1535 – French explorer Jacques Cartier set sail for North America.
1536 – Anne Boleyn, the second wife of England’s King Henry VIII, was beheaded after she was convicted of adultery.
1568 – After being defeated by the Protestants, Mary the Queen of Scots, fled to England where she was imprisoned by Queen Elizabeth.
1588 – The Spanish Armada set sail from Lisbon, bound for England.
1608 – The Protestant states formed the Evangelical Union of Lutherans and Calvinists.
1643 – Delegates from four New England colonies met in Boston to form a confederation.
1643 – The French army defeated a Spanish army at Rocroi, France.
1796 – The first U.S. game law was approved. The measure called for penalties for hunting or destroying game within Indian territory.
1847 – The first English-style railroad coach was placed in service on the Fall River Line in Massachusetts.
1856 – U.S. Senator Charles Sumner spoke out against slavery.
1857 – The electric fire alarm system was patented by William F. Channing and Moses G. Farmer.
1858 – A pro-slavery band led by Charles Hameton executed unarmed Free State men near Marais des Cygnes on the Kansas-Missouri border.
1864 – The Union and Confederate armies launched their last attacks against each other at Spotsylvania in Virginia.
1906 – The Federated Boys’ Clubs, forerunner of the Boys’ Clubs of America, were organized.
1911 – The first American criminal conviction that was based on fingerprint evidence occurred in New York City.
1912 – The Associated Advertising Clubs of America held its first convention in Dallas, TX.
1921 – The U.S. Congress passed the Emergency Quota Act, which established national quotas for immigrants.
1926 – Thomas Edison spoke on the radio for the first time.
1926 – Benito Mussolini announced that democracy was deceased. Rome became a fascist state.
1926 – In Damascus, Syria, French shells killed 600 people.
1928 – The first frog-jumping jubilee held in Calaveras County, CA.
1935 – T.E. Lawrence “Lawrence of Arabia” died from injuries in a motorcycle crash in England.
1935 – The National Football League (NFL) adopted an annual college draft to begin in 1936.
1943 – Winston Churchill told the U.S. Congress that his country was pledging their full support in the war against Japan.
1958 – Canada and the U.S. formally established the North American Air Defense Command.
1964 – The U.S. State Department reported that diplomats had found about 40 microphones planted in the U.S. Embassy in Moscow.
1967 – The Soviet Union ratified a treaty with the United States and Britain that banned nuclear weapons from outer space.
1974 – Erno Rubik invented the puzzle what would later become known as the Rubik’s Cube.
1967 – U.S. planes bombed Hanoi for the first time.
1981 – The Empire State Building was designated a New York City Landmark.
1988 – In Jacksonville, FL, Carlos Lehder Rivas was convicted of smuggling more than three tons of cocaine into the United States. Rivas was the co-founder of Colombia’s Medellin drug cartel.
1989 – The Dow Jones Industrial Average passed 2,500 for the first time. The close for the day was 2,501.1.
1992 – U.S. Vice President Dan Quayle criticized the CBS sitcom “Murphy Brown” for having its title character decide to bear a child out of wedlock.
1992 – In Massapequa, NY, Mary Jo Buttafuoco was shot and seriously wounded by Amy Fisher. Fisher was her husband Joey’s teen-age lover.
1992 – The 27th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution went into effect. The amendment prohibits Congress from giving itself midterm pay raises.
1993 – The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed about 3,500 (3,500.03) for the first time.
1998 – In Russia, strikes broke out over unpaid wages.
1998 – Bandits stole three of Rome’s most important paintings from the National Gallery of Modern Art.
1999 – “Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace” was released in the U.S. It set a new record for opening day sales at 28.5 million.
Today in Star Wars History
2000 – The bones of the most complete and best-preserved Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton went on display in Chicago.
2003 – It was announced that Worldcom Inc. would pay investors $500 million to settle civil fraud charges over its $11 billion accounting scandal.
2003 – Hundreds of Albert Einstein’s scientific papers, personal letters and humanist essays were make available on the Internet. Einstein had given the papers to the Hebrew Universtiy of Jerusalem in his will.
2005 – “Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith” brought in 50.0 million in its opening day.
2013 – The Yahoo board approved the $1.1 billion purchase of the blogging site Tumblr.
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