1492 – Spain gives Christopher Columbus
his commission of exploration.
1789 – On the balcony of Federal Hall on
Wall Street in New York City, George Washington takes the
oath of office to become the first elected President of the
1803 – Louisiana Purchase: The United
States purchases the Louisiana Territory from France for $15
million, more than doubling the size of the young nation.
1812 – The Territory of Orleans becomes
the 18th U.S. state under the name Louisiana.
1871 – The Camp Grant massacre takes
place in Arizona Territory.
1885 – Governor of New York David B. Hill
signs legislation creating the Niagara Reservation, New
York's first state park, ensuring that Niagara Falls will
not be devoted solely to industrial and commercial use.
1894 – Coxey's Army reaches Washington,
D.C. to protest the unemployment caused by the Panic of
1900 – Hawaii becomes a territory of the
United States, with Sanford B. Dole as governor.
1900 – Casey Jones dies in a train wreck
in Vaughan, Mississippi, while trying to make up time on the
1904 – The Louisiana Purchase Exposition
World's Fair opens in St. Louis, Missouri.
1907 – Honolulu, Hawaii becomes an
1925 – Automaker Dodge Brothers, Inc is
sold to Dillon, Read & Company for $146 million plus $50
million for charity.
1927 – The Federal Industrial Institute
for Women opens in Alderson, West Virginia, as the first
women's federal prison in the United States.
1927 – Douglas Fairbanks and Mary
Pickford become the first celebrities to leave their
footprints in concrete at Grauman's Chinese Theater in
1938 – The animated cartoon short
Porky's Hare Hunt debuts in movie
theaters, introducing Happy Rabbit (a prototype of Bugs
1938 – The first televised FA Cup Final
takes place between Huddersfield Town and Preston North End.
1939 – The 1939-40 New York World's Fair
1939 – NBC inaugurates its regularly scheduled
television service in New York City, broadcasting President
Franklin D. Roosevelt's N.Y. World's Fair opening day
1947 – In Nevada, the Boulder Dam is
renamed the Hoover Dam a second time.
1953 – In Warner Robins, Georgia, an F4
tornado kills 18 people.
1956 – Former Vice President
and Senator Alben Barkley dies during a speech in Virginia.
He collapses after proclaiming "I would rather be a servant
in the house of the lord than sit in the seats of the
1966 – The Church of Satan is established
at the Black House in San Francisco, California.
1967 – The Aldene Connection opened in
Roselle Park, NJ, shutting down the CNJ's Jersey City
waterfront terminal and transferring commuters to Newark
1973 – Watergate scandal: U.S. President
Richard Nixon announces that top White House aides H. R.
Haldeman, John Ehrlichman and others have resigned.
1975 – Fall of Saigon: Communist forces
gain control of Saigon. The Vietnam War formally ends with
the unconditional surrender of South Vietnamese president
Duong Van Minh.
1993 – CERN announces World Wide Web
protocols will be free.
1995 – U.S. President Bill Clinton
becomes the first President to visit Northern Ireland.
2004 – U.S. media release graphic photos
of American soldiers abusing and sexually humiliating Iraqi
prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison.
2009 – Chrysler files for Chapter 11