1291: The Swiss Confederation was formed.
1790: First U.S. census completed. Populatin was 4 million in 13 states.
1819: Herman Melville born.
1834: An emancipation bill outlawed slavery throughout the British Empire.
1876: Colorado admitted to the union as 38th state.
1907: The forerunner of the US Air Force was established by the Army as an aeronautical division.
1914: Germany declared war on Russia.
1936: Olympic Games opened in Berlin. Adof Hitler presided.
1957: The United States and Canada reached an agreement to create the North American Air Defense Command (NORAD).
1966: Twenty-five year old Charles Joseph Whitman shot and killed 15 peoplefrom the Tower at the University of Texas before he was killed by police.
1981: Cable channel MTV debuts.
2001: Novelist and thinker extraordinaire, Robert H. Rimmer, dies at age 84. He was the author of The Harrad Experiment, Rebellion of Yale Marratt, and Thursday, My Love, among other thought-provoking books.
1876: Wild Bill Hickok was shot from behind while playing poker in Deadwood, South Dakota by Jack McCall. McCall was later hanged. Hickok was holding what has become known as the "Deadman's Hand," aces and eights.
1921: Opera star Enrico Caruso died in Naples, Italy.
1923: Warren G. Harding, 29th President, died in San Francisco.
1924: James Baldwin born.
1943: John Kennedy rescued fellow crew members of PT 109.
1983: The US House of Representtives voted to designate the third Monday in January as Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.
1492: Christopher Columbus set sail from Pabs, Spain, in three ships: the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria.
1914: Germany declared was on France.
1920: P.D. James born.
1924: Leon Uris born.
1943: General George Patton slapped a soldier at an army hospitalfor cowardice.
1949: The National Basketball Asociation is formed by merger of the Basketball Association of American and the National Basketball League.
1958: The nuclear-powered sub Nautilus became the first vessel to cross the North Pole under water.
1981: US air traffic controllers go on strike.
1693: Dom Perignon, the monk credited with inventing champagne, tasted his first champagne and is said to have exclaimed, "I am drinking the stars!"
1892: Andrew Borden and wife Abby were axed to death in Fall River, MA. Andrew's daughter, Lizzie, was tried for the murders, but aquitted.
1881: First issue of Benjamin Tucker's journal Liberty appears. It was published from August 1881 to April, 1908.
1945: United States drops atomic bomb (named "Little Boy") on Hiroshima, Japan, from a B-29 bomber named "Enola Gay."
1854: Walden, by Henry David Thoreau, was published.
1945: United States drops atomic bomb on Nagasaki, Japan.
1833: Robert Ingersoll born in Dresden, New York.
1981: IBM introduced the Model 5150, its first personal computer.
1877: At 12:30 pm the Colorado Central steamed into Georgetown, Colorado for the first time.
2010: Edwin Newman, newscaster and expert on the English language, dies at age 91.
2012: Helen Gurley Brown, author of Sex and the Single Girl and editor of Cosmopolitan magazine, died at age 90.
1945: President Harry Truman announced the unconditional surrender of the Japanese.
1973: U.S. bombing of Cambodia halted.
1057: MacBeth, King of Scotland, was defeated and killed by King Duncan's son.
1483: Sistine Chapel in the Vatican was consecrated by Pope Sixtus IV.
1769: Napoleon Bonaparte on the island of Corsica.
1771: Sir Walter Scott born.
1914: Panama Canal opened to ship traffic.
1935: Humorist Will Rogers and Pilot Wiley Post died in a plane crash near Point Barrow, Alaska Territory.
1939: The musical "The Wizard of Oz" premiered at Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, California.
1947: India became independent after 200 years of British rule.
1961: Work began on the communist construction of the Berlin Wall to keep East Berliners from leaving communism.
1969: Woodstock Music and Art Fair opened in a field in New York.
1971: President Nixon announced a 90 day "wage, rent and price freeze."
1888: Thomas Edward Lawrence (Lawerence of Arabia) was born in Wales.
1924: Fess Parker (actor who went on to play Davy Crocket and Daniel Boone) born.
1967: Louis Armstrong released his version of "What a Wonderful World for ABC Records.
1977: Elvis Presley died at Graceland, Tennessee, at the age of 42.
1807: Robert Fulton's North River Steam Boat began steaming up the Hudson River in New York.
1863: Federal ships bombarded Fort Sumter, in the Charleston harbor.
1943: Allied forces gained control of Sicily.
1969: Hurricane Camille hits the Gulf Coast with winds of approximately 170 mph.
1969: Woodstock Music and Art Fair concluded outside Bethel, New York.
1920: Nineteenth Amendment, giving women the right to vote, is ratified.
14: Caesar Augustus died at age 76 after reining four decades.
1935: Ron Paul, libertarian, born.
2012: Actress Phyllis Diller dies at age 95.
1775: King George III proclaimed the Colonies to be in "open and avowed rebellion."
1912: Actor, dancer Gene Kelly born.
1914: Japan declares war on Germany, and entered WWI on the side of Britain.
1926: Silent film star Rudolph Valentino died in New York at age 31.
1927: Nicoli Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti executed.
1939: Germany (under Hilter) and the Soviet Union (under Stalin) signed a non-agression treaty.
2012: Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon (July 21, 1969) dies at age 82.
55 BC: Julius Caesar's forces invade Britain.
1939: The first televised major league baseball games were shown on experimental station W2XBS-a double header between the Cincinnati Reds and the Brooklyn Dodgers.
1974: Charles Lindbergh dies at his home in Hawaii at age 72.
1859: Colonel Edwin L. Drake drills the first successful oil well in the U.S. near Titusville, Pa.
1871: Theodore Dreiser born.
1899: CE Forester born.
1908: Lyndon Baines Johnson born near Stonewall, Texas.
1928: The Kellogg-Briand Pact signed in Paris. It outlaws war.
1929: Ira Levin born.
1962: NASA launches the Mariner 2 space probe, to fly past Venus in December of 1962.
1609: Henry Hudson discovers the Delaware Bay.
1749: German author Wolfgang von Goethe is born in Frankfurt, Germany.
1828: Novelist Leo Tolstoy is born near Tula.
1886: The Statute of Liberty is unveiled.
1903: Bruno Bettelheim born.
1922: Radio station WEAF airs the first radio commercial. The ten minutes of air time costs the Queensboro Realty Company $100.
1963: Martin Luther King gives his "I Have a Dream" speech.
1968: Police and anti-war demonstrators clash in the streets of Chicago during the Democratic National Convention that nominates Hubert Humphrey.
2007: Art Jones, inventor of the Nautilus fitness machines, dies at age 80.
1632: John Locke born.
1809: Oliver Wendell Holmes is born in Cambridge, Mass.
1896: Chop Suey invented in New York.
1916: The United States Marine Corps is founded.
1966: The Beatles give their last concert, at Candelstick Park in San Francisco.
30: Cleopatra VII committed suicide.
1797: Mary Shelley born.
1836: Houston founded.
1862: Union forces are defeated by Confederate forces at the Second Battle of Bull Run.
1963: The Hot Line between Washington D.C. and Moscow goes into operation.
1967: The U.S. Senate confirms Thurgood Marshall as Justice of the Supreme Court.
1688: John Bunyon, author of The Pilgrim's Progress, dies in London.
1870: Maria Montessori born.
1881: Newport, Rhode Island, hosts the first US tennis championships.
1887: Thomas A. Edison receives a patent for his kinetoscope, which made moving pictures.
1888: The body of Mary Ann Nicholls is found in London's East End. She is the first victim of Jack the Ripper.
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