1656 – Edmond Halley was born. Halley, an astronomer-mathmatician, was the first to calculate the orbit that was named after him. The comet makes an appearance every 76 years.
1793 – The Louvre Museum, in Paris, opened to the public for the first time.
1805 – The “Corps of Discovery” reached the Pacific Ocean. The expedition was lead by William Clark and Meriwether Lewis. The journey had begun on May 14, 1804, with the goal of exploring the Louisiana Purchase territory.
1880 – French actress Sarah Bernhardt made her American stage debut in “Adrienne Lecouvreur” in New York City.
1887 – Doc Holliday died at the age of 35. The gun fighting dentist died from tuberculosis in a sanitarium in Glenwood Springs, CO.
1889 – Montana became the 41st U.S. state.
1895 – Wilhelm Roentgen while experimenting with electricity discovered the scientific principle involved and took the first X-ray pictures.
1910 – William H. Frost patented the insect exterminator.
1923 – Adolf Hitler made his first attempt at seizing power in Germany with a failed coup in Munich that came to be known as the “Beer-Hall Putsch.”
1933 – The Civil Works Administration was created by executive order by U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The organization was designed to create jobs for more than 4 million unemployed people in the U.S.
1939 – “Life With Father” premiered on Broadway in New York City.
1942 – The U.S. invaded Morocco and Algeria.
1942 – During World War II, Operation Torch began as U.S. and British forces landed in French North Africa.
1950 – During the Korean conflict, the first jet-plane battle took place as U.S. Air Force Lt. Russell J. Brown shot down a North Korean MiG-15.
1954 – The American League approved the transfer of the Philadelphia Athletics baseball team to Kansas City, MO.
1956 – After turning down 18,000 names, the Ford Motor Company decided to name their new car the “Edsel,” after Henry Ford’s only son.
1959 – Elgin Baylor of the Minneapolis Lakers, scored 64 points and set a National Basketball Association scoring record.
1965 – The soap opera “Days of Our Lives” debuted on NBC-TV.
1966 – Edward W. Brooke of Massachusetts became the first African-American elected to the U.S. Senate by popular vote.
1966 – Ronald Reagan was elected governor of California.
1979 – The program, “The Iran Crisis: America Held Hostage”, premiered on ABC-TV. The show was planned to be temporary, but it evolved into “Nightline” in March of 1980.
1979 – U.S. Senators John Warner (R-VA) and Mac Mathias (R-MD) introduced legislation to provide a site on the National Mall for the building of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
1980 – Scientists at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California announced that they had discovered a 15th moon orbiting the planet Saturn.
1981 – Egyptian President Hosni Mubarek asserted that Egypt was “an African State” that was “neither East nor West”.
1985 – A letter signed by four American hostages in Lebanon was delivered to The Associated Press in Beirut. The letter, contained pleas from Terry Anderson, Rev. Lawrence Jenco, David Jacobsen and Thomas Sutherland to President Reagan to negotiate a release.
1986 – Vyacheslav M. Molotov died at age 96. During World War II, Molotov ordered the mass production of bottles filled with flammable liquid later called the “Molotov cocktail.”
1987 – A bomb planted by the Irish Republican Army exploded in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland, at a ceremony honoring Britain’s war dead. Eleven people were killed.
1990 – U.S. President George H.W. Bush ordered more troop deployments in the Persian Gulf, adding about 150,000 soldiers to the multi-national force fighting against Iraq.
1991 – The European Community and Canada imposed economic sanctions on Yugoslavia in an attempt to stop the Balkan civil war.
1992 – About 350,000 people rallied in Berlin against racist violence.
1993 – Five Picasso paintings and other artwork were stolen from the Museum of Modern Art in Stockholm, Sweden. The works were valued at $52 million.
1997 – Chinese engineers diverted the Yangtze River to make way for the Three Gorges Dam.
2000 – In Florida, a statewide recount began to decide the winner of the 2000 U.S. presidential election.
2000 – Waco special counsel John C. Danforth released his final report that absolved the government of wrongdoing in the 1993 seige of the Branch Davidian compound in Texas.
2001 – The “Homage to Van Gogh: International Artists Pay Tribute to a Legend” exhibit opened at the Appleton Museum of Art in Florida.