0607 – The 12th recorded passage of Halley’s Comet occurred.
1519 – Cortez landed in Mexico.
1639 – Harvard University was named for clergyman John Harvard.
1660 – A statute was passed limiting the sale of slaves in the colony of Virginia.
1777 – The U.S. Congress ordered its European envoys to appeal to high-ranking foreign officers to send troops to reinforce the American army.
1781 – Sir William Herschel discovered the planet Uranus.
1852 – The New York “Lantern” newspaper published the first “Uncle Sam cartoon”. It was drawn by Frank Henry Bellew.
1865 – Jefferson Davis signed a bill authorizing slaves to be used as soldiers for the Confederacy.
1868 – The U.S. Senate began the impeachment trial of President Andrew Johnson.
1877 – Chester Greenwood patented the earmuff.
1878 – The first collegiate golf match was played between Oxford and Cambridge.
1884 – Standard time was adopted throughout the U.S.
1900 – In South Africa, British Gen. Roberts took Bloemfontein.
1901 – Andrew Carnegie announced that he was retiring from business and that he would spend the rest of his days giving away his fortune. His net worth was estimated at $300 million.
1902 – In Poland, schools were shut down across the country when students refused to sing the Russian hymn “God Protect the Czar.”
1902 – Andrew Carnegie approved 40 applications from libraries for donations.
1908 – The people of Jerusalem saw an automobile for the first time. The owner was Charles Glidden of Boston.
1911 – The U.S. Supreme Court approved corporate tax law.
1915 – The Germans repelled a British expeditionary force attack in France.
1918 – Women were scheduled to march in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in New York due to a shortage of men due to wartime.
1925 – A law in Tennessee prohibited the teaching of evolution.
1930 – It was announced that the planet Pluto had been discovered by scientist Clyde Tombaugh at the Lowell Observatory.
1933 – U.S. banks began to re-open after a “holiday” that had been declared by President Roosevelt.
1935 – Three-thousand-year-old archives were found in Jerusalem confirming some biblical history.
1940 – The war between Russia and Finland ended with the signing of a treaty in Moscow.
1941 – Adolf Hitler issued an edict calling for an invasion of the U.S.S.R.
1942 – Julia Flikke of the Nurse Corps became the first woman colonel in the U.S. Army.
1943 – Japanese forces ended their attack on the American troops on Hill 700 in Bougainville.
1946 – Reports from Iran indicated that Soviet tanks units were stationed 20 miles from Tehran.
1946 – Premier Tito seized wartime collaborator General Draja Mikhailovich in a cave in Yugoslavia.
1951 – Israel demanded $1.5 billion in German reparations for the cost of caring for war refugees.
1951 – The comic strip “Dennis the Menace” appeared for the first time in newspapers across the country.
1957 – Jimmy Hoffa was arrested by the FBI on bribery charges.
1963 – China invited Soviet President Khrushchev to visit Peking.
1969 – The Apollo 9 astronauts returned to Earth after the conclusion of a mission that included the successful testing of the Lunar Module.
1970 – Cambodia ordered Hanoi and Viet Cong troops to leave.
1970 – Digital Equipment Corp. introduced the PDP-11 minicomputer.
1972 – “The Merv Griffin Show” debuted in syndication for Metromedia Television.
1974 – The U.S. Senate voted 54-33 to restore the death penalty.
1974 – An embargo imposed by Arab oil-producing countries was lifted.
1980 – A jury in Winamac, IN, found Ford Motor Company innocent of reckless homicide in the deaths of three young women that had been riding in a Ford Pinto.
1988 – The board of trustees off Gallaudet University in Washington, DC, chose I. King Jordan to be its first deaf president. The college is a liberal arts college for the hearing-impaired.
1990 – The U.S. lifted economic sanctions against Nicaragua.
1991 – Exxon paid $1 billion in fines and for the clean-up of the Alaskan oil spill.
1995 – The first United Nations World Summit on Social Development concluded in Copenhagen, Denmark.
1997 – Sister Nirmala was chosen by India’s Missionaries of Charity to succeed Mother Teresa as leader of the Catholic order.
2002 – Fox aired “Celebrity Boxing.” Tonya Harding beat Paula Jones, Danny Banaduce beat Barry Williams and Todd Bridges defeated Vanilla Ice.
2003 – Japan sent a destroyer to the Sea of Japan amid reports that North Korea was planning to test an intermediate-range ballistic missile.
2003 – A report in the journal “Nature” reported that scientists had found 350,000-year-old human footprints in Italy. The 56 prints were made by three early, upright-walking humans that were descending the side of a volcano.
2006 – In New York, the official start of construction of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum began.
2012 – After 244 years of publication, Encyclopædia Britannica announced it would discontinue its print edition.