History of the Day for:
- 1731: In Philadelphia, Benjamin Franklin opened the first library in the U.S.
- 1789: The Rev. Elijah Craig first distilled Bourbon whiskey.
- 1833: The first train wreck happened near Hightstown, N.J., killing two passengers.
- 1837: The first U.S. college for women only, Mount Holyoke Seminary, opened in Massachusetts.
- 1864: Abraham Lincoln was re-elected president.
- 1880: Sarah Bernhardt, internationally famed French actress, made her American debut in New York's Booth Theater playing the leading role in "Adrienne Lecouvreur."
- 1889: Montana became the 41st state.
- 1895: Wilhelm Roentgen, at the University of Wuerzburg, Germany, discovered electro-magnetic rays which he called X-rays.
- 1917: In Russia, the Council of People's Commissars was established as the new government of Russia, and it named Lenin as Chairman, Trotsky as foreign commissar and Stalin as commissar of nationalities.
- 1932: Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected president for the first time. He was re-elected three more times and remained in power until his death in 1945. Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II made their debut with "Make Mine Music."
- 1933: To create jobs for millions of unemployed Americans, President Roosevelt formed the Civil Works Administration.
- 1950: In the Korean War, the first jet battle took place.
- 1960: John F. Kennedy was elected president.
- 1966: Edward Brooke of Massachusetts became the first black elected to the Senate.
- 1989: Douglas Wilder was elected governor of Virginia, the first black to become a state governor. On the same day David Dinkins was elected New York's first black mayor.
- 2002: Iraq disarmament crisis: UN Security Council Resolution 1441 – The United Nations Security Council unanimously approves a resolution on Iraq, forcing Saddam Hussein to disarm or face "serious consequences".
- 2004: War in Iraq: More than 10,000 U.S. troops and a small number of Iraqi army units participate in a siege on the insurgent stronghold of Fallujah.