dallas Cowboys) made the longest run from scrimmage in NFL history. Dorsett ran 99 yards in a game against the Minnesota Vikings.
1984 - A woman died at Disneyland after falling from a ride. She had
apparently unfastened her seatbelt while on the Matterhorn
1988 - Margaret Thatcher became the longest-serving British Prime
Minister in the 20th century.
1990 - Ousted Panamanian leader Manuel Noriega surrendered to U.S.
forces, 10 days after taking refuge in the Vatican's
1991 - The British government announced that seven Iraqi diplomats,
another embassy staff member and 67 other Iraqis were being
expelled from Britain.
1993 - U.S. President George H.W. Bush and Russian President Boris Yeltsin
signed the second Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) in
1995 - WHO reported that the cumulative total of officially reported
cases of AIDS had risen to 1,025,073 in 192 countries as at the
end of 1994.
1995 - The U.S. Postal Service raised the price of the first-class
stamp to 32 cents.
1997 - Bryant Gumbel signed off for the last time as host of NBC's
1998 - China announced that it would spend $27.7 billion to fight
erosion and pollution in the Yangtze and Yellow river valleys.
1999 - Israeli authorities detained, and later expelled, 14 members
of Concerned Christians. Israili officials claimed that the
Denver, CO-based cult was plotting violence in Jerusalem to bring
about the Second Coming of Christ.
2000 - Charles M. Schulz's final original daily comic strip appeared in newspapers.
2001 - The ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms) charged the "Texas 7" with weapons violations. An autopsy showed that Office Aubrey Hawkins, killed by the convicts, had been shot 11 times and run over with a vehicle.
2004 - NASA's Spirit rover landed on Mars. The craft was able to send back black and white images three hours after landing.