1801 – The U.S. House of Representatives broke an electoral tie between Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr. Jefferson was elected president and Burr became vice president.
1817 – The first gaslit streetlights appeared on the streets of Baltimore, MD.
1865 – Columbia, SC, burned. The Confederates were evacuating and the Union Forces were moving in.
1876 – Julius Wolff was credited with being the first to can sardines.
1878 – In San Francisco, CA, the first large city telephone exchange opened. It had only 18 phones.
1897 – The National Congress of Mothers was organized in Washington, DC, by Alice McLellan Birney and Phoebe Apperson Hearst. It was the forerunner of the National PTA.
1913 – The Armory Show opened at the 69th Regiment Armory in New York City. The full-scale exhibition was of contemporary paintings and was organized by the Association of Painters and Sculptors.
1924 – Swimmer Johnny Weissmuller set a world record in the 100-yard freestyle. He did it with a time of 57-2/5 seconds in Miami, FL.
1933 – “Newsweek” was first published.
1933 – Blondie Boopadoop married Dagwood Bumstead three years after Chic Young’s popular strip first debuted.
1934 – The first high school automobile driver’s education course was introduced in State College, PA.
1944 – During World War II, the Battle of Eniwetok Atoll began. U.S. forces won the battle on February 22, 1944.
1947 – The Voice of America began broadcasting to the Soviet Union.
1964 – The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that congressional districts within each state had to be approximately equal in population. (Westberry v. Sanders)
1965 – Comedienne Joan Rivers made her first guest appearances on ” The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson” on NBC-TV.
1968 – The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame opened in Springfield, MA.
1985 – U.S. Postage stamp prices were raised from 20 cents to 22 cents for first class mail.
1992 – In Milwaukee, serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer was sentenced to life in prison. In November of 1994, he was beaten to death in prison.
1995 – Colin Ferguson was convicted of six counts of murder in the December 1993 Long Island Rail Road shootings. He was later sentenced to a minimum of 200 years in prison.
1996 – World chess champion Garry Kasparov beat the IBM supercomputer “Deep Blue” in Philadelphia, PA.
1997 – Pepperdine University announced that Kenneth Starr was leaving the Whitewater probe to take a full-time job at the school. Starr reversed the announcement four days later.
2005 – U.S. President George W. Bush named John Negroponte as the first national intelligence director.