1565: The city of Rio de Janeiro is founded by the Portuguese. The city was originally named São Sebastião do Rio de Janeiro, in honor of St. Sebastian, the saint who was the namesake and patron of the then Portuguese King D. Sebastião.
1642: Georgeana, Mass., (now known as York, Maine), becomes the first incorporated city in the United States.
1692: Sarah Good, Sarah Osborne and Tituba are brought before local magistrates in Salem Village, Massachusetts, beginning what would become known as the Salem witch trials.
1781: Maryland becomes the last of the 13 colonies to ratify the Articles of Confederation. The Articles provided domestic and international legitimacy for the Continental Congress to direct the American Revolutionary War, conduct diplomacy with Europe and deal with territorial issues and Indian relations. They were eventually replaced by the U.S. Constitution on March 4, 1789.
1803: Ohio is admitted as the 17th U.S. state.
1805: U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Chase is acquitted at the end of his impeachment trial by the U.S. Senate. Chase, who was impeached for allegedly letting his partisan Federalist leanings affect his court decisions, is the only U.S. Supreme Court justice to have ever been impeached.
1810: Composer Frédéric Chopin, considered one of the great masters of Romantic music, is born in the village of Zelazowa Wola in what is now Poland. However, while Chopin and his family gave the date as his birth date, the local parish baptismal record, discovered in 1892, gives his birthday as Feb. 22, 1810.
1867: Nebraska becomes the 37th U.S. state and the capital is moved from Omaha to the center at Lancaster, later renamed Lincoln after the recently assassinated President Abraham Lincoln.
1872: Yellowstone National Park is established as the world's first national park.
1896: French physicist Henri Becquerel accidentally discovers radioactivity after developing photographic plates that he had left in a drawer with uranium crystals.
1904: Bandleader, musician and composer Glenn Miller, one of the best-selling recording artists from 1939 to 1943 while leading one of the best known big bands, is born in Clarinda, Iowa. Miller's notable recordings include "In the Mood," "Moonlight Serenade," "Pennsylvania 6-5000" and "Chattanooga Choo Choo." Miller is seen here on the right in 1942 receiving the first gold record ever, for "Chattanooga Choo Choo."
1910: The worst avalanche in United States history buries a Great Northern Railway train in the little town of Wellington, Wash., killing 96 people. The avalanche began just after 1 a.m. and hit the town's railroad depot, throwing the train cars 150 feet downhill and into the Tye River valley.
1910: Actor David Niven, best known for movies such as "A Matter of Life and Death," "The Bishop's Wife," "Enchantment," "Around the World in 80 Days," "The Pink Panther" and "Separate Tables," is born in London, England. He was awarded the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1959 for his performance in "Separate Tables." He died of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis at age 73 on July 29, 1983.
1912: Capt. Albert Berry performs the first parachute jump from an airplane over Jefferson Barracks in St. Louis, Mo. Berry had previously parachuted many times from a balloon.
1914: Baseball broadcaster Harry Caray is born Harry Christopher Carabina in St. Louis, Mo. Caray got his start with a long tenure calling games for the St. Louis Cardinals from 1945 through 1969 before moving onto broadcasting games for the Oakland Athletics, the Chicago White Sox and the Chicago Cubs. He became especially well known for singing "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" during the seventh-inning stretch of games during his time with the White Sox, a tradition that continued when he moved to the Cubs following the 1981 season. He's seen here in a 1951 publicity photo from the Cardinals. He died at age 83 on Feb. 18, 1998, of cardiac arrest with resulting brain damage, four days after collapsing at a restaurant and hitting his head on a table.
1914: Author Ralph Ellison, best known for his National Book Award-winning novel "Invisible Man," is born in Oklahoma City, Okla. He died of pancreatic cancer at age 80 on April 16, 1994.
1922: Yitzhak Rabin, the Israeli prime minister who worked for peace with Palestinian and Arab neighbors until his assassination in 1995, is born in Jerusalem in what was then the British Mandate of Palestine. In 1994, Rabin won the Nobel Peace Prize together with Shimon Peres and Yasser Arafat.
1926: Pete Rozelle, the commissioner of the National Football League from January 1960 to November 1989, is born in South Gate, Calif. He is credited with making the NFL into one of the most successful sports leagues in the world. He died of brain cancer at the age of 70 on Dec. 6, 1996.
1927: Actor and musician Harry Belafonte, dubbed the "King of Calypso" for popularizing the Caribbean musical style in the 1950s, is born in Harlem, N.Y. Belafonte, best known for singing "The Banana Boat Song," is also known for his advocacy for civil rights and humanitarian causes.
1932: The 20-month-old son of Charles Lindbergh, Charles Augustus Lindbergh III, is kidnapped from his family's home in East Amwell, N.J. More than two months later, on May 12, 1932, his body was discovered a short distance from the Lindberghs' home. After an investigation that lasted more than two years, Bruno Richard Hauptmann was arrested and charged with the crime. He was eventually found guilty of murder in the first degree and was executed by electric chair on April 3, 1936.
1935: Actor Robert Conrad, best known for playing Secret Service agent James T. West in the TV show "The Wild Wild West" and World War II ace Pappy Boyington in the series "Baa Baa Black Sheep," is born in Chicago, Ill.
1936: The federal government assumes control of the newly completed Boulder Dam, now known as the Hoover Dam, in the Black Canyon of the Colorado River, on the border between Arizona and Nevada.
1940: The novel "Native Son" by Richard Wright is published. The book was one of the earliest successful attempts to explain the racial divide in America in terms of the social conditions imposed on African-Americans by the dominant white society. It proved an immediate best-seller, selling 250,000 hardcover copies within three weeks of its publication.
1941: W47NV begins operations in Nashville, Tenn., becoming the first commercial broadcaster in the U.S. to receive an FM license from the Federal Communications Commission. The station, which eventually changed its name to WSM-FM, operated for about 10 years, until its owners, the National Life and Accident Insurance Company, realized that few area households had FM radio receivers and that its commercial potential was lacking. The company shut down WSM-FM in 1951 and returned the license to the FCC.
1944: Musician and singer-songwriter Roger Daltrey, best known as the lead singer for The Who, is born in London, England.
1947: Actor Alan Thicke, best known for his role as Jason Seaver, the patriarch on the TV sitcom "Growing Pains," is born in Kirkland Lake, Ontario, Canada.
1954: The Castle Bravo, a 15-megaton hydrogen bomb, is detonated on Bikini Atoll in the Pacific Ocean, resulting in the worst radioactive contamination ever caused by the United States. The bomb, the most powerful nuclear device ever detonated by the U.S., was equal to 1,000 of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, during World War II and made the archipelago an unsafe wasteland for many decades to follow.
1954: Four Puerto Rican nationalists open fire from a visitors gallery in the House of Representatives chamber in the United State Capitol, injuring five representatives. The shooters, Lolita Lebrón, Rafael Cancel Miranda, Andres Figueroa Cordero and Irving Flores Rodríguez, wanted to highlight Puerto Rico's struggle for independence from U.S. rule. They were arrested, tried and convicted in federal court, and given long sentences, effectively life imprisonment. In 1978 and 1979, they were pardoned by President Jimmy Carter and all four returned to Puerto Rico. This photo shows Lebrón being escorted by police after the attack.
1954: Actress Catherine Bach, best known for playing Daisy Duke in the television series "The Dukes of Hazzard," is born in Cleveland, Ohio.
1954: Actor and film director Ron Howard, who became famous for playing Opie Taylor in the sitcom "The Andy Griffith Show" and the teenaged Richie Cunningham on "Happy Days," is born in Duncan, Okla. He also appeared in the movies "The Music Man," "American Graffiti" and "The Shootist," before leaving "Happy Days" in 1980 to concentrate on directing. He has directed movies such as "Splash," "Cocoon," "Apollo 13," "A Beautiful Mind," "Cinderella Man" and "Frost/Nixon." He won Academy Awards for Best Director and Best Picture for "A Beautiful Mind" in 2002 and also earned Oscar nominations for "Frost/Nixon" in 2009.
1957: Chuck Berry releases "School Days" on Chess Records. It would go on to become his biggest hit to date.
1961: U.S. President John F. Kennedy establishes the Peace Corps via executive order.
1962: The first Kmart store opens in Garden City, Mich. A total of 18 Kmart stores would open that year and the chain is now the the third-largest discount store chain in the world, behind Walmart and Target.
1966: The Venera 3 Soviet space probe crashes on Venus, becoming the first spacecraft to land on another planet's surface. Although it was successful in reaching the planet, the probe's communications systems failed before it could return any information about the planet.
1968: Country music singers Johnny Cash and June Carter are married in Franklin, Ky. The couple continued to work together and tour for 35 years, until June Carter died in 2003. Cash died just four months later.
1969: A drunken and verbally abusive Jim Morrison allegedly exposes himself during a concert by The Doors in Miami, Fla. Four days later, warrants were issued for his arrest on charges of lewd and lascivious behavior, indecent exposure, open profanity and public drunkenness. In 1970, he would be found guilty of the indecent exposure and profanity charges, while being acquitted of the remaining charges. He was sentenced to eight months of hard labor and a $500 fine and freed on a $50,000 bond while appealing the conviction, but died on July 3, 1971, before the appeal could be heard.
1969: Actor Javier Bardem, known for movies such as "No Country for Old Men," "Before Night Falls," "The Sea Inside," "Biutiful" and "Skyfall," is born in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain. Bardem won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role as psychopathic assassin Anton Chigurh in "No Country for Old Men" and also received Oscar nomination for his performances in "Before Night Falls" and "Biutiful."
1971: A bomb explodes in a men's restroom in the United States Capitol. The radical left organization Weather Underground claims responsibility, issuing a communiqué saying it was "in protest of the U.S. invasion of Laos."
1973: Pink Floyd releases the album "Dark Side of the Moon" in the United States. The album would stay on the Billboard Albums chart for 736 weeks, falling off the chart for the first time in July 1988.
1974: A grand jury in Washington, D.C., indicts several former aides of President Richard Nixon for conspiring to hinder the Watergate investigation. The former aides, H. R. Haldeman (left), John Ehrlichman (right), John N. Mitchell, Charles Colson, Gordon C. Strachan, Robert Mardian and Kenneth Parkinson, would become known as the "Watergate Seven." The grand jury also named Nixon an unindicted conspirator. The indictments marked the first time in U.S. history that a president was so named.
1974: Actor Mark-Paul Gosselaar, best known for playing Zack Morris in the TV show "Saved by the Bell," as well as his other TV roles in "NYPD Blue," "Raising the Bar" and "Franklin & Bash," is born in Panorama City, Calif.
1975: Elvis Presley wins his third and final Grammy Award, this time for Best Inspirational Performance for his live version of "How Great Thou Art" from the album "Elvis: As Recorded Live on Stage in Memphis." All three of his competitive Grammy wins, out of 14 total nominations, were for gospel recordings.
1984: Actor Jackie Coogan, who began his movie career as a child actor in silent films, including Charlie Chaplin's "The Kid," but is best known for playing Uncle Fester on the TV sitcom "The Addams Family," dies of a heart attack at the age of 69 in Santa Monica, Calif.
1987: Pop singer Kesha, whose hit songs include "Tik Tok," "We R Who We R" and "Die Young," is born Kesha Rose Sebert in Los Angeles, Calif.
1988: Pontiac announces that the Fiero would be discontinued at the end of the 1988 model year. The decision was officially because of an expected drop in demand for two-seater sports cars, but it also came amid heavy media coverage of Fiero engine fires. The last Fiero would roll off the assembly line on Sept. 1, 1988.
1991: The movie "The Doors," with Val Kilmer playing the role of Jim Morrison, premieres in theaters. The movie, directed by Oliver Stone, also featured Meg Ryan, Kyle MacLachlan, Frank Whaley, Kevin Dillon and Kathleen Quinlan.
1992: Bosnia and Herzegovina votes by referendum to declare independence from the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Although the referendum was overwhelmingly approved, the vote was largely boycotted by Bosnian Serbs, who opposed independence. The declaration of independence was soon followed by the Bosnian War, lasting until late 1995.
1994: Pop singer-songwriter Justin Bieber, the first artist to have seven songs from a debut record chart on the Billboard Hot 100, is born in London, Ontario, Canada. His hits include the songs "Baby," "Never Say Never" and "Boyfriend."
1995: Yahoo! is incorporated.
1996: The new toll-free 888 area code is introduced in the United States. The move came because the nation's phone companies had almost run out of seven-digit numbers under the 800 prefix.
1998: James Cameron's movie "Titanic" becomes the first film to gross more than $1 billion worldwide. It would remain the highest-grossing film of all time until Cameron's 2009 film "Avatar" surpassed its gross in 2010.
2001: Lawyer Henry Wade, who participated in two of the most notable U.S. court cases of the 20th century, the prosecution of Jack Ruby for killing Lee Harvey Oswald and the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Roe v. Wade legalizing abortion, dies of Parkinson's disease at the age of 86 in Dallas, Texas. Wade was the Dallas County district attorney from 1951 until his voluntary retirement in 1987. He is seen here on the far left giving a press conference following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963.
2005: In Roper v. Simmons, the U.S. Supreme Court rules that it is unconstitutional to impose capital punishment for crimes committed while under the age of 18. The 5-4 decision overruled the Court's prior ruling in Stanford v. Kentucky upholding such sentences for offenders who are 16 years old and older, overturning statutes in 25 states that had the penalty set lower.
2006: British actor Jack Wild, best known for playing The Artful Dodger in the 1968 musical "Oliver!" and for his leading role as Jimmy in the 1969 children's television series "H.R. Pufnstuf," dies of oral cancer at the age of 53 in Tebworth, Bedfordshire, England. Wild received an Academy Award nomination as Best Supporting Actor at the age of 16 for his role in "Oliver!" and also received Golden Globe and BAFTA Award nominations for Most Promising Newcomer for the role.
2007: Tornadoes break out across the southern United States, killing at least 20, including eight alone at a high school in Enterprise, Ala.
2013: Actress and singer Bonnie Franklin, best known for her leading role in the television series "One Day at a Time," dies of pancreatic cancer at age 69 in Los Angeles, Calif.