1558 – Calais, the last English possession on mainland France, was recaptured by the French.
1610 – Galileo Galilei sighted four of Jupiter’s moons. He named them Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto.
1782 – The Bank of North America opened in Philadelphia. It was the first commercial bank in the United States.
1785 – French aeronaut/balloonist Jean-Pierre Blanchard successfully made the first air-crossing of the English Channel from the English coast to France.
1789 – Americans voted for the electors that would choose George Washington to be the first U.S. president.
1887 – Thomas Stevens completed the first worldwide bicycle trip. He started his trip in April 1884. Stevens and his bike traveled 13,500 miles in almost three years time.
1894 – W.K. Dickson received a patent for motion picture film.
1896 – The “Fannie Farmer Cookbook” was published.
1904 – The distress signal “CQD” was established. Two years later “SOS” became the radio distress signal because it was quicker to send by wireless radio.
1926 – George Burns and Gracie Allen were married.
1927 – Transatlantic telephone service began between New York and London. 31 calls were made on this first day.
1927 – In Hinckley IL, the Harlem Globetrotters played their first game.
1929 – The debut of “Buck Rogers 2429 A.D.” occurred in newspapers around the U.S. The title of the comic strip was later changed to “Buck Rogers in the 25th Century.”
1932 – Chancellor Heinrich Brüning declared that Germany cannot, and will not, resume reparations payments.
1935 – French Foreign Minister Pierre Laval and Italian Prime Minister Benito Mussolini signed the Italo-French agreements.
1940 – “Gene Autry’s Melody Ranch” debuted on CBS Radio. The show aired for 16 years.
1941 – The NBC Blue radio network presented “The Squeaky Door” for the first time. The show was later known as “Inner Sanctum.”
1942 – The World War II siege of Bataan began.
1949 – The announcement of the first photograph of genes was shown at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.
1953 – U.S. President Harry Truman announced the development of the hydrogen bomb.
1954 – The Duoscopic TV receiver was unveiled this day. The TV set allowed the watching of two different shows at the same time.
1959 – The United States recognized Fidel Castro’s new government in Cuba.
1968 – The cost of a U.S. first class stamp was raised to 6 cents.
1975 – OPEC agreed to raise crude oil prices by 10%, which began a time of world economic inflation.
1979 – Vietnamese forces captured the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh, overthrowing the Khmer Rouge government.
1980 – U.S. President Jimmy Carter signed legislation that authorized $1.5 billion in loans for the bail out of Chrysler Corp.
1989 – Crown Prince Akihito became the emperor of Japan following the death of his father, Emperor Hirohito.
1990 – The Leaning Tower of Pisa was closed to the public. The accelerated rate of “leaning” raised fears for the safety of its visitors.
1996 – Alvaro Arzu was elected president of Guatemala.
1996 – One of the biggest blizzards in U.S. history hit the eastern states. More than 100 deaths were later blamed on the severe weather.
1998 – Former White House intern Monica Lewinsky signed an affidavit denying that she had an affair with U.S. President Clinton.
1999 – U.S. President Clinton went on trial before the Senate. It was only the second time in U.S. history that an impeached president had gone to trial. Clinton was later acquitted of perjury and obstruction of justice charges.
2002 – Microsoft Corp. chairman Bill Gates introduced a new device code named Mira. The device was tablet-like and was a cross between a handheld computer and a TV remote control.
2009 – Russia shut off all gas supplies to Europe through Ukraine. Prime Minister Vladimir Putin publicly endorsed the move and urged greater international involvement in the energy dispute.