1960: The Food and Drug Administration approved Searle’s Enovid, making it the world’s first approved oral contraceptive pill.
1961: Jim Gentile of the Baltimore Orioles became the first player in baseball history to hit grand slams in consecutive innings. Federal Communications Commission Chairman Newton N. Minow gave his famous speech to the convention of the National Association of Broadcasters in which he said television was a “vast wasteland.”
1974: The U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee opened formal and public impeachment hearings against President Richard Nixon in connection with the Watergate scandal.
1869: The First Transcontinental Railroad, linking the eastern and western United States, was completed at Promontory Summit, Utah, with a golden spike.
1872: Victoria Woodhull became the first woman nominated for president of the United States.
1908: Mother’s Day was observed for the first time in the United States, in Grafton, West Virginia.
1924: J. Edgar Hoover was appointed director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and remained so until his death in 1972.
1960: The nuclear submarine USS Triton completed Operation Sandblast, the first underwater circumnavigation of the earth.
2002: FBI agent Robert Hanssen was sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole for selling U.S. secrets to Moscow for $1.4 million in cash and diamonds.
1846: President James K. Polk asked for and received a Declaration of War against Mexico, starting the Mexican-American War.
1858: Minnesota was admitted as the 32nd U.S. state.
1910: An act of U.S. Congress established Glacier National Park in Montana.
1987: The first heart-lung transplant took place, in Baltimore, Md. The surgery was performed by Dr. Bruce Reitz of the Stanford University School of Medicine.
1551: National University of San Marcos, the oldest university in the Americas, was founded in Lima, Peru.
1926: The Italian-built airship Norge becomes the first dirigible to fly over the North Pole.
1965: The Soviet Union’s spacecraft Luna 5 crashed on the moon.
2008: An 8.0 magnitude earthquake hit in China killing more than 69,000 people.
1880: In Menlo Park, New Jersey, Thomas Edison performed the first test of his electric railway.
1888: Brazil abolished slavery.
1939: The first commercial FM radio station in the United States was launched in Bloomfield, Conn. The station later became WDRC-FM.
1994: Johnny Carson made his last television appearance on Late Show with David Letterman.
1995: British mother Alison Hargreaves, 33, became the first woman to conquer Everest without oxygen or the help of sherpas.
1976: Keith Relf, former singer for British rhythm and blues band The Yardbirds, died at age 33 while practicing his electric guitar. He was electrocuted by an improperly grounded amplifier.
1718: The world’s first machine gun was patented by James Puckle, a London lawyer.
1812: First lady Dolley Madison received her last shipment of fashion apparel from Paris before the War of 1812 began.
1817: The first private mental health hospital in the United States opened in Philadelphia. The Asylum for the Relief of Persons Deprived of the Use of Their Reason is now called Friends Hospital.
1856: Born this day: L. Frank Baum, U.S. author (The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, died 1919) and Matthias Zurbriggen, Swiss mountaineer (first person to climb Aconcagua, the highest peak in the Americas, died 1917).
1899: Inventor Gustav Whitehead and his assistant Louis Darvarich successfully flew the first airplane (powered by a steam engine) a distance of one-half mile in Pittsburgh.
1928: The Walt Disney character Mickey Mouse premiered in his first cartoon, Plane Crazy, in Burbank, Calif.
1940: The first McDonalds restaurant, owned by brothers Richard and Maurice McDonald, opened at 1398 N. E St., San Bernardino, Calif.
1970: President Richard Nixon appointed Anna Mae Hays and Elizabeth P. Hoisington the first female U.S. Army generals.