1489 – Catherine Cornaro, Queen of Cyprus, sold her kingdom to Venice. She was the last of the Lusignan dynasty.
1629 – A Royal charter was granted to the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
1647 – During the Thirty Years War, France, Sweden, Bavaria and Cologne signed a Treaty of Neutrality.
1743 – First American town meeting was held at Boston’s Faneuil Hall.
1757 – British Admiral John Byng was executed by a firing squad on board HMS Monarch for neglect of duty.
1794 – Eli Whitney received a patent for his cotton gin.
1864 – Samuel Baker discovered another source of the Nile in East Africa. He named it Lake Albert Nyanza.
1891 – The submarine Monarch laid telephone cable along the bottom of the English Channel to prepare for the first telephone links across the Channel.
1900 – U.S. currency went on the gold standard with the ratification of the Gold Standard Act.
1900 – In Holland, Botanist Hugo de Vries rediscovered Mendel’s laws of heredity.
1901 – Utah Governor Heber M. Wells vetoed a bill that would have relaxed restrictions on polygamy.
1903 – The U.S. Senate ratified the Hay-Herran Treaty that guaranteed the U.S. the right to build a canal at Panama. The Columbian Senate rejected the treaty. A deal was signed on November 6, 1903 with the newly independent Panama.
1904 – The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the governments claim that the Northern Securities Company was an illegal merger between the Great Northern and Northern Pacific Railway companies.
1905 – French bankers refused to lend money to Russia until after their war.
1905 – The British House of Commons cited a need to compete with Germany in naval strength.
1906 – The island of Ustica was devastated by an earthquake.
1912 – An anarchist named Antonio Dalba unsuccessfully attempted to kill Italy’s King Victor Emmanuel III in Rome.
1914 – Henry Ford announced the new continuous motion method to assemble cars. The process decreased the time to make a car from 12½ hours to 93 minutes.
1915 – The British Navy sank the German battleship Dresden off the Chilean coast.
1918 – An all-Russian Congress of Soviets ratified a peace treaty with the Central Powers.
1923 – President Harding became the first U.S. President to file an income tax report.
1932 – George Eastman, the founder of the Kodak company, committed suicide.
1936 – Adolf Hitler told a crowd of 300,000 that Germany’s only judge is God and itself.
1939 – Hungary occupied the Carpatho-Ukraine. Slovakia declared its independence.
1945 – In Germany, a 22,000 pound “Grand Slam” bomb was dropped by the Royal Air Force Dumbuster Squad on the Beilefeld railway viaduct. It was the heaviest bomb used during World War II.
1947 – The U.S. signed a 99-year lease on naval bases in the Philippines.
1947 – Moscow announced that 890,532 German POWs were held in the U.S.S.R.
1951 – U.N. forces recaptured Seoul for the second time during the Korean War.
1958 – The U.S. government suspended arms shipments to the Batista government of Cuba.
1964 – A Dallas jury found Jack Ruby guilty of the murder of Lee Harvey Oswald.
1967 – John F. Kennedy’s body was moved from a temporary grave to a permanent one.
1976 – Egypt formally abrogated the 1971 Treaty Friendship and Cooperation with the Soviet Union.
1978 – An Israeli force of 22,000 invaded south Lebanon. The PLO bases were hit.
1979 – The Census Bureau reported that 95% of all Americans were married or would get married.
1979 – Near Peking, China, at least 200 people died when a Trident aircraft crashed into a factory.
1980 – A Polish airliner crashed while making an emergency landing near Warsaw. 87 people were killed. A 14-man U.S. boxing team was aboard the plane.
1981 – Three Pakistani airline hijackers surrendered in Syria after they had exchanged 100 passengers and crewmen for 54 Pakistani prisoners.
1983 – OPEC agreed to cut its oil prices by 15% for the first time in its 23-year history.
1991 – The “Birmingham Six,” imprisoned for 16 years for their alleged part in an IRA pub bombing, were set free after a court agreed that the police fabricated evidence.
1991 – Bolivian interior minister Guillermo Capobianco resigned after U.S. officials accused him of receiving money from drug traffickers.
1995 – American astronaut Norman Thagard became the first American to enter space aboard a Russian rocket.
1996 – U.S. President Bill Clinton committed $100 million for an anti-terrorism pact with Israel to track down and root out Islamic militants.
1998 – An earthquake left 10,000 homeless in southeastern Iran.
2002 – A Scottish appeals court upheld the conviction of a Libyan intelligence agent for the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103. A five-judge court ruled unanimously that Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi was guilty of bringing down the plane over Lockerbie, Scotland.
2003 – Robert Blake was released from jail on $1.5 million bail. Blake had been jailed for the murder of his wife Bonny Lee Bakley.