1477 – William Caxton produced “Dictes or Sayengis of the Philosophres,” which was the first book to be printed in England.
1820 – Captain Nathaniel Palmer became the first American to sight the continent of Antarctica.
1865 – Samuel L. Clemens published “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County” under the pen name “Mark Twain” in the New York “Saturday Press.”
1883 – The U.S. and Canada adopted a system of standard time zones.
1903 – The U.S. and Panama signed a treaty that granted the U.S. rights to build the Panama Canal.
1916 – Douglas Haig, commander of the British Expeditionary Force in World War I, called off the Battle of the Somme in France. The offensive began on July 1, 1916.
1928 – The first successful sound-synchronized animated cartoon premiered in New York. It was Walt Disney’s “Steamboat Willie,” starring Mickey Mouse.
Disney movies, music and books
1936 – Germany and Italy recognized the Spanish government of Francisco Franco.
1942 – “The Skin of Our Teeth,” by Thornton Wilder opened on Broadway.
1959 – William Wyler’s “Ben-Hur” premiered at Loew’s Theater in New York City’s Times Square.
1966 – Sandy Koufax (Los Angeles Dodgers) announced his retirement from major league baseball.
1966 – U.S. Roman Catholic bishops did away with the rule against eating meat on Fridays.
1969 – Apollo 12 astronauts Charles “Pete” Conrad Jr. and Alan L. Bean landed on the lunar surface during the second manned mission to the moon.
1976 – The parliament of Spain approved a bill that established a democracy after 37 years of dictatorship.
1983 – Argentina announced its ability to produce enriched uranium for use in nuclear weapons.
1985 – Joe Theismann (Washington Redskins) broke his leg after being hit by Lawrence Taylor (New York Giants). The injury ended Theismann’s 12 year National Football League (NFL) career.
1987 – The U.S. Congress issued the Iran-Contra Affair report. The report said that President Ronald Reagan bore “ultimate responsibility” for wrongdoing by his aides.
1987 – CBS Inc. announced it had agreed to sell its record division to Sony Corp. for about $2 billion.
1988 – U.S. President Reagan signed major legislation provided the death penalty for drug traffickers who kill.
1993 – The U.S. House of Representatives joined the U.S. Senate in approving legislation aimed at protecting abortion facilities, staff and patients.
1993 – American Airlines flight attendants went on strike. They ended their strike only 4 days later.
1993 – Representatives from 21 South African political parties approved a new constitution.
1997 – First Union Corp. announced its purchase of CoreStates Financial Corp. for $16.1 billion. To date it was the largest banking deal in U.S. history.
2001 – Nintendo released the GameCube home video game console in the United States.