History of the Day for:
- 1431: Condemned as a heretic by an English church court, 19-year-old Joan of Arc was burned at the stake in Rouen, France.
- 1539: Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto discovered Florida.
- 1848: William G. Young patented the ice cream freezer.
- 1854: The territories of Nebraska and Kansas were formed.
- 1883: A rumor that the Brooklyn Bridge was going to collapse caused a stampede that killed 12 people.
- 1908: Mel Blanc, voice specialist including most Warner Bros. characters including Bugs Bunny, was born in San Francisco.
- 1909: Clarinetist/orchestra leader Benny Goodman, "The King of Swing," was born in Chicago.
- 1911: The first ever Indianapolis 500 motor race in the U.S. was run and won by Ray Harroun at an average speed of 74.59 mph.
- 1922: The Lincoln Memorial was dedicated.
- 1943: U.S. forces took the Aleutian island Attu from the Japanese.
- 1958: Unidentified soldiers killed in World War II and the Korean War were buried in Arlington Cemetery.
- 1971: U.S. probe Mariner 9 was launched on its mission to Mars. It sent back more than 7,000 pictures.
- 1980: Pope John Paul II arrived in France on the first visit by the head of the Roman Catholic Church since the early 19th century.
- 1982: Spain became the 16th member of NATO.
- 1996: Britain's Prince Andrew and the former Sarah Ferguson were granted an uncontested decree ending their 10-year marriage.
- 1997: Child molester Jesse K. Timmendequas was convicted in Trenton, N.J., of raping and strangling a 7-year-old neighbor, Megan Kanka. Kanka's 1994 murder inspired "Megan's Law." requiring that communities be notified when sex offenders move into the neighborhood.
- 1998: A magnitude 6.6 earthquake hits northern Afghanistan, killing up to 5,000.