1774: The first Continental Congress adjourns in Philadelphia, but agrees to reconvene in May 1775 if the British Parliament does not address their grievances over mounting taxation without representation and the British blockade of Boston Harbor following the Boston Tea Party.
1775: King George III of Great Britain in his Speech from the Throne at the opening of Parliament declares the American colonies in rebellion, and authorizes a military response to quell the American Revolution.
1825: The Erie Canal opens. The canal, shown here in this 1840 map, travels about 363 miles from Albany, N.Y., on the Hudson River to Buffalo, N.Y., at Lake Erie, and was the first transportation system between the eastern seaboard and the Great Lakes that did not require portage.
1854: Charles William Post, the breakfast cereal and foods manufacturer who invented Grape Nuts, Postum and Post Toasties, is born in Springfield, Ill.
1861: The Pony Express, a fast mail service crossing the Great Plains, the Rocky Mountains, and the High Sierra from St. Joseph, Mo., to Sacramento, Calif., officially ceases operations, two days after the transcontinental telegraph reached Salt Lake City and connected Omaha, Neb., and Sacramento.
1881: Wyatt Earp (pictured), his brothers Virgil and Morgan, and "Doc" Holliday confront Ike Clanton's gang in a gunfight six lots down from the O.K. Corral in Tombstone, Ariz. Three members of Clanton's gang were killed and Earp's brothers were wounded in what would later become known as the "Gunfight at the O.K. Corral."
1911: Singer and civil rights activist Mahalia Jackson, one of the most influential gospel singers and known as "The Queen of Gospel," is born in New Orleans.
1931: Charles Comiskey, a major-league baseball player, manager and team owner, dies at the age of 72 in Eagle River, Wis. Comiskey played a key part in the formation of the American League and later owned the Chicago White Sox. Although his reputation was tarnished by his team's involvement in a conspiracy to throw the 1919 World Series known as the "Black Sox Scandal," Comiskey was inducted as an executive into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1939.
1940: The P-51 Mustang makes its maiden flight. The long-range, single-seat fighter and fighter-bomber would be used during World War II, the Korean War and several other conflicts, with Mustang pilots claiming 4,950 enemy aircraft shot down during World War II, second only to the carrier-borne Grumman F6F Hellcat among Allied aircraft.
1942: Actor Bob Hoskins, best known for his roles in movies such as "The Long Good Friday," "Mona Lisa," "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" and "Hook," is born in Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk, England.
1944: World War II's Battle of Leyte Gulf in the Philippines ends with an overwhelming American victory. The battle, the largest naval battle in history, is also notable as the first battle in which Japanese aircraft carried out organized kamikaze attacks.
1946: Game show host Pat Sajak, who has hosted "Wheel of Fortune" since 1981, is born in Chicago.
1947: Hillary Rodham Clinton, the former first lady who served as a U.S. senator from New York from 2001 to 2009 and as the 67th U.S. secretary of state from 2009 to 2013, is born Hillary Diane Rodham in Chicago, Ill.
1947: Actress and business woman Jaclyn Smith, best known as Kelly Garrett on the TV series "Charlie's Angels," is born in Houston, Texas.
1951: Winston Churchill becomes the prime minister of Great Britain for a second time.
1952: Singer and actress Hattie McDaniel, who became the first black actor to win an Academy Award when she won Best Supporting Actress in 1940 for her role of Mammy in "Gone with the Wind," dies of breast cancer at the age of 57 in Woodland Hills, Calif.
1956: Actress and singer Rita Wilson, who is married to Tom Hanks and has appeared in movies such as "Volunteers," "The Bonfire of the Vanities" and "Sleepless in Seattle," is born under the birth name Margarita Ibrahimoff in Los Angeles.
1958: Pan American Airways makes the first commercial flight of the Boeing 707 from New York City to Paris, France. While not the first jetliner in service, the Boeing 707 would be the first to prove commercially successful and would dominate passenger air transport in the 1960s and remain common through the 1970s.
1960: The American League approves the Washington Senators' move to Bloomington, Minn., to become the Minnesota Twins and announces expansion franchises in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., for the 1961 season.
1961: Actor Dylan McDermott, best known for his TV roles in "The Practice" and "American Horror Story," is born under the birth name Mark Anthony McDermott in Waterbury, Conn.
1962: Actor Cary Elwes, best known for roles in movies such as "The Princess Bride," "Twister," "Robin Hood: Men in Tights," "Bram Stoker's Dracula" and "Saw," is born in London, England.
1963: Singer-songwriter Natalie Merchant, who left the alternative rock band 10,000 Maniacs in 1993 and has since released five solo albums, including the five-times-Platinum "Tigerlily" and the platinum-certified "Ophelia," is born in Jamestown, N.Y.
1967: Country singer-songwriter Keith Urban, whose No. 1 country hits include "But for the Grace of God," "Somebody Like You," "You'll Think of Me" and "Days Go By," is born in Whangarei, New Zealand.
1970: "Doonesbury," the comic strip by Gary Trudeau, premieres in 28 newspapers across the U.S.
1972: Following secret peace negotiations with North Vietnam, President Richard Nixon's National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger goes before reporters at the White House and declares that "peace is at hand" in Vietnam. The agreement wouldn't hold up though, as South Vietnam hadn't been party to the negotiations and demanded changes. The U.S. military involvement in the country would come to an end in the summer of 1973 and the war would come to an end with the fall of Saigon to North Vietnamese forces in April 1975.
1973: Animator, actor and filmmaker Seth MacFarlane, best known as the creator of the TV show "Family Guy," the co-creator of "American Dad!" and "The Cleveland Show," and the director of the movie "Ted," is born in Kent, Conn.
1977: Actor Jon Heder, best known for playing the title character in the 2004 movie "Napoleon Dynamite," is born in Fort Collins, Colo. He's also appeared in movies such as "Blades of Glory," "The Benchwarmers" and "When in Rome."
1979: South Korean President Park Chung-hee and the leader of his guards are shot to death by Kim Jae-kyu, the head of the Korean Central Intelligence Agency, during a dinner in the South Korean presidential compound in Seoul. After the initial shootings, Kim's agents quickly killed four more of the presidential bodyguards before the group was apprehended. Kim, who would later claim that Park was an obstacle to democracy and that his act was one of patriotism, would be arrested, tortured and later executed along with five of his conspirators. There is yet a great deal of controversy on Kim's motive and whether it was a planned attempt for coup d'état or an impulsive act on the spur of the moment.
1981: The song "Under Pressure" by Queen and David Bowie is released. The song, which would be featured on Queen's 1982 album "Hot Space," reached No. 1 on the UK Singles Chart.
1982: Steve Carlton of the Philadelphia Phillies becomes the first pitcher to win four Cy Young awards. Pictured is his plaque in the Baseball Hall of Fame, which notes he was the "only hurler to win 4 Cy Young Awards" at the time of his 1994 induction, although Greg Maddux would match that record a year later. The record would also eventually be exceeded by Randy Johnson (five) and Roger Clemens (seven).
1984: "Baby Fae" is given the heart of a baboon after being born with a severe heart defect. The procedure, performed by Leonard L. Bailey at Loma Linda University Medical Center in California, initially appeared to be successful, but Fae would die 21 days later of a kidney infection.
1984: The sci-fi action film "The Terminator," starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Michael Biehn, and Linda Hamilton and directed by James Cameron, premieres in theaters. Though not expected to be either a commercial or critical success, "The Terminator" would top the American box office for two weeks, earn $78.3 million, establish Schwarzenegger as a star and spawn three sequels and a TV series.
1984: Figure skater Sasha Cohen, the 2006 Olympic silver medalist, a three-time World Championship medalist and the 2006 U.S. Champion, is born in Los Angeles.
1990: Wayne Gretzky becomes the first NHL player to reach 2,000 points after recording an assist at Winnipeg. Gretzky, seen here with the Hart Trophy in 1989, would retire in 1999 with 2,857 points, and no other NHL player has yet to top the 2,000-point plateau.
1993: Pearl Jam sets a new record for first-week sales when the band's album "Vs." sells 950,378 copies. The album would hold the record until it was broken by Garth Brooks' 1998 album "Double Live."
1995: Alec Baldwin gets into a fight with video paparazzi Alan Zanger in front of his Woodland Hills, Calif., home when he and his wife Kim Basinger are bringing their first baby home from the hospital. Zanger, claiming Baldwin broke his nose, responded by placing Baldwin under citizen's arrest and holding him for police. Baldwin was charged with misdemeanor battery, but a jury would find him not guilty in March 1996.
1996: Federal prosecutors clear Richard Jewell as a suspect in the Centennial Olympic Park bombing at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta. Discovering a pipe bomb on the park grounds on July 27, 1996, Jewell alerted police and helped to evacuate the area before the bomb exploded. Initially hailed by the media as a hero, Jewell was later considered a suspect. Jewell was never officially charged, but the FBI searched his home, questioned his associates, investigated his background and maintained 24-hour surveillance of him.
1999: Singer-songwriter and actor Hoyt Axton, best known for writing such songs as "Joy to the World," "Never Been to Spain," "Greenback Dollar" and "The Pusher," dies of a heart attack at age 61 in Victor, Mont. Axton also appeared in movies such as "The Black Stallion" and "Gremlins" and made cameos on several TV series in the 1970s and '80s.
2001: President George W. Bush signs the USA PATRIOT Act into law. The act, as a response to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, significantly reduces restrictions in law enforcement agencies' gathering of intelligence within the United States, including the expansion of the scope and availability of wiretapping and surveillance orders. The title of the act is a 10-letteracronymm that stands for Uniting (and) Strengthening America (by) Providing Appropriate Tools Required (to) Intercept (and) Obstruct Terrorism.
2002: Thirty-nine Chechen terrorists and at least 129 hostages die when Russian Spetsnaz forces pump a knockout gas into a Moscow theater and storm the building, which had been occupied by the terrorists during a musical performance three days before. All but a few of the hostages who died during the siege were killed by the toxic substance pumped into the theater to subdue the militants, causing a backlash against the government, especially for refusing to reveal the type of gas used in the assault.
2010: Paul the Octopus, who lived at the Sea Life Centre in Oberhausen, Germany, and became internationally famous after his feeding behavior was used to correctly predict the winner of each of Germany's seven matches in the 2010 FIFA World Cup, as well as the outcome of the final between Spain and the Netherlands, dies of natural causes at the age of 2. His remains were cremated and he was given a small burial plot within the grounds of the aquarium.