1623 – The first alcohol temperance law in the colonies was enacted in Virginia.
1624 – In the American colony of Virginia, the upper class was exempted from whipping by legislation.
1750 – “King Richard III” was performed in New York City. It was the first Shakespearean play to be presented in America.
1766 – The first Spanish governor of Louisiana, Antonio de Ulloa, arrived in New Orleans.
1770 – “The Boston Massacre” took place when British troops fired on a crowd in Boston killing five people. Two British troops were later convicted of manslaughter.
1793 – Austrian troops defeated the French and recaptured Liege.
1836 – Samuel Colt’s Patent Arms Manufacturing of Paterson, New Jersey, was chartered by the New Jersey legislature.
1842 – A Mexican force of over 500 men under Rafael Vasquez invaded Texas for the first time since the revolution. They briefly occupied San Antonio, but soon headed back to the Rio Grande.
1845 – The U.S. Congress appropriated $30,000 to ship camels to the western U.S.
1864 – For the first time, Oxford met Cambridge in track and field competition in England.
1867 – An abortive Fenian uprising against English rule took place in Ireland.
1868 – The U.S. Senate was organized into a court of impeachment to decide charges against President Andrew Johnson.
1872 – George Westinghouse patented the air brake.
1900 – Two U.S. battleships left for Nicaragua to halt revolutionary disturbances.
1901 – Germany and Britain began negotiations with hopes of creating an alliance.
1902 – In France, the National Congress of Miners decided to call for a general strike for an 8-hour day.
1907 – In St. Petersburg, Russia, the new Duma opened. 40,000 demonstrators were dispersed by troops.
1910 – In Philadelphia, PA, 60,000 people left their jobs to show support for striking transit workers.
1910 – The Moroccan envoy signed the 1909 agreement with France.
1912 – The Italians became the first to use dirigibles for military purposes. They used them for reconnaissance flights behind Turkish lines west of Tripoli.
1918 – The Soviets moved the capital of Russia from Petrograd to Moscow.
1922 – “Annie Oakley” (Phoebe Ann Moses) broke all existing records for women’s trap shooting. She hit 98 out of 100 targets.
1923 – Old-age pension laws were enacted in the states of Montana and Nevada.
1924 – Frank Caruana of Buffalo, NY, became the first bowler to roll two perfect games in a row.
1933 – U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt ordered a four-day bank holiday in order to stop large amounts of money from being withdrawn from banks.
1933 – The Nazi Party won 44 percent of the vote in German parliamentary elections.
1934 – In Amarillo, TX, the first Mother’s-In-Law Day was celebrated.
1943 – Germany called fifteen- and sixteen-year-olds for military service due to war losses.
1946 – Winston Churchill delivered his “Iron Curtain Speech”.
1946 – The U.S. sent protests to the U.S.S.R. on incursions into Manchuria and Iran.
1953 – Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin died. He had been in power for 29 years.
1956 – The U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the ban on segregation in public schools.
1969 – Gustav Heinemann was elected West German President.
1970 – A nuclear non-proliferation treaty went into effect after 43 nations ratified it.
1976 – The British pound fell below the equivalent of $2 for the first time in history.
1977 – U.S. President Jimmy Carter appeared on CBS News with Walter Cronkite for the first “Dial-a-President” radio talk show.
1984 – The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that cities had the right to display the Nativity scene as part of their Christmas display.
1984 – The U.S. accused Iraq of using poison gas.
1985 – Mike Bossy (New York Islanders) became the first National Hockey League player to score 50 goals in eight consecutive seasons.
1993 – Cuban President Fidel Castro said that Hillary Clinton was “a beautiful woman.”
1993 – Sprinter Ben Johnson was banned from racing for life by the Amateur Athletic Association after testing positive for banned performance-enhancing substances for a second time.
1997 – North Korea and South Korea met for first time in 25 years for peace talks.
1997 – Chuck Niles received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
1998 – NASA announced that an orbiting craft had found enough water on the moon to support a human colony and rocket fueling station.
1998 – It was announced that Air Force Lt. Col. Eileen Collins would lead crew of Columbia on a mission to launch a large X-ray telescope. She was the first woman to command a space shuttle mission.