0404 - The last gladiator competition was held in Rome.
1622 - The Papal Chancery adopted January 1st as the beginning of the New Year (instead of March 25th).
1772 - The first traveler's checks were issued in London.
1785 - London's oldest daily paper "The Daily Universal Register" (later renamed "The Times" in 1788) was first published.
1797 - Albany became the capital of New York state, replacing New York City.
1801 - The Act of Union of England and Ireland came into force.
1801 - Italian astronomer Giuseppe Piazzi became the first person to discover an asteroid. He named it Ceres.
1804 - Haiti gained its independence.
1808 - The U.S. prohibited import of slaves from Africa.
1840 - The first recorded bowling match was recorded in the U.S.
1863 - U.S. President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, which declared that all slaves in the rebel states were free.
1887 - Queen Victoria was proclaimed empress of India in Delhi.
1892 - Ellis Island Immigrant Station formally opened in New York.
1892 - Brooklyn and New York merged to form the single city of New York.
1894 - The Manchester Ship Canal was officially opened to traffic.
1898 - Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island were consolidated into New York City.
1900 - Hawaii asked for a delegate to the Republican national convention.
1900 - Nigeria became a British protectorate with Frederick Lagard as the high commissioner.
1901 - The Commonwealth of Australia was founded. Lord Hopetoun officially assumed the duties as the first Governor-General.
1902 - The first Tournament of Roses (later the Rose Bowl) collegiate football game was played in Pasadena, CA.
1909 - The first payments of old-age pensions were made in Britain. People over 70 received five shillings a week.
1913 - The post office began parcel post deliveries.
1924 - Frank B. Cooney received a patent for ink paste.
1926 - The Rose Bowl was carried coast to coast on network radio for the first time.
1930 - "The Cuckoo Hour" was heard for the first time on the NBC-Blue Network, which later became ABC Radio.
1934 - Alcatraz Island officially became a Federal Prison.
1934 - The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) began operation.
1936 - The "New York Herald Tribune" began microfilming its current issues.
1937 - The First Cotton Bowl football game was played in Dallas, TX. Texas Christian University (T.C.U.) beat Marquette, 16-6.
1939 - The Hewlett-Packard partnership was formed.
1942 - U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill issued a declaration called the "United Nations." It was signed by 26 countries that vowed to create an international postwar World War II peacekeeping organization.
1945 - France was admitted to the United Nations.
1956 - Sudan gained its independence.
1958 - The European Economic Community (EEC) started operations.
1959 - Fidel Castro overthrew the government of Fulgencio Batista, and seized power in Cuba.
1968 - Evel Knievel, stunt performing daredevil, lost control of his motorcycle midway through a jump of 141 feet over the ornamental fountains in front of Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas.
1971 - Tobacco ads representing $20 million dollars in advertising were banned from TV and radio broadcast.
1973 - Britain, Ireland, Denmark and Norway joined the EEC.
1975 - The magazine "Popular Electronics" announced the invention of a person computer called Altair. MITS, using an Intel microprocessor, developed the computer.
1979 - The United States and China held celebrations in Washington, DC, and Beijing to mark the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
1981 - Greece joined the European Community.
1984 - AT&T was broken up into 22 Bell System companies under terms of an antitrust agreement with the U.S. Federal government.
1986 - Spain and Portugal joined the European Community (EC).
1987 - A pro-democracy rally took place in Beijing's Tiananmen Square (China).
1990 - David Dinkins was sworn in as New York City's first black mayor.
1992 - The ESPN Radio Network was officially launched.
1993 - Czechoslovakia split into two separate states, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The peaceful division had been engineered in 1992.
1994 - Bill Gates, Chief Executive Officer of Microsoft married Marilyn French.
1994 - The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) went into effect.
1995 - Frederick West, an alleged killer of 12 women and girls, was found hanged in his jail cell in Winston Green prison, in Birmingham. West had been under almost continuous watch since his arrest in 1994, but security had reportedly been relaxed in the months preceding the apparent suicide.
1995 - The World Trade Organization came into existence. The group of 125 nations monitors global trade.
1998 - A new anti-smoking law went into effect in California. The law prohibiting people from lighting up in bars.
1999 - The euro became currency for 11 Member States of the European Union. Coins and notes were not available until January 1, 2002.
1999 - In California, a law went into effect that defined "invasion of privacy as trespassing with the intent to capture audio or video images of a celebrity or crime victim engaging in a personal of family activity."
2001 - The "Texas 7," rented space in an RV park in Woodland Park, CO.
Bartolomé Murillo 1617
Paul Revere 1735
Betsy Ross (Elizabeth Griscom) 1752
George Washington Carver 1860
E.M. Forster 1879
Edie Martin 1880
Alessandro de Stefani 1891
J. Edgar Hoover (U.S.) 1895
Xavier Cugat 1900
Bradford Ropes 1905
Louis W. Parker 1906
Barry Goldwater 1909
Basil Deardon 1911
Dana Andrews 1912
Marvin Camras 1916
Earl Wrightson 1916
J.D. Salinger 1919
Carole Landis 1919
Milt Jackson 1923
Valentina Cortese 1925
Barbara Baxley 1927
Frank Pourcel (The French Fiddles) 1928
Bernard Kliban 1935
Frank Langella 1940
"Country Joe" McDonald 1942
Don Novello 1943
Alain Afflelou 1948
Steve Ripley (The Tractors) 1950
Ren Woods 1958
Grandmaster Flash 1958
Dedee Pfeiffer 1964
Verne Troyer 1969
Paul Thomas Anderson 1970
Christina B. Bump 1978
1764 - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart played for the Royal Family at Versailles in France.
1925 - Lucrezia Bori and John McCormack of the famous Metropolitan Opera in New York City made their singing debuts on radio.
1953 - Hank Williams died of drug and alcohol overdose at the age of 29.
1955 - RCA Victor announced that they were dropping the prices of their records in an attempt to spur record sales.
1959 - Elvis Presley destroyed his BMW on Germany's Autobahn.
1962 - The Beatles auditioned for Decca Records in London. The company opted for Brian Polle & the Tremeloes because the group was based in the south of England.
1964 - The BBC broadcasts the first "Top of the Pops" TV rock show.
1964 - The Beach Boys recorded "Fun Fun Fun."
1966 - The final episode of "The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet" (with Rick Nelson) was filmed.
1967 - Gary Lewis (Playboys) was drafted into the U.S. Army.
1967 - Sonny and Cher were barred from the Tournament of Roses in Pasadena, CA, for their support of the Sunset Strip rioters.
1968 - The Blue Velvets changed the name of their band to Creedence Clearwater Revival.
1979 - Bruce Springsteen's cheek was ripped open by a fire-cracker that was thrown onstage from the audience.
1981 - Prince and the Revolution released their first home video "Live." The recording is from the "Purple Rain" tour.
1982 - The last ABBA concert was held in Stockholm.
1985 - VH-1 premiered as an adult contemporary music video channel with Marvin Gaye's "Star Spangled Banner" video.
1989 - The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) changed the requirements for a musical work to achieve gold and platinum status.
1999 - Cinjun August Tate and Alyssa Milano were married.
2002 - Eric Clapton and Melia McEnery were married.
2002 - In Tampa, FL, Nick Carter (Backstreet Boys) was arrested and charged with a misdemeanor count of resisting arrest/opposing a law enforcement officer without violence.