1477 - William Caxton produced "Dictes or Sayengis of the Philosophres," which was the first book to be printed in England.
1820 - Captain Nathaniel Palmer became the first American to sight the continent of Antarctica.
1865 - Samuel L. Clemens published "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County" under the pen name "Mark Twain" in the New York "Saturday Press."
1883 - The U.S. and Canada adopted a system of standard time zones.
1903 - The U.S. and Panama signed a treaty that granted the U.S. rights to build the Panama Canal.
1916 - Douglas Haig, commander of the British Expeditionary Force in World War I, called off the Battle of the Somme in France. The offensive began on July 1, 1916.
1928 - The first successful sound-synchronized animated cartoon premiered in New York. It was Walt Disney's "Steamboat Willie," starring Mickey Mouse.
Disney movies, music and books
1936 - Germany and Italy recognized the Spanish government of Francisco Franco.
1942 - "The Skin of Our Teeth," by Thornton Wilder opened on Broadway.
1951 - Chuck Connors (Los Angeles Angels) became the first player to oppose the major league draft. Connors later became the star of the television show "The Rifleman."
1959 - William Wyler's "Ben-Hur" premiered at Loew's Theater in New York City's Times Square.
1966 - Sandy Koufax (Los Angeles Dodgers) announced his retirement from major league baseball.
1966 - U.S. Roman Catholic bishops did away with the rule against eating meat on Fridays.
1969 - Apollo 12 astronauts Charles "Pete" Conrad Jr. and Alan L. Bean landed on the lunar surface during the second manned mission to the moon.
1976 - The parliament of Spain approved a bill that established a democracy after 37 years of dictatorship.
1983 - Argentina announced its ability to produce enriched uranium for use in nuclear weapons.
1985 - Joe Theismann (Washington Redskins) broke his leg after being hit by Lawrence Taylor (New York Giants). The injury ended Theismann's 12 year National Football League (NFL) career.
1987 - The U.S. Congress issued the Iran-Contra Affair report. The report said that President Ronald Reagan bore "ultimate responsibility" for wrongdoing by his aides.
1987 - CBS Inc. announced it had agreed to sell its record division to Sony Corp. for about $2 billion.
1988 - U.S. President Reagan signed major legislation provided the death penalty for drug traffickers who kill.
1993 - The U.S. House of Representatives joined the U.S. Senate in approving legislation aimed at protecting abortion facilities, staff and patients.
1993 - American Airlines flight attendants went on strike. They ended their strike only 4 days later.
1993 - Representatives from 21 South African political parties approved a new constitution.
1997 - First Union Corp. announced its purchase of CoreStates Financial Corp. for $16.1 billion. To date it was the largest banking deal in U.S. history.
2001 - Nintendo released the GameCube home video game console in the United States.