1607 – Jamestown, Virginia, was settled as a colony of England.
1648 – Margaret Jones of Plymouth was found guilty of witchcraft and was sentenced to be hanged by the neck.
1779 – The War of Bavarian Succession ended.
1787 – Captain Arthur Phillip left Britain for Australia. He successfully landed eleven ships full of convicts on January 18, 1788, at Botany Bay. The group moved north eight days later and settled at Port Jackson.
1821 – The first practical printing press was patented in the U.S. by Samuel Rust.
1846 – The U.S. declared that war already existed with Mexico.
1854 – The first big American billiards match was held at Malcolm Hall in Syracuse, NY.
1861 – Britain declared its neutrality in the American Civil War.
1864 – The Battle of Resaca commenced as Union General Sherman fought towards Atlanta during the American Civil War.
1865 – The last land engagement of the American Civil War was fought at the Battle of Palmito Ranch in far south Texas, more than a month after Gen. Lee’s surrender at Appomattox, VA.
1867 – Confederate President Jefferson Davis became a free man after spending two years in prison for his role in the American Civil War.
1873 – Ludwig M. Wolf patented the sewing machine lamp holder.
1880 – Thomas Edison tested his experimental electric railway in Menlo Park.
1888 – Slavery was abolished in Brazil.
1911 – The New York Giants set a major league baseball record. Ten runners crossed home plate before the first out of the game against St. Louis.
1912 – Royal Flying Corps was established in England.
1913 – Igor Sikorsky flew the first four engine aircraft.
1917 – Three peasant children near Fatima, Portugal, reported seeing a vision of the Virgin Mary.
1918 – The first airmail postage stamps were issued with airplanes on them. The denominations were 6, 16, and 24 cents.
1926 – In Warsaw, Joseph Pilsudski had President Wojciechowski arrested.
1927 – “Black Friday” occurred in Germany.
1940 – Winston Churchill made his first speech as the prime minister of Britain.
1949 – The first gas turbine to pump natural gas was installed in Wilmar, AR.
1954 – U.S. President Eisenhower signed into law the St. Lawrence Seaway Development Act.
1958 – French troops took control of Algiers.
1958 – U.S. Vice President Nixon’s limousine was battered by rocks thrown by anti-U.S. demonstrators in Caracas, Venezuela.
1967 – Mickey Mantle hit his 500th homerun.
1968 – Peace talks between the U.S. and North Vietnam began in Paris.
1975 – Hailstones the size of tennis balls hit Wenerville, TN.
1981 – Pope John Paul II was shot and seriously wounded in St. Peter’s Square by Turkish assailant Mehmet Ali Agca.
1982 – The Chicago Cubs became the first major league baseball team to win 8,000 games.
1985 – Tony Perez became the oldest major league baseball player to hit a grand slam home run at the age of 42 and 11 months.
1985 – A confrontation between Philadelphia authorities and the radical group MOVE ended as police dropped an explosive onto the group’s headquarters. 11 people died in the fire that resulted.
1996 – In Bangladesh 600 people were killed by a tornado.
1998 – India did a second round of nuclear tests. The first round had been done 2 days earlier. Within hours the U.S. and Japan imposed tough economic sanctions. India claimed that the tests were necessary to maintain India’s national security.
1999 – In Moscow, the impeachment of Russian President Boris Yeltsin began.