1735 - Freedom of the press was established with an acquittal of John Peter Zenger. The writer of the New York Weekly Journal had been charged with seditious libel by the royal governor of New York. The jury said that "the truth is not libelous."
1753 - George Washington became a Master Mason.
1790 - The Revenue Cutter Service was formed. This U.S. naval task force was the beginning of the U.S. Coast Guard.
1821 - "The Saturday Evening Post" was published for the first time as a weekly.
1921 - The first radio broadcast of a tennis match occurred. It was in Pittsburgh, PA.
1922 - The death of Alexander Graham Bell, two days earlier, was recognized by AT&T and the Bell Systems by shutting down all of its switchboards and switching stations. The shutdown affected 13 million phones.
1934 - Mel Ott became the first major league baseball player to score six runs in a single game.
1944 - Nazi police raided a house in Amsterdam and arrested eight people. Anne Frank, a teenager at the time, was one of the people arrested. Her diary would be published after her death.
1956 - William Herz became the first person to race a motorcycle over 200 miles per hour. He was clocked at 210 mph.
1958 - Billboard Magazine introduced its "Hot 100" chart, which was part popularity and a barometer of the movement of potential hits. The first number one song was Ricky Nelson's "Poor Little Fool."
1977 - U.S. President Carter signed the measure that established the Department of Energy.
1983 - New York Yankee outfielder Dave Winfield threw a baseball during warm-ups and accidentally killed a seagull. After the game, Toronto police arrested him for "causing unnecessary suffering to an animal."
1984 - Carl Lewis won a gold medal in the Los Angeles Olympics.
1986 - The United States Football League called off its 1986 season. This was after winning only token damges in its antitrust lawsuit against the National Football League.