0451 – Roman and Barbarian warriors brought Attila’s army to a halt at the Catalaunian Plains in eastern France.
1397 – The Union of Kalmar united Denmark, Sweden, and Norway under one monarch.
1756 – In India, 150 British soldiers were imprisoned in a cell that became known as the “Black Hole of Calcutta.”
1791 – King Louis XVI of France was captured while attempting to flee the country in the so-called Flight to Varennes.
1793 – Eli Whitney applied for a cotton gin patent. He received the patent on March 14. The cotton gin initiated the American mass-production concept.
1837 – Queen Victoria ascended the British throne following the death of her uncle, King William IV.
1898 – The U.S. Navy seized the island of Guam enroute to the Phillipines to fight the Spanish.
1910 – Mexican President Porfirio Diaz proclaimed martial law and arrested hundreds.
1910 – Fanny Brice debuted in the New York production of the “Ziegfeld Follies”.
1923 – France announced it would seize the Rhineland to assist Germany in paying its war debts.
1941 – The U.S. Army Air Forces was established, replacing the Army Air Corps. The Army Air Forces were abolished with the creation of the United States Air Force in 1947.
1943 – Race-related rioting erupted in Detroit. Federal troops were sent in two days later to end the violence that left more than 30 dead.
1950 – Willie Mays graduated from high school and immediately signed with the New York Giants.
1955 – The AFL and CIO agreed to combine names and a merge into a single group.
1963 – The United States and Soviet Union signed an agreement to set up a hot line communication link between the two countries.
1966 – The U.S. Open golf tournament was broadcast in color for the first time.
1967 – Muhammad Ali was convicted in Houston of violating Selective Service laws by refusing to be drafted. The U.S.Supreme Court later overturned the conviction.
1977 – The Trans-Alaska Pipeline began operation.
1979 – ABC News correspondent Bill Stewart was shot to death in Managua, Nicaragua, by a member of President Anastasio Somoza’s national guard.
1983 – The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that employers must treat male and female workers equally in providing health benefits for their spouses.
1997 – The tobacco industry agreed to a massive settlement in exchange for major relief from mounting lawsuits and legal bills.
2002 – The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the execution of mentally retarded murderers was unconstitutionally cruel. The vote was 6 in favor and 3 against.