1415 – Henry the Navigator, the prince of Portugal, embarked on an expedition to Africa.
1777 – The Marquis de Lafayette arrived in the American colonies to help with their rebellion against the British.
1789 – Ice cream was served to General George Washington by Mrs. Alexander Hamilton.
1825 – Walter Hunt patented the safety pin. Hunt then then sold the rights for $400.
1866 – The 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was passed by the U.S. Congress. It was ratified on July 9, 1868. The amendment was designed to grant citizenship to and protect the civil liberties of recently freed slaves. It did this by prohibiting states from denying or abridging the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States, depriving any person of his life, liberty, or property without due process of law, or denying to any person within their jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
1888 – The U.S. Congress created the Department of Labor.
1898 – The Canadian Yukon Territory was organized.
1900 – China’s Boxer Rebellion against foreigners and Chinese Christians erupted into violence.
1912 – Captain Albert Berry made the first successful parachute jump from an airplane in Jefferson, Mississippi.
1920 – The U.S. Post Office Department ruled that children may not be sent by parcel post.
1922 – Charlie Osborne started the longest attack on hiccups. He hiccuped over 435 million times before stopping. He died in 1991, 11 months after his hiccups ended.
1923 – The French set a trade barrier between the occupied Ruhr and the rest of Germany.
1927 – Charles Lindbergh was honored with a ticker-tape parade in New York City.
1927 – For the first time, an American Flag was displayed from the right hand of the Statue of Liberty.
1940 – Paris was evacuated before the German advance on the city.
1943 – German spies landed on Long Island, New York. They were soon captured.
1944 – Germany launched 10 of its new V1 rockets against Britain from a position near the Channel coast. Of the 10 rockets only 5 landed in Britain and only one managed to kill (6 people in London).
1944 – Marvin Camras patented the wire recorder.
1949 – Bao Dai entered Saigon to rule Vietnam. He had been installed by the French.
1951 – U.N. troops seized Pyongyang, North Korea.
1966 – The landmark “Miranda v. Arizona” decision was issued by the U.S. Supreme Court. The decision ruled that criminal suspects had to be informed of their constitutional rights before being questioned by police.
1967 – Solicitor General Thurgood Marshall was nominated by President Lyndon B. Johnson to become the first black justice on the U.S. Supreme Court.
1971 – The New York Times began publishing the “Pentagon Papers”. The articles were a secret study of America’s involvement in Vietnam.
1978 – Israelis withdrew the last of their invading forces from Lebanon.
1979 – Sioux Indians were awarded $105 million in compensation for the U.S. seizure in 1877 of their Black Hills in South Dakota.
1983 – The unmanned U.S. space probe Pioneer 10 became the first spacecraft to leave the solar system. It was launched in March 1972. The first up-close images of the planet Jupiter were provided by Pioneer 10.
1988 – The Liggett Group, a cigarette manufacturer, was found liable for a lung-cancer death. They were, however, found innocent by the federal jury of misrepresenting the risks of smoking.
1989 – The Detroit Pistons won their first National Basketball Association title. They beat the L.A. Lakers in four games.
1989 – U.S. President George H.W. Bush exercised his first Presidential veto on a bill dealing with minimum wage.
1992 – Future U.S. President Bill Clinton criticized rap singer Sister Souljah for making remarks “filled with hatred” towards whites.
1994 – A jury in Anchorage, Alaska, found Exxon Corp. and Captain Joseph Hazelwood to be reckless in the Exxon Valdezoil spill.
1995 – France announced that they would conduct eight more nuclear tests in the South Pacific.
2000 – In Pyongyang, North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Il welcomed South Korea’s President Kim Dae for a three-day summit. It was the first such meeting between the leaders of North and South Korea.