1861 – The first skirmish of the U.S. Civil War took place at the Fairfax Court House, Virginia.
1869 – Thomas Edison received a patent for his electric voting machine.
1877 – U.S. troops were authorized to pursue bandits into Mexico.
1892 – The General Electric Company (GE) began operations after the merging of the Edison General Electric and the Thomson-Houston Electric companies.
1915 – Germany conducted the first zeppelin air raid over England.
1916 – The National Defense Act increased the strength of the U.S. National Guard by 450,000 men.
1939 – The Douglas DC-4 made its first passenger flight from Chicago to New York.
1941 – The German Army completed the capture of Crete as the Allied evacuation ended.
1942 – The U.S. began sending Lend-Lease materials to the Soviet Union.
1943 – During World War II, Germans shot down a civilian flight from Lisbon to London.
1944 – The French resistance was warned by a coded message from the British that the D-Day invasion was imminent.
1944 – Siesta was abolished by the government of Mexico.
1958 – Charles de Gaulle became the premier of France.
1970 – Zimbabwe came into existence. It was formerly known as Rhodesia.
1977 – The Soviet Union formally charged Jewish human rights activist Anatoly Shcharansky with treason. He was imprisoned until 1986.
1978 – The U.S. reported the finding of wiretaps in the American embassy in Moscow.
1979 – In the U.S., the government-controlled ceiling on oil prices ends. The control was phased out over 28 months.
1980 – Cable News Network (CNN) made its debut as the first all-news station.
2008 – The Phoenix Mars Lander became the first NASA spacecraft to scoop Martian soil.