1636: The Great and General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony votes to establish the first college in what would become the United States. Initially called "New College" or "the college at New Towne," the institution was renamed Harvard College on March 13, 1639.
1704: English philosopher John Locke, regarded as one of the most influential of Enlightenment thinkers, dies at age 72 in Essex, England.
1785: Napoleon Bonaparte graduates from the military academy in Paris at the age of 16, ranking 42nd in a class of 52.
1818: Abigail Adams, the second first lady of the United States as the wife of President John Adams from 1797 to 1801, dies of typhoid fever at age 73 in Quincy, Mass. She was also the mother of John Quincy Adams, the sixth U.S. president, and was the first U.S. second lady when her husband served as the country's first vice president under George Washington.
1886: President Grover Cleveland dedicates the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor. The date also marks the first ticker-tape parade in New York City when office workers spontaneously threw ticker tape into the streets in celebration of the dedication.
1893: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 6 in B Minor, Pathétique, receives its premiere performance in St. Petersburg, Russia, with the composer himself conducting only nine days before his death.
1897: Costume designer Edith Head, who won eight Academy Awards, more than any other woman, is born Edith Claire Posener in San Bernardino, Calif. She received a total of 35 Oscar nominations in her career, winning for movies such as "All About Eve," "A Place in the Sun," "Roman Holiday," "Sabrina" and "The Sting."
1900: After more than five months, the second Olympic games come to a close in Paris France. The event was held as part of the 1900 World's Fair, with 997 competitors taking part in 19 different sports beginning on May 14.
1914: Jonas Salk (right), the biologist and physician who discovered and developed the first successful polio vaccine, is born in New York City.
1917: Actor Jack Soo, best known for his role as Detective Nick Yemana on the television sitcom "Barney Miller," is born Goro Suzuki on a ship traveling from Japan to the United States. Soo also appeared in movies such as "The Green Berets" and "Thoroughly Modern Millie."
1919: U.S. Congress overrides President Woodrow Wilson's veto of the Volstead Act, the popular name for the National Prohibition Act, which had been enacted to carry out the intent of the 18th Amendment establishing prohibition in the United States. Prohibition came into force at midnight on Jan. 16, 1920, and wouldn't end until the 1933 ratification of the 21st Amendment, which repealed the 18th Amendment.
1926: Bowie Kuhn, who served as Major League Baseball's commissioner from 1969 through 1984, is born in Takoma Park, Md. Kuhn, who also served as legal counsel for MLB owners for almost 20 years prior to his election as commissioner, oversaw a tenure that was marked by labor strikes, owner disenchantment, the end of baseball's reserve clause, and drug and gambling scandals, but also saw the game's attendance and TV contracts grow unprecedentedly under his watch.
1929: During the Wall Street Crash of 1929, the Dow Jones industrial average loses 38.33 points over the course of a day that will become known as "Black Monday." The 12.82-percent drop marked a record daily loss for the Dow until Oct. 19, 1987, when the index lost 508 points to finish the day 22.61 percent lower.
1936: Country music singer-songwriter and musician Charlie Daniels, perhaps best known for his No. 1 country hit "The Devil Went Down to Georgia, is born in Wilmington, N.C. Some of his other hit songs include "Uneasy Rider," "The South's Gonna Do It" and "Long Haired Country Boy."
1937: Hall of Fame basketball player and coach Lenny Wilkens, a nine-time NBA All-Star who won a NBA championship as a coach with the Seattle SuperSonics in 1979, is born in Brooklyn, N.Y. At the time of his retirement as a player in 1975, Wilkens ranked second in the NBA in career assists, behind only Oscar Robertson. He retired as the all-time winningest coach in NBA history with 1,332 victories in 2005, but has since been passed by Don Nelson. He was also an assistant coach of the gold-medal winning 1992 United States Olympic "Dream Team."
1942: The Alaska Highway is opened to traffic after the final connection is completed at Beaver Creek when the 97th Engineers meet the 18th Engineers. The bombing of Pearl Harbor in December 1941 spurred construction of the highway. Alaska was considered vulnerable to a Japanese invasion, and the highway was deemed a military necessity. Literally bulldozed through the wilderness, road conditions were horrific, with 90-degree turns and 25 percent grades not uncommon. The highway would be improved in 1943 and the 1,523-mile highway officially opened to the public in 1948.
1944: Actor Dennis Franz, best known for his role as Andy Sipowicz on the TV series "NYPD Blue," is born Dennis Franz Schlachta in Maywood, Ill.
1949: Bruce Jenner, who won the gold medal in the Decathlon at the Montreal 1976 Summer Olympics, is born in Mt. Kisco, N.Y. Once his track and field career was over, he evolved into a television celebrity, including replacing Erik Estrada on "CHiPs" and eventually appearing in the reality TV series "Keeping Up with the Kardashians" as the stepfather Kourtney, Kim, Khloe and Rob Kardashian, and the father of Burt, Casey, Brandon, Brody, Kendall and Kylie Jenner.
1952: Actress Annie Potts, best known for her roles in 1980s movies such as "Ghostbusters," "Pretty in Pink" and "Jumpin' Jack Flash," is born in Nashville, Tenn. She's also appeared on the TV series "Designing Women," "Love & War," "Any Day Now" and "GCB."
1953: Singer-songwriter and producer Desmond Child is born in Gainesville, Fla. A member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame, he's best known for writing or co-writing songs such as Bon Jovi's "Livin' on a Prayer," "You Give Love a Bad Name" and "Bad Medicine," Aerosmith's "Angel," "Dude (Looks Like a Lady)" and "Crazy," Joan Jett's "I Hate Myself for Loving You," Michael Bolton’s "How Can We Be Lovers," Cher's "Just Like Jesse James," Ricky Martin's "Livin' La Vida Loca" and "She Bangs," and Katy Perry's "Waking Up in Vegas."
1954: Ernest Hemingway wins the Nobel Prize in Literature "for his mastery of the art of narrative, most recently demonstrated in 'The Old Man and the Sea,' and for the influence that he has exerted on contemporary style."
1955: Bill Gates, the business magnate, programmer and inventor who co-founded Microsoft with Paul Allen, is born in Seattle, Wash.
1962: The Cuban missile crisis comes to an end when Nikita Khrushchev orders the removal of Soviet missiles fromCuba. The 13-day standoff is generally regarded as the moment in which the Cold War came closest to turning into a nuclear conflict.
1962: Actress Daphne Zuniga, best known for movies such as "Spaceballs" and "The Sure Thing" and the TV series "Melrose Place" and "One Tree Hill" (pictured), is born in Berkeley, Calif.
1963: Actress Lauren Holly, best known for movies such as "Dumb and Dumber" and "Beautiful Girls" and for the TV series "Picket Fences" and "NCIS," is born in Bristol, Pa.
1965: Nostra Aetate, the "Declaration on the Relation of the Church with Non-Christian Religions" of the Second Vatican Council, is promulgated by Pope Paul VI (pictured). Among other things, the declaration absolved the Jews of responsibility for the death of Jesus, reversing Pope Innocent III's 760-year-old declaration.
1965: Construction on the Gateway Arch in St. Louis is completed. The 630-foot arch, built as a monument to the westward expansion of the United States, would open to the public on June 10, 1967.
1966: Comedian and actor Andy Richter, best known for his role as Conan O'Brien's sidekick on the talk shows "Late Night," "The Tonight Show" and "Conan," is born in Grand Rapids, Mich. He has also starred in the sitcoms "Quintuplets," "Andy Richter Controls the Universe" (pictured) and "Andy Barker, P.I."
1967: Actress Julia Roberts, an Oscar winner for "Erin Brockovich" who's also known for movies such as "Pretty Woman," "Steel Magnolias," "Runaway Bride," "The Pelican Brief" and "Notting Hill," is born in Atlanta, Ga.
1969: Singer-songwriter Ben Harper, known for his guitar-playing skills, vocals, live performances and activism, is born in Pomona, Calif.
1972: Singer-songwriter and guitarist Brad Paisley, best known for No. 1 country hits such as "We Danced," "I'm Gonna Miss Her (The Fishin' Song)," "Mud on the Tires," "She's Everything" and "Then," is born in Glen Dale, W.Va.
1973: Elmore Smith of the Los Angeles Lakers blocks 17 shots in a game, setting an NBA record that still stands today.
1974: Actor Joaquin Phoenix, an Academy Award nominee for his roles in "Gladiator," "Walk the Line" and "The Master," is born Joaquín Rafael Bottom in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The younger brother of fellow actor River Phoenix, he's also appeared in movies such as "To Die For," "Quills" and "Signs."
1980: Republican nominee Ronald Reagan famously asks voters during a debate with President Jimmy Carter in Cleveland, Ohio, "Are you better off than you were four years ago?"
1982: Actor Matt Smith, best known for portraying the 11th incarnation of The Doctor on the British television series "Doctor Who," is born in Northampton, Northamptonshire, England.
1987: Singer-songwriter and rapper Frank Ocean, who earned six Grammy nominations for his 2012 debut studio album, "Channel Orange," is born Christopher Breaux in Long Beach, Calif.
1995: At least 289 people are killed and 265 injured when an electrical fire breaks out in the subway system of Azerbaijan's capital, Baku. The fire remains the world's deadliest subway disaster.
2005: Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, is indicted by a federal grand jury concerning the investigation of the leak of the covert identity of Central Intelligence Agency officer Valerie Plame Wilson. Libby would resign later that day. He was later disbarred after being convicted of obstruction of justice, perjury and making false statements.
2006: Basketball coach Arnold "Red" Auerbach, who won nine NBA titles as a coach of the Boston Celtics and another seven as the team's general manager and president, dies of a heart attack at age 89 in Washington, D.C.
2006: Jamaican boxer Trevor Berbick dies after suffering head injuries during an assault by a steel pipe-wielding assailant in Norwich, Port Antonio, Jamaica. His 20-year-old nephew was later found guilty of his murder and sentenced to life in prison. Berbick, who was 52 when he was killed, fought as a professional from 1976 until 2000 and briefly held the WBC heavyweight championship in 1986. He lost the title in his first defense to a 20-year-old Mike Tyson via second-round TKO. He was also the last boxer to fight Muhammad Ali, winning a 10-round unanimous decision in Nassau, Bahamas on Dec. 11, 1981.
2007: Country music singer-songwriter and guitarist Porter Wagoner, who charted 81 singles from 1954 to 1983 and was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, dies of lung cancer at age 80 in Nashville, Tenn. Wagoner, whose hits included "A Satisfied Mind," "Misery Loves Company," "Green Green Grass of Home" and "The Carroll County Accident," is also known for introducing then-obscure singer Dolly Parton on his long-running television show in 1962 and for pairing up with her on duets through the 1960s and '70s.
2009: NASA successfully launches the Ares I-X mission, the only rocket launch for its later-cancelled Constellation program. The program, which was developing the spacecraft for U.S. spaceflight after the space shuttle fleet was retired, was deemed to be too costly and was instead replaced with the Space Launch System, which is intended to begin operations in December 2017.
2009: The documentary/concert film "Michael Jackson's This Is It" premieres worldwide. The movie documents Jackson's rehearsals and preparation for the concert series of the same name that was scheduled to start in mid-July 2009 but was canceled due to his death on June 25, 2009. The film grossed more than $260 million at the worldwide box office, making it the highest grossing concert movie and documentary of all time.
2010: Actor James MacArthur, best known for the role of Danny "Danno" Williams on the original "Hawaii Five-O" television series, dies of natural causes at age 72 in Jacksonville, Fla. He's seen here in a 1968 publicity photo from the show.