1848 - James W. Marshall discovered a gold nugget at Sutter's Mill in northern California. The discovery led to the gold rush of '49.
1899 - Humphrey O’Sullivan patented the rubber heel.
1908 - In England, the first Boy Scout troop was organized by Robert Baden-Powell.
1916 - Conscription was introduced in Britain.
1922 - Christian K. Nelson patented the Eskimo Pie.
1924 - The Russian city of St. Petersburg was renamed Leningrad. The name has since been changed back to St. Petersburg.
1930 - Primo Carnera made his American boxing debut by knocking out Big Boy Patterson in one minute, ten seconds of the opening round.
1935 - Krueger Brewing Company placed the first canned beer on sale in Richmond, VA.
1942 - "Abie’s Irish Rose" was first heard on NBC radio.
1943 - U.S. President Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Churchill concluded a wartime conference in Casablanca, Morocco.
1952 - Vincent Massey was the first Canadian to be appointed governor-general of Canada.
1955 - The rules committee of major league baseball announced a plan to strictly enforce the rule that required a pitcher to release the ball within 20 seconds after taking his position on the mound.
1964 - CBS-TV acquired the rights to televise the National Football League’s 1964-1965 regular season. The move cost CBS $14.1 million a year. The NFL stayed on CBS for 30 years.
1965 - Winston Churchill died at the age of 90.
1972 - The U.S. Supreme Court struck down laws that denied welfare benefits to people who had resided in a state for less than a year.
1978 - A nuclear-powered Soviet satellite plunged through Earth's atmosphere and disintegrated. The radioactive debris was scattered over parts of Canada's Northwest Territory.
1980 - The United States announced intentions to sell arms to China.
1985 - Penny Harrington became the first woman police chief of a major city. She assumed the duties as head of the Portland, Oregon, force of 940 officers and staff.
1986 - The Voyager 2 space probe flew past Uranus. The probe came within 50,679 miles of the seventh planet of the solar system.
1987 - In Lebanon, gunmen kidnapped educators Alann Steen, Jesse Turner, Robert Polhill and Mitheleshwar Singh. They were all later released.
1989 - Ted Bundy, the confessed serial killer, was put to death in Florida's electric chair for the 1978 kidnap-murder of 12-year-old Kimberly Leach.
1990 - Japan launched the first probe to be sent to the Moon since 1976. A small satellite was placed in lunar orbit.
1995 - The prosecution gave its opening statement at the O.J. Simpson murder trial.
1996 - Polish Premier Jozef Oleksy resigned due to allegations that he had spied for Moscow.
2000 - The U.S. Supreme Court upheld a Missouri law that limited the contributions that individuals could donate to a candidate during a single election.
2001 - In Colorado Springs, CO, Patrick Murphy Jr. and Donald Newbury were taken into custody after a 5-minute phone interview was granted with a TV station. They were the remaining fugitives of the "Texas 7."
2002 - The U.S. Congress began a hearing on the collapse of Enron Corp.
2002 - John Walker Lindh appeared in court for the first time concerning the charges that he conspired to kill Americans abroad and aided terrorist groups. Lindh had been taken into custody by U.S. Marines in Afghanistan.
2003 - The U.S. Department of Homeland Security began operations under Tom Ridge.