1237: England and Scotland signed the Treaty of York, establishing their common border still in use today.
1911: Ground was broken for Fenway Park in Boston, Mass.
1912: Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism was founded in New York City, with a $2 million bequest from Joseph Pulitzer (1847-1911).
1929: Aviation pioneer Jimmy Doolittle performed the first “blind flight” from Mitchel Field near Garden City, N.Y., proving that full instrument flying from takeoff to landing is possible.
1958: The first transatlantic telephone cable began operating between Newfoundland and Scotland.
1974: The first ulnar collateral ligament replacement surgery was performed, on Major League Baseball player Tommy John. (The now-common procedure is called the Tommy John surgery)
1975: Singer Jackie Wilson collapsed onstage in Cherry Hill, N.J., while touring with Dick Clark’s rock-and-roll revival. He slipped into a coma and died eight years later at age 49 (on Jan. 23, 1984).
1789: John Jay was appointed the first Chief Justice of the United States.
1914: The United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) was established. 1933: Irish-American gangster George “Machine Gun Kelly” Barnes was captured by FBI agents in Memphis, Tenn. When he surrendered he shouted, “Don’t shoot, G-Men!”, which became a nickname for FBI agents. Ten convicts escaped from Indiana State Prison with guns smuggled into the prison by bank robber John Dillinger.
1969: Abbey Road, the last recorded album by The Beatles, was released.
1983: A likely worldwide nuclear war was averted when Soviet military officer Stanislav Petrov correctly identified a report of an incoming nuclear missile as a computer error and not an American first strike.
1984: The United Kingdom agreed to return control of Hong Kong to China when its lease expired in 1999.
2008: Swiss inventor and pilot Yves Rossy became the first human to fly across the English Channel wearing a jet-pack. The flight took 10 minutes, during which time he achieved speeds of up to 186 mph.
1066: William the Conqueror and his army set sail from the mouth of the Somme River in France, beginning the Norman Conquest of England.
1590: Pope Urban VII died 13 days after being elected as the Pope, making his reign the shortest papacy in history.
1821: Mexico gained its independence from Spain.
1822: Jean-François Champollion announced that he had deciphered the Rosetta stone, providing the key to the modern understanding of Egyptian hieroglyphs.
1825: The Stockton and Darlington Railway—the world’s first public railway to use steam locomotives—began operating in northeast England.
1905: The German physics journal Annalen der Physik received Albert Einstein’s paper, “Does the Inertia of a Body Depend Upon Its Energy Content?”, introducing the equation E=mc².
2001: The Zug massacre occurred in Zug, Switzerland, when Friedrich Leibacher shot 18 citizens, killing 14, and then himself, despite that country’s strict gun-control laws.
2010: Jimi Heselden, British owner of the Segway motorized scooter company, was killed when he accidentally drove off a cliff on a Segway at his estate at Thorp Arch near Boston Spa in England.
935: Saint Wenceslas was murdered in Stará Boleslav, Bohemia, by his brother, Boleslaus I of Bohemia. (He became the subject of “Good King Wenceslas,” a Saint Stephen’s Day carol written 928 years later, in 1853, that remains popular to this day.)
1066: William the Bastard (as he was known at the time) invaded England and began the Norman conquest of England.
1787: Congress submitted the new U.S. Constitution for ratification the state legislatures.
1885: Riots broke out in Montreal, Quebec, to protest against compulsory smallpox vaccination.
1928: Scottish biologist Sir Alexander Fleming observed a bacteria-killing mold growing in his laboratory, discovering what would become known as penicillin.
1951: CBS made the first color televisions available for sale to the general public. (The product was discontinued within a month.)
1966: Chevrolet introduced the Camaro, its answer to the hugely successful Ford Mustang. (Chevrolet originally named the new model the Panther.)
1975: WGPR in Detroit, Mich., became the world’s first black-owned-and-operated television station.
1982: The Tylenol murders began as the first of seven persons died in the Chicago area. (The crimes, which were never solved, led to the development of products in sealed packages.)
1990: Construction of the Washington National Cathedral was completed.
2006: U.S. Rep. Mark Foley, R-Fla., resigned after allegations of inappropriate emails between him and young male staffers and interns.
2007: Calder Hall, the world’s first commercial nuclear power plant, in Cumbria, England, was demolished in a controlled explosion.
2008: The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 777.68 points, the largest single-day point loss in history.
1791: The Magic Flute, the last opera composed by Mozart, received its premiere performance at Freihaus-Theater auf der Wieden in Vienna, Austria.
1888: Jack the Ripper killed his third and fourth victims, Elizabeth Stride and Catherine Eddowes.
1901: Hubert Cecil Booth patented the vacuum cleaner.
1907: McKinley National Memorial, final resting place of assassinated U.S. President William McKinley and his family, was dedicated in Canton, Ohio.
1927: Babe Ruth became the first baseball player to hit 60 home runs in a season.
1968: The Boeing 747 was shown to the public for the first time at the Boeing factory in Everett, Wash.
1982: Six more people died after taking cyanide-laced Tylenol. (The crimes were never solved and led to the development of products in sealed packages.)
1996: Congress passed an Amendment that bars the possession of firearms for people who were convicted of domestic violence, even misdemeanor level.
2004: The first images of a live giant squid in its natural habitat were taken 600 miles south of Tokyo.
1869: Austria issued the world’s first postcards.
1890: Yosemite National Park in California was established by Congress.
1891: Stanford University opened in Stanford, Calif.
1971: Disney World opened near Orlando, Fla. The first brain-scan using x-ray computed tomography (CT or CAT scan) was performed at Atkinson Morley Hospital in Wimbledon, London.
1975: Muhammad Ali defeated Joe Frazier in a boxing match in Manila, Philippines, the “Thrilla in Manila.” Musician Al Jackson Jr. (Booker T. & the M.G.s), was fatally shot in the back by a burglar at his home in Memphis, Tenn., after returning home from a nightclub screening of the “Thrilla in Manila.”
1982: Sony launched the first compact disc player for consumers.
1989: Denmark introduced the world’s first legal same-sex civil union, called “registered partnership.”
1992: The Cartoon Network began broadcasting.