1684 - A patent was granted for the thimble.
1792 - The guillotine was first used to execute highwayman Nicolas J. Pelletier.
1859 - Work began on the Suez Canal in Egypt.
1867 - Tokyo was opened for foreign trade.
1901 - New York became the first state to require license plates for cars. The fee was $1.
1928 - A seeing eye dog was used for the first time.
1945 - Delegates from about 50 countries met in San Francisco to organize the United Nations.
1953 - U.S. Senator Wayne Morse ended the longest speech in U.S. Senate history. The speech on the Offshore Oil Bill lasted 22 hours and 26 minutes.
1953 - Dr. James D. Watson and Dr. Francis H.C. Crick suggested the double helix structure of DNA.
1962 - The U.S. spacecraft, Ranger, crashed on the Moon.
1967 - Colorado Governor John Love signed the first law legalizing abortion in the U.S. The law was limited to therapeutic abortions when agreed to, unanimously, by a panel of three physicians.
1971 - The country of Bangladesh was established.
1983 - Soviet leader Yuri V. Andropov invited Samantha Smith to visit his country after receiving a letter in which the U.S. schoolgirl expressed fears about nuclear war.
1983 - The Pioneer 10 spacecraft crossed Pluto’s orbit, speeding on its endless voyage through the Milky Way.
1984 - David Anthony Kennedy, the son of Robert F. Kennedy, was found dead of a drug overdose in a hotel room.