1500 The Portuguese explorer Pedro Alvares Cabral reaches the coast of Brazil and claims the region for Portugal.
1586 Sir Francis Drake launches a surprise attack on the heavily fortified city of Santo Domingo in Hispanola.
1698 The Abenaki Indians and Massachusetts colonists sign a treaty halting hostilities between the two.
1766 The Old Pretender , son of James III, dies.
1788 The Times, London's oldest running newspaper, publishes its first edition.
1808 A U.S. law banning the import of slaves comes into effect, but is widely ignored.
1824 The Camp Street Theatre opens as the first English-language playhouse in New Orleans.
1830 William Lloyd Garrison publishes the first edition of a journal entitled The Liberator, calling for the complete and immediate emancipation of all slaves in the United States.
1863 Confederate General Braxton Bragg and Union General William Rosecrans readjust their troops as the Battle of Murfreesboro continues.
1863 President Abraham Lincoln issues the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing the slaves in the Confederacy.
1891 Facilities opened on Ellis Island, New York, to cope with the vast flood of immigrants coming into the United States.
1907 The Pure Food and Drug Act becomes law in the United States.
1915 The German submarine U-24 sinks the British battleship Formidable in the English Channel.
1918 The first gasoline pipeline begins operation. Along the 40 miles and three inches of pipe from Salt Creek to Casper, Wyoming.
1923 Sadi Lecointe sets a new aviation speed record flying an average of 208 mph at Istres.
1937 At a party at the Hormel Mansion in Minnesota, a guest wins $100 for naming a new canned meat--Spam.
1945 In Operation Bodenplatte, German planes attack American forward air bases in Europe. This is the last major offensive of the Luftwaffe.
1959 Fidel Castro seizes power in Cuba as General Fulgencio Batista flees.
1986 As the United States builds its strength in the Mediterranean, Libyan leader Muammar al-Qaddafi threatens to retaliate if attacked.