49 BC Julius Caesar leads his army across the Rubicon River, plunging Rome into civil war.
1843 Francis Scott Key , author of "The Star-Spangled Banner," dies in Baltimore.
1861 Alabama secedes from the Union.
1862 Lincoln accepts
Simon Cameron's resignation as Secretary of War.
1887 At Fort Smith, Arkansas, hangman
George Maledon dispatches four victims in a multiple hanging.
1904 British troops massacre 1,000 dervishes in Somaliland.
1916 Russian General Yudenich launches a WWI winter offensive and advances west.
1923 The French enter the town of Essen in the Ruhr valley, to extract Germany's resources as war payment.
1934 The German police raid the homes of dissident clergy in Berlin.
1941 Adolf Hitler orders forces to be prepared to enter North Africa to assist the Italian effort, marking the establishment of the Afrika Korps.
1940 Benjamin O. Davis, Sr. , becomes the U.S. Army's first black general, his son would later become a general as well.
1942 Japan invades the Dutch East Indies at Borneo.
1943 The Soviet Red Army encircles Stalingrad.
1948 President Harry S. Truman proposes free, two-year community colleges for all who want an education.
1949 Negotiations in China between the Nationalists and Communists open as Tientsin is virtually lost to the Communists.
1964 A collection of previously unexhibited paintings by Pablo Picasso are displayed for the first time in Toronto.
1980 Honda announces it will build the first Japanese-owned passenger-car assembly plant in the United States--in Ohio.
1994 The Irish Government announces an end to a 15-year ban on broadcasting by the IRA and its political branch, Sinn Fein.
2003 Illinois Gov. George Ryan commutes the death sentences of 167 prisoners on the state's death row in the wake of allegations that Chicago police detective and commander Jon Burge tortured confessions from some 200 suspects over a 19 year period.