1789 - The U.S. Congress authorized the office of Postmaster General.
1792 - The French Republic was proclaimed.
1862 - U.S. President Lincoln issued the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation. It stated that all slaves held within rebel states would be free as of January 1, 1863.
1903 - Italo Marchiony was granted a patent for the ice cream cone.
1914 - Three British cruisers were sunk by one German submarine in the North Sea. 1,400 British sailors were killed. This event alerted the British to the effectiveness of the submarine.
1927 - In Chicago, IL, Gene Tunney successfully defended his heavyweight boxing title against Jack Dempsey in the famous "long-count" fight.
1949 - The Soviet Union exploded its first atomic bomb successfully.
1955 - Commercial television began in Great Britain. The rules said that only six minutes of ads were allowed each hour and there was no Sunday morning TV permitted.
1961 - U.S. President John F. Kennedy signed a congressional act that established the Peace Corps.
1964 - "The Man From U.N.C.L.E." debuted on NBC-TV.
1966 - The U.S. lunar probe Surveyor 2 crashed into the moon.
1969 - Willie Mays hit his 600th career home run.
1980 - A border conflict between Iran and Iraq developed into a full-scale war.
1986 - U.S. President Ronald Reagan addressed the U.N. General Assembly and voiced a new hope for arms control. He also criticized the Soviet Union for arresting U.S. journalist Nicholas Daniloff.
1988 - Canada's government apologized for the internment of Japanese-Canadian's during World War II. They also promised compensation.
1990 - Saudi Arabia expelled most of the Yememin and Jordanian envoys in Riyadh. The Saudi accusations were unspecific.
1991 - An article in the London newspaper "The Mail" revealed that John Cairncross admitted to being the "fifth man" in the Soviet Union's British spy ring.
1992 - The U.N. General Assembly expelled Yugoslavia for its role in the war between Bosnia and Herzegovina.
1994 - The U.S. upgraded its military control in Haiti.
1998 - The U.S. and Russia signed two agreements. One was to privatize Russia's nuclear program and the other was to stop plutonium stockpiles and nuclear scientists from leaving the country.
1998 - U.S. President Clinton addressed the United Nations and told world leaders to "end all nuclear tests for all time". He then sent the long-delayed global test-ban treaty to the U.S. Senate.
1998 - Keely Smith received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.