1776 - The Continental Congress appointed a committee to write a Declaration of Independence.
1793 - The Jardin des Plantes zoo opened in Paris. It was the first public zoo.
1801 - The North African State of Tripoli declared war on the U.S. The dispute was over merchant vessels being able to travel safely through the Mediterranean.
1806 - New York's "Commercial Advertiser" became the first U.S. newspaper to cover the sport of harness racing.
1854 - The U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD, held its first graduation.
1898 - U.S. Marines landed in Cuba during the Spanish-American War.
1902 - The "outlook" or "see-through" envelope was patented by Americus F. Callahan.
1903 - Binney & Smith Company began developing a product line of wax crayons. The product was named Crayola.
1909 - The SOS distress signal was used for the first time. The Cunard liner SS Slavonia used the signal when it wrecked off the Azores.
1916 - Mecca, under control of the Turks, fell to the Arabs during the Great Arab Revolt.
1920 - The Republican convention in Chicago endorsed woman suffrage.
1924 - The Republican National Convention was broadcast by NBC radio. It was the first political convention to be on radio.
1925 - The state of Tennessee adopted a new biology text book that denied the theory of evolution.
1933 - Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow were in a car accident on a rural road in north Texas. The third-degree burns suffered by Parker resulted in a pronounced limp for the rest of her life.
1935 - Alcoholic Anonymous was founded by William G. Wilson and Dr. Robert Smith.
1940 - Italy declared war on France and Britain. In addition, Canada declared war on Italy.
1943 - Laszlo Biro patented his ballpoint pen. Biro was a Hungarian journalist.
1943 - The Allies began bombing Germany around the clock.
1944 - The youngest pitcher in major league baseball pitched his first game. Joe Nuxhall was 15 years old (and 10 months and 11 days).
1946 - Italy established a republic replacing its monarchy.
1948 - Chuck Yeager exceeded the speed of sound in the Bell XS-1.
1954 - General Motors announced the gas turbine bus had been produced successfully.
1967 - Israel and Syria agreed to a cease-fire that ended the Six-Day War.
1970 - A fifteen-man group of special forces troops began training for Operation Kingpin. The operation was a POW rescue mission in North Vietnam.
1971 - The U.S. ended a 21-year trade embargo of China.
1983 - Johnny Bench announced his plans to retire. He was a catcher in the major leagues for 16 years.
1984 - The U.S. Army successfully tested an antiballistic missile.
1984 - The United States and the Vatican established full diplomatic relations for the first time in 117 years.
1985 - Frank Sinatra was portrayed as a friend of organized crime in a "Doonesbury" comic strip. Over 800 newspapers carried the panel.
1985 - The Israeli army pulled out of Lebanon after 1,099 days of occupation.
1990 - The Civic Forum movement won Czechoslovakia's first free elections since 1946. The movement was founded by President Vaclav Havel.
1990 - Bulgaria's former Communist Party won the country's first free elections in more than four decades.
1993 - It was announced by scientists that genetic material was extracted from an insect that lived when dinosaurs roamed the Earth.
1994 - U.S. President Clinton intensified sanctions against Haiti's military leaders. U.S. commercial air travel was suspended along with most financial transactions between Haiti and the U.S.
1996 - The Colorado Avalanche defeated the Florida Panthers in a 1-0 triple overtime game. The win ended a four-game sweep for the Stanley Cup.
1996 - Britain and Ireland opened Northern Ireland peace talks. The IRA's political arm Sinn Fein was excluded.
1998 - The Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled that poor children in Milwaukee could attend religious schools at taxpayer expense.
1999 - NATO suspended air strikes in Yugoslavia after Slobodan Milosevic agreed to withdraw his forces from Kosovo.
2015 - The movie Jurassic World opened in 60 countries. It became the first movie to make $500 million its opening weekend.