1537 – Pope Paul III banned the enslavement of Indians.
1774 – The Quartering Act, which required American colonists to allow British soldiers into their houses, was reenacted.
1793 – Maximillian Robespierre initiated the “Reign of Terror”. It was an effort to purge those suspected of treason against the French Republic.
1818 – The British army defeated the Maratha alliance in Bombay, India.
1835 – P.T. Barnum launched his first traveling show. The main attraction was Joice Heth. Heth was reputed to be the 161-year-old nurse of George Washington.
1851 – Maine became the first U.S. state to enact a law prohibiting alcohol.
1883 – The first baseball game under electric lights was played in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
1886 – Grover Cleveland became the second U.S. president to get married while in office. He was the first to have a wedding in the White House.
1896 – Guglieimo Marconi’s radio telegraphy device was patented in Great Britain.
1897 – Mark Twain, at age 61, was quoted by the New York Journal as saying “the report of my death was an exaggeration.” He was responding to the rumors that he had died.
1910 – Charles Stewart Roll became the first person to fly non-stop and double cross the English Channel.
1924 – All American Indians were granted U.S. citizenship by the U.S. Congress.
1928 – Nationalist Chiang Kai-shek captured Peking, China.
1930 – Mrs. M. Niezes of Panama gave birth to the first baby to be born on a ship while passing through the Panama Canal.
1933 – U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt accepted the first swimming pool to be built inside the White House.
1935 – George Herman “Babe” Ruth announced that he was retiring from baseball.
1937 – “The Fabulous Dr. Tweedy” was broadcast on NBC radio for the first time.
1946 – Italians voted by referendum to form a republic instead of a monarchy.
1953 – Elizabeth was crowned queen of England at Westminster Abbey.
1954 – U.S. Senator Joseph McCarthy charged that there were communists working in the CIA and atomic weapons plants.
1957 – Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev was interviewed by CBS-TV.
1966 – Surveyor 1, the U.S. space probe, landed on the moon and started sending photographs back to Earth of the Moon’s surface. It was the first soft landing on the Moon.
1969 – The National Arts Center in Canada opened its doors to the public.
1969 – Australian aircraft carrier Melbourne sliced the destroyer USS Frank E. Evans in half off the shore of South Vietnam.
1979 – Pope John Paul II arrived in his native Poland on the first visit by a pope to a Communist country.
1985 – The R.J. Reynolds Company proposed a major merger with Nabisco that would create a $4.9 billion conglomerate.
1985 – Tommy Sandt was ejected from a major-league baseball game before the national anthem was played. He had complained to the umpire about a call against his team the night before.
1995 – Captain Scott F. O’Grady’s U.S. Air Force F-16C was shot down by Bosnian Serbs. He was rescued six days later.
1998 – Royal Caribbean Cruises agreed to pay $9 million to settle charges of dumping waste at sea.
1998 – Voters in California passed Proposition 227. The act abolished the state’s 30-year-old bilingual education program by requiring that all children be taught in English.
1999 – In South Africa, the African National Congress (ANC) won a major victory. ANC leader Thabo Mbeki was to succeed Nelson Mandela as the nation’s president.
2003 – In the U.S., federal regulators voted to allow companies to buy more television stations and newspaper-broadcasting combinations in the same city. The previous ownership restrictions had not been altered since 1975.
2003 – In Seville, Spain, a chest containing the supposed remains of Christopher Columbus were exhumed for DNA tests to determine whether the bones were really those of the explorer. The tests were aimed at determining if Colombus was currently buried in Spain’s Seville Cathedral or in Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic.
2003 – The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that companies could not be sued under a trademark law for using information in the public domain without giving credit to the originator. The case had originated with 20th Century Fox against suing Dastar Corp. over their use of World War II footage.
2003 – William Baily was reunited with two paintings he had left on a subway platform. One of the works was an original Picasso rendering of two male figures and a recreation of Picasso’s “Guernica” by Sophie Matisse. Sophie Matisse was the great-granddaughter of Henri Matisse.