1804 – Napoleon was crowned emperor of France at the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris.
1816 – The first savings bank in the U.S., the Philadelphia Savings Fund Society, opened for business.
1823 – U.S. President James Monroe outlined his doctrine opposing European expansion in the Western Hemisphere.
1901 – Gillette patented the KC Gillette Razor. It was first razor to feature a permanent handle and disposable double-edge razor blades.
1917 – During World War I, hostilities were suspended on the eastern front.
1927 – The Ford Motor Company unveiled the Model A automobile. It was the successor to the Model T.
1939 – New York’s La Guardia Airport began operations as an airliner from Chicago landed at 12:01 a.m.
1942 – A self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction was demonstrated by Dr. Enrico Fermi and his staff at the University of Chicago.
1943 – “Carmen Jones” opened on Broadway.
1954 – The U.S. Senate voted to condemn Sen. Joseph R. McCarthy for what it called “conduct that tends to bring the Senate into dishonor and disrepute.” The censure was related to McCarthy’s controversial investigation of suspected communists in the U.S. government, military and civilian society.
1961 – Cuban leader Fidel Castro declared in a nationally broadcast speech that he was a Marxist-Leninist and that he was going to lead Cuba to communism.
1969 – The Boeing 747 jumbo jet got its first public preview as 191 people flew from Seattle, WA, to New York City, NY. Most of the passengers were reporters and photographers.
1970 – The Environmental Protection Agency began operating under its first director, William Ruckelshaus.
1980 – The Central Committee of Poland’s Communist Party announced major Politburo changes. The changes were apparently aimed at coping with labor unrest.
1982 – Doctors at the University of Utah implanted a permanent artificial heart in the chest of retired dentist Barney Clark. He lived 112 days with the device. The operation was the first of its kind.
1985 – A Philippine civilian court acquitted armed forces chief Gen. Fabian C. Ver of charges related to the 1983 shooting death of opposition leader Benigno S. Aquino. 25 other defendants were also acquitted.
1988 – Benazir Bhutto was sworn in as prime minister of Pakistan.
1989 – V.P. Singh was sworn in as prime minister of India.
1990 – Chancellor Hekmut Kohl’s coalition won the first free all-German elections since 1932.
1990 – The Midwest section of the U.S. prepared for a massive earthquake predicted by Iben Browning. Nothing happened.
1992 – Germany’s lower house of parliament voted in favor of the Maastricht Treaty on European unity.
1993 – Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar was shot to death by security forces in Medellin.
1993 – The space shuttle Endeavor blasted off on a mission to fix the Hubble Space Telescope.
1994 – The U.S. government agreed not to seek a recall of allegedly fire-prone General Motors pickup trucks. Instead a deal was made with GM under which the company would spend more than $51 million on safety and research.
1995 – NASA launched a U.S.-European observatory on a $1 billion dollar mission intended to study the sun.
1997 – U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno declined to seek an independent counsel investigation of telephone fund-raising by President Clinton and Vice President Gore. It was concluded that they had not violated election laws.
1998 – Microsoft Corp. chairman Bill Gates donated $100 million to help immunize children in developing countries.
1999 – The British government transferred political power over the province of Northern Ireland to the Northern Ireland Executive.
2001 – Enron Corp. filed for Chapter 11 reorganization. The filing came five days after Dynegy walked away from a $8.4 billion buyout. It was the largest bankruptcy in U.S. history.
2010 – NASA announced the discovery of a new arsenic-based life form.