1804 – The first self-propelled locomotive on rails was demonstrated in Wales.
1842 – John J. Greenough patented the sewing machine.
1848 – The Communist Manifesto was published by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels.
1858 – The first electric burglar alarm was installed in Boston, MA.
1866 – Lucy B. Hobbs became the first woman to graduate from a dental school. The school was the Ohio College of Dental Surgery in Cincinnati.
1874 – The Oakland Daily Tribune began publication.
1878 – The first telephone directories issued in the U.S. were distributed to residents in New Haven, CT. It was a single page of only fifty names.
1904 – The National Ski Association was formed in Ishpeming, MI.
1916 – During World War I, the Battle of Verdun began in France. The battle ended on December 18, 1916 with a French victory over Germany.
1925 – The first issue of “The New Yorker” was published.
1932 – William N. Goodwin patented the camera exposure meter.
1943 – “Free World Theatre” debuted on the Blue network (now ABC radio).
1945 – “The Lion and the Mouse” was first broadcast on “Brownstone Theatre.”
1947 – Edwin Land demonstrated the Polaroid Land Camera to the Optical Society of America in New York City. It was the first camera to take, develop and print a picture on photo paper all in about 60 seconds. The photos were black and white. The camera went on sale the following year.
1950 – The first International Pancake Race was held in Liberal, Kansas.
1965 – Malcolm X was assassinated in New York City at the age of 39 by assassins identified as Black Muslims.
1968 – An agreement between baseball players and club owners increased the minimum salary for major league players to $10,000 a year.
1973 – Israeli fighter planes shot down a Libyan Airlines jet over the Sinai Desert. More than 100 people were killed.
1975 – Former U.S. Attorney General John N. Mitchell and former White House aides H.R. Haldeman and John D. Ehrlichman were sentenced to 2 1/2 to 8 years in prison for their roles in the Watergate cover-up.
1988 – In Baton Rouge, LA, TV evangelist Jimmy Swaggart confessed to his congregation that he was guilty of an unspecified sin. He announced that he was leaving the pulpit temporarily. Swaggart had been linked to an admitted prostitute.
1989 – U.S. President George H.W. Bush called Ayatollah Khomeini’s death warrant against “Satanic Verses” author Salman Rushdie “deeply offensive to the norms of civilized behavior.”
1995 – Chicago stockbroker Steve Fossett became the first person to fly solo across the Pacific Ocean in a balloon. He landed in Leader, Saskatchewan, Canada.
1999 – India’s Prime Minister Atal Bihair Vajpayee concluded two days of meeting with Pakistan’s Prime Minister Mohammad Nowaz Sharif.
2000 – David Letterman returned to his Late Night show about five weeks after having an emergency quintuple heart bypass operation.
2003 – David Hasselhoff and his wife Pamela were injured in a motorcycle accident. The accident was caused by a strong gust of wind. Hasselhoff fractured his lower back and broke several ribs. His wife fractured her left ankle and right wrist.