1615 - French King Louis XIII married Ann of Austria. They were both 14 years old.
1859 - Charles Darwin, a British naturalist, published "On the Origin of Species." It was the paper in which he explained his theory of evolution through the process of natural selection.
1863 - During the Civil War, the battle for Lookout Mountain began in Tennessee.
1871 - The National Rifle Association was incorporated in the U.S.
1874 - Joseph F. Glidden was granted a patent for a barbed fencing material.
1903 - Clyde J. Coleman received the patent for an electric self-starter for an automobile.
1940 - Nazis closed off the Jewish ghetto in Warsaw, Poland. Over the next three years the population dropped from 350,000 to 70,000 due to starvation, disease and deportations to concentration camps.
1944 - During World War II, the first raid against the Japanese capital of Tokyo was made by land-based U.S. bombers.
1947 - The "Hollywood 10," were cited for contempt of Congress for refusing to answer questions about alleged Communist influence in their industry.
1947 - John Steinbeck's novel "The Pearl" was published for the first time.
1963 - Dallas nightclub owner Jack Ruby shot and killed Lee Harvey Oswald live on national television.
1969 - Apollo 12 landed safely in the Pacific Ocean bringing an end to the second manned mission to the moon.
1971 - Hijacker Dan Cooper, known as D.B. Cooper, parachuted from a Northwest Airlines 727 over Washington state with $200,000 in ransom.
1983 - The Palestine Liberation Organization released six Israeli prisoners in exchange for the release of 4,500 Palestinians and Lebanese held by the Israelis.
1985 - In Malta, Egyptian commandos stormed an Egyptian jetliner. 60 people died in the raid.
1987 - The U.S. and the Soviet Union agreed to scrap short- and medium-range missiles. It was the first superpower treaty to eliminate an entire class of nuclear weapons.
1989 - Czechoslovakia's hard-line party leadership resigned after more than a week of protests against its policies.
1992 - In China, a domestic jetliner crashed, killing 141 people.
1993 - The U.S. Congress gave its final approval to the Brady handgun control bill.
1993 - Robert Thompson and Jon Venables (both 11 years old) were convicted of murdering 2-year-old James Bulger of Liverpool, England. They were both sentenced to "indefinite detention."
1995 - In Ireland, the voters narrowly approved a constitutional amendment legalizing divorce.
1996 - Rusty Wallace won the first NASCAR event to be held in Japan.
1996 - Barry Sanders (Detroit Lions) set an NFL record when he recorded his eighth straight 1,000-yard season.
1998 - AOL (America Online) announced a deal for their purchase of Netscape for $4.21 billion.