1776 - The Continental Congress appointed a committee to write a Declaration of Independence.
1793 - The Jardin des Plantes zoo opened in Paris. It was the first public zoo.
1806 - New York's "Commercial Advertiser" became the first U.S. newspaper to cover the sport of harness racing.
1854 - The U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD, held its first graduation.
1889 - Hattie McDaniel was born. She, for her role in "Gone With the Wind," was the first African-American to win an Academy Award.
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.
1924 - The Republican National Convention was broadcast by NBC radio. It was the first political convention to be on radio.
1925 - The state of Tennessee adopted a new biology text book that denied the theory of evolution.
1935 - Alcoholic Anonymous was founded by William G. Wilson and Dr. Robert Smith.
1944 - The youngest pitcher in major league baseball pitched his first game. Joe Nuxhall was 15 years old (and 10 months and 11 days).
1948 - Chuck Yeager exceeded the speed of sound in the Bell XS-1.
1954 - General Motors announced the gas turbine bus had been produced successfully.
1987 - An earthquake hit 15 states from Iowa to South Carolina.
1996 - The Colorado Avalanche defeated the Florida Panthers in a 1-0 triple overtime game. The win ended a four-game sweep for the Stanley Cup.