1784: The U.S. Treasury Board was established with $21,000.
1830: Mary Had a Little Lamb by Sarah Josepha Hale was published in Boston.
1883: The Brooklyn Bridge in New York City was opened to traffic after 14 years of construction.
1935: The first night game in Major League Baseball history was played in Cincinnati, Ohio, with the Cincinnati Reds beating the Philadelphia Phillies 2-1 at Crosley Field.
240 B.C.: The passage of Halley’s Comet was first recorded.
1865: An ordnance depot in Mobile, Ala., exploded, killing 300 people.
1878: Gilbert and Sullivan’s comic opera H.M.S. Pinafore opened at the Opera Comique in London.
1909: Actress Mary Pickford made her screen debut in Two Memories by D.W. Griffith.
1925: John T. Scopes was indicted in Dayton, Tenn., for teaching Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution.
1950: A Chicago street car crashed into a fuel truck, killing 33 people.
1953: The first public television station in the United States officially began broadcasting as KUHT from the campus of the University of Houston.
1961: President John F. Kennedy announced to a special joint session of Congress that it was his goal to put a man on the moon before 1970.
1968: The Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Mo., was dedicated.
2003: Jeremy Michael Ward of the bands Mars Volta and De Facto died in Los Angeles of a heroin overdose, age 27, joining The 27 Club.
1647: Alse Young, hanged in Hartford, Conn., became the first person executed as a witch in the British American colonies.
1828: Feral child Kaspar Hauser was discovered wandering the streets of Nuremberg, Germany.
1864: Montana was organized as a U.S. territory.
1865: Confederate Gen. Edmund Kirby Smith, commander of the Confederate Trans-Mississippi division, became the last general of the Confederate Army to surrender, at Galveston, Texas.
1895: Born this day: Dorothea Lange, U.S. journalist and famous photographer of the Great Depression (died 1965); and Paul Lukas, Hungarian-American actor (20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, died 1971).
1896: Charles Dow published the first edition of the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
1897: Dracula, a novel by Irish author Bram Stoker, was published.
1907: Iconic U.S. actor John Wayne was born Marion Robert Morrison in Winterset, Iowa. (Died 1979.)
1908: The first major oil strike in the Middle East was made in Persia (now Iran) near the city of Masjed Soleyman (مسجد سليمان). The rights were secured by the Anglo-Persian Oil Company.
1938: The U.S. House Un-American Activities Committee began its first session.
1976: Philosopher Martin Heidegger died in Messkirch, Germany.
1977: Mountain climber George Willig of Queens, New York, climbed the south tower of the World Trade Center.
1998: The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Ellis Island, the historic gateway for millions of immigrants, is mainly in the state of New Jersey, not New York.
2004: U.S. Army veteran Terry Nichols was found guilty of 161 state murder charges for helping carry out the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.
1789: First lady Martha Washington arrived at the new presidential residence in Philadelphia.
1907: Bubonic plague broke out in San Francisco, Calif.
1927: The Ford Motor Company ceased manufacture of the Ford Model T and began to retool plants to make the Ford Model A.
1930: The 1,046-feet-tall Chrysler Building in New York City, the tallest man-made structure at the time, opened to the public.
1933: The Walt Disney Company released the cartoon Three Little Pigs, with its hit song “Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?”
1937: The Golden Gate Bridge opened to pedestrian traffic, linking San Francisco and Marin counties.
1967: The U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy was launched by Jacqueline Kennedy and her daughter, Caroline.
1986: Dragon Quest, the game credited as setting the template for role-playing video games, was released in Japan.
1995: Actor Christopher Reeve was paralyzed from the neck down in a horseback riding accident in Culpeper, Va. (Died 2004.)
1503: England and Scotland signed ‘A Treaty of Everlasting Peace,’ resulting in a peace that lasted 10 years.
1892: John Muir organized the Sierra Club in San Francisco, Calif.
1934: The Dionne quintuplets were born to Oliva and Elzire Dionne near Callander, Ontario, Canada. They became the first quintuplets to survive infancy.
1937: The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco was officially opened by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in Washington, D.C., who pushed a button signaling the start of vehicle traffic over the span. German automobile manufacturer Volkswagen was founded.
1945: Born this day: Patch Adams, U.S. physician and author, founded the Gesundheit! Institute, and John Fogerty, U.S. singer-songwriter, guitarist, and producer (Creedence Clearwater Revival).
1977: A fire at the Beverly Hills Supper Club in Southgate, Ky., killed 165 people.
1987: Mathias Rust, 19, evaded Soviet air defenses and landed a private plane in Red Square in Moscow. He was detained and released on Aug. 3, 1988.
1999: Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece The Last Supper was put back on display in Milan, Italy, after 22 years of restoration work.
1736: Patrick Henry (“Give me liberty or give me death”) was born in Hanover County, Virginia.
1790: Rhode Island ratified the U.S. Constitution.
1848: Wisconsin was admitted as the 30th U.S. state.
1886: Pharmacist John Pemberton placed his first advertisement for Coca-Cola, in The Atlanta Journal.
1913: Igor Stravinsky’s ballet score The Rite of Spring received its premiere performance in Paris, France. The unconventional music provoked a riot.
1919: Albert Einstein’s theory of general relativity was tested (and later confirmed) by Arthur Eddington and Andrew Claude de la Cherois Crommelin at Cambridge University.
1942: Bing Crosby, the Ken Darby Singers and the John Scott Trotter Orchestra recorded Irving Berlin’s White Christmas, the best-selling Christmas single in history. Among the backup singers was Norma Zimmer, who would achieve fame on The Lawrence Welk Show.
1953: Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay become the first people to reach the summit of Mount Everest.
1954: The first of the annual Bilderberg conferences took place at the Hotel de Bilderberg in Oosterbeek, Netherlands.
1961: Born this day: Melissa Etheridge, U.S. singer-songwriter, guitarist, and activist, and John Miceli, drummer with Meat Loaf.
1973: Tom Bradley was elected the first black mayor of Los Angeles, Calif.
2004: Prominent Ku Klux Klan members from the United States and Canada gathered in Louisiana to sign the New Orleans Protocol, which pledged members to renewed focus on white supremacist ideals as “European Nationalists.” The gathering was with decorated with dozens of waving Confederate flags, among others.
1806: Andrew Jackson killed Charles Dickinson in a duel in Adairville, Ky., after Dickinson had accused Jackson’s wife of bigamy.
1868: Decoration Day (the predecessor of Memorial Day) was observed in the United States for the first time.
1899: Old West outlaw Pearl Hart, a woman, committed the last recorded stagecoach robbery, 30 miles southeast of Globe, Ariz.
1922: The Lincoln Memorial was dedicated in Washington, D.C.
1944: Born this day: Lenny Davidson, English guitarist (The Dave Clark Five), and Meredith MacRae, U.S. actress (My Three Sons and Petticoat Junction), celebrity and singer (died 2000).
1948: A dike along the flooding Columbia River broke and obliterated Vanport, Ore., within minutes. Fifteen people died and tens of thousands were left homeless.