1776 – The Continental Congress appointed a committee to write a Declaration of Independence.
1801 – The North African State of Tripoli declared war on the U.S. The dispute was over merchant vessels being able to travel safely through the Mediterranean.
1854 – The U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD, held its first graduation.
1898 – U.S. Marines landed in Cuba during the Spanish-American War.
1909 – The SOS distress signal was used for the first time. The Cunard liner SS Slavonia used the signal when it wrecked off the Azores.
1916 – Mecca, under control of the Turks, fell to the Arabs during the Great Arab Revolt.
1940 – Italy declared war on France and Britain. In addition, Canada declared war on Italy.
1943 – The Allies began bombing Germany around the clock.
1946 – Italy established a republic replacing its monarchy.
1967 – Israel and Syria agreed to a cease-fire that ended the Six-Day War.
1970 – A fifteen-man group of special forces troops began training for Operation Kingpin. The operation was a POW rescue mission in North Vietnam.
1971 – The U.S. ended a 21-year trade embargo of China.
1984 – The U.S. Army successfully tested an antiballistic missile.
1984 – The United States and the Vatican established full diplomatic relations for the first time in 117 years.
1985 – The Israeli army pulled out of Lebanon after 1,099 days of occupation.
1994 – U.S. President Clinton intensified sanctions against Haiti’s military leaders. U.S. commercial air travel was suspended along with most financial transactions between Haiti and the U.S.
1996 – Britain and Ireland opened Northern Ireland peace talks. The IRA’s political arm Sinn Fein was excluded.
1999 – NATO suspended air strikes in Yugoslavia after Slobodan Milosevic agreed to withdraw his forces from Kosovo.