1660 – The books of John Milton were burned in London due to his attacks on King Charles II.
1789 – The Declaration of the Rights of Man was adopted by the French National Assembly.
1828 – Uruguay was formally proclaimed to be independent during preliminary talks between Brazil and Argentina.
1858 – The first cabled news dispatch was sent and was published by “The New York Sun” newspaper. The story was about the peace demands of England and France being met by China.
1859 – The first oil well was successfully drilled in the U.S. by Colonel Edwin L. Drake near Titusville, PA.
1889 – Charles G. Conn received a patent for the metal clarinet.
1889 – Boxer Jack “Nonpareil” Dempsey was defeated for the first time of his career by George LaBlanche.
1892 – The original Metropolitan Opera House in New York was seriously damaged by fire.
1894 – The Wilson-Gorman Tariff Act was passed by the U.S. Congress. The provision within for a graduated income tax was later struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court.
1921 – The owner of Acme Packing Company bought a pro football team for Green Bay, WI. J.E. Clair paid tribute to those who worked in his plant by naming the team the Green Bay Packers. (NFL)
1928 – The Kellogg-Briand Pact was signed by 15 countries in Paris. Later, 47 other nations would sign the pact.
1938 – Robert Frost, in a fit of jealousy, set fire to some papers to disrupt a poetry recital by another poet, Archibald MacLeish.
1939 – Nazi Germany demanded the Polish corridor and Danzig.
1945 – American troops landed in Japan after the surrender of the Japanese government at the end of World War II.
1962 – Mariner 2 was launched by the United States. In December of the same year the spacecraft flew past Venus. It was the first space probe to reach the vicinity of another planet.
1972 – North Vietnam’s major port at Haiphong saw the first bombings from U.S. warplanes.
1981 – Work began on recovering a safe from the Andrea Doria. The Andrea Doria was a luxury liner that had sank in 1956 in the waters off of Massachusetts.
1984 – U.S. President Ronald Reagan announced that the first citizen to go into space would be a teacher. The teacher that was eventually chosen was Christa McAuliffe. She died in the Challenger disaster on January 28, 1986.
1984 – Diane Sawyer became the fifth reporter on CBS-TV’s “60 Minutes.”
1984 – The Menetta Lane Theatre in Greenwich Village opened. It was the first new off-Broadway theater to be built in 50 years in New York City.
1985 – The Space Shuttle Discovery left for a seven-day mission in which three satellites were launched and another was repaired and redeployed.
1986 – Nolan Ryan (Houston Astros) earned his 250th career win against the Chicago Cubs.
1989 – The first U.S. commercial satellite rocket was launched. A British communications satellite was onboard.
1990 – The U.S. State Department ordered the expulsion of 36 Iraqi diplomats.
1991 – The Soviet republic of Moldavia declared its independence.
1996 – California Governor Pete Wilson signed an order that would halt state benefits to illegal immigrants.
1998 – James Brolin received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
1998 – “Titanic” became the first movie in North America to earn more than $600 million.
1999 – The final crew of the Russian space station Mir departed the station to return to Earth. Russia was forced to abandon Mir for financial reasons.
2001 – The U.S. military announced that an Air Force RQ-1B “Predator” aircraft was lost over Iraq. It was reported that the unmanned aircraft “may have crashed or been shot down.”
2001 – Work began on the future site of a World War II memorial on the U.S. capital’s historic national Mall. The site is between the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial.