0241 BC – The Roman fleet sank 50 Carthaginian ships in the Battle of Aegusa.
0049 BC – Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon and invaded Italy.
1496 – Christopher Columbus concluded his second visit to the Western Hemisphere when he left Hispaniola for Spain.
1629 – England’s King Charles I dissolved Parliament and did not call it back for 11 years.
1656 – In the American colony of Virginia, suffrage was extended to all free men regardless of their religion.
1785 – Thomas Jefferson was appointed minister to France. He succeeded Benjamin Franklin.
1792 – John Stone patented the pile driver.
1804 – The formal ceremonies transferring the Louisiana Purchase from France to the U.S. took place in St. Louis.
1806 – The Dutch in Cape Town, South Africa surrendered to the British.
1814 – In France, Napoleon Bonaparte was defeated by a combined Allied Army at the battle of Laon.
1848 – The U.S. Senate ratified the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which ended the war with Mexico.
1849 – Abraham Lincoln applied for a patent for a device to lift vessels over shoals by means of inflated cylinders.
1864 – Ulysses S. Grant became commander of the Union armies in the U.S. Civil War.
1876 – Alexander Graham Bell made the first successful call with the telephone. He spoke the words “Mr. Watson, come here, I want to see you.”
1880 – The Salvation Army arrived in the U.S. from England.
1893 – New Mexico State University canceled its first graduation ceremony because the only graduate was robbed and killed the night before.
1894 – New York Gov. Roswell P. Flower signed the nation’s first dog-licensing law.
1902 – The Boers of South Africa scored their last victory over the British, when they captured British General Methuen and 200 men.
1902 – Tochangri, Turkey, was entirely wiped out by an earthquake.
1902 – U.S. Attorney General Philander Knox announced that a suit was being brought against Morgan and Harriman’s Northern Securities Company. The suit was enforcement of the Sherman Antitrust Act. Northern Securities loss in court was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court on March 14, 1904.
1903 – Harry C. Gammeter patented the multigraph duplicating machine.
1903 – In New York’s harbor, the disease-stricken ship Karmania was quarantined with six dead from cholera.
1906 – In France, 1,200 miners were buried in an explosion at Courrieres.
1909 – Britain extracted territorial concessions from Siam and Malaya.
1910 – Slavery was abolished in China.
1912 – China became a republic after the overthrow of the Manchu Ch’ing Dynasty.
1913 – William Knox rolled the first perfect 300 game in tournament competition.
1924 – The U.S. Supreme Court upheld a New York state law forbidding late-night work for women.
1927 – Prussia lifted its Nazi ban allowing Adolf Hitler to speak in public.
1933 – Nevada became the first U.S. state to regulate drugs.
1940 – W2XBS-TV in New York City aired the first televised opera as it presented scenes from “I Pagliacci”.
1941 – The Brooklyn Dodgers announced that their players would begin wearing batting helmets during the 1941 season.
1941 – Vichy France threatened to use its navy unless Britain allowed food to reach France.
1944 – The Irish refused to oust all Axis envoys and denied the accusation of spying on Allied troops.
1945 – American B-29 bombers attacked Tokyo, Japan, 100,000 were killed.
1947 – The Big Four met in Moscow to discuss the future of Germany.
1947 – Poland and Czechoslovakia signed a 20-year mutual aid pact.
1949 – Nazi wartime broadcaster Mildred E. Gillars, also known as “Axis Sally,” was convicted in Washington, DC. Gillars was convicted of treason and served 12 years in prison.
1953 – North Korean gunners at Wonsan fired upon the USS Missouri. The ship responded by firing 998 rounds at the enemy position.
1955 – The last broadcast of “The Silver Eagle” was heard on radio.
1956 – Julie Andrews at the age of 23 made her TV debut in “High Tor” with Bing Crosby and Nancy Olson.
1959 – “Sweet Bird of Youth”, a play by Tennessee Williams, opened in New York City.
1965 – Walter Matthau and Art Carney opened in “The Odd Couple”. It later became a hit on television.
1966 – The North Vietnamese captured a Green Beret camp at Ashau Valley.
1966 – France withdrew from NATO’s military command to protest U.S. dominance of the alliance and asked NATO to move its headquarters from Paris.
1969 – James Earl Ray pled guilty in Memphis, TN, to the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. Ray later repudiated the guilty plea and maintained his innocence until his death in April of 1998.
1971 – The U.S. Senate approved an amendment to lower the voting age to 18.
1975 – The North Vietnamese Army attacked the South Vietnamese town of Ban Me Thout.
1980 – Iran’s leader, Ayatollah Khomeini, lent his support to the militants holding American hostages in Tehran.
1981 – The U.S. Postal Service announced an increase in first class postage from 15 to 18 cents.
1982 – The U.S. banned Libyan oil imports due to their continued support of terrorism.
1986 – The Wrigley Company, of Chicago, raised the price of its seven-stick pack of Wrigley’s chewing gum from a quarter to 30 cents.
1987 – The Vatican condemned surrogate parenting as well as test-tube and artificial insemination.
1990 – Haitian President Prosper Avril was ousted 18 months after seizing power in a coup.
1991 – “Phase Echo” began. It was the operation to withdraw 540,000 U.S. troops from the Persian Gulf region.
1994 – White House officials began testifying before a federal grand jury about the Whitewater controversy.
1995 – U.S. Secretary of State Warren Christopher told Yasser Arafat that he must do more to curb Palestinian terrorists.
1998 – U.S. troops in the Persian Gulf began receiving the first vaccinations against anthrax.
2002 – The Associated Press reported that the Pentagon informed the U.S. Congress in January that it was making contingency plans for the possible use of nuclear weapons against countries that threaten the U.S. with weapons of mass destruction, including Iraq and North Korea.
2003 – North Korea test-fired a short-range missile. The event was one of several in a patter of unusual military maneuvers.