On This Day in:
1741 – Frederick II of Prussia defeated Maria Theresa's forces at Mollwitz and conquered Silesia.
1790 – The U.S. patent system was established by the Patent Act.
1809 – Austria declared war on France and its forces entered Bavaria.
1814 – Napoleon was defeated at the Battle of Toulouse by the British and the Spanish. The defeat led to his exile to Elba.
1825 – The first hotel opened in Hawaii.
1849 – Walter Hunt patented the safety pin.
1862 – Union forces began the bombardment of Fort Pulaski in Georgia along the Tybee River.
1865 – During the American Civil War, at Appomattox, General Robert E. Lee issued his last order.
1866 – The American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) was incorporated.
1902 – South African Boers accepted British terms of surrender.
1912 – The Titanic set sail from Southampton, England.
1916 – The Professional Golfers Association (PGA) held its first championship tournament.
1919 – In Mexico, revolutionary leader Emiliano Zapata was killed by government troops.
1922 – The Genoa Conference opened. The meeting was used to discuss the reconstruction of Europe after World War I.
1925 – F. Scott Fitzgerald published 'The Great Gatsby.”
1930 – The first synthetic rubber was produced.
1932 – Paul von Hindenburg was elected president of Germany with 19 million votes. Adolf Hitler came in second with 13 million.
1938 – Germany annexed Austria after Austrians had voted in a referundum to merge with Germany.
1941 – In World War II, U.S. troops occupied Greenland to prevent Nazi infiltration.
1941 – Ford Motor Co. became the last major automaker to recognize the United Auto Workers as the representative for its workers.
1944 – Russian troops recaptured Odessa from the Germans.
1945 – German Me 262 jet fighters shot down ten U.S. bombers near Berlin.
1953 – Warner Bros. released 'House of Wax.' It was the first 3-D movie to be released by a major Hollywood studio.
1953 – Actress Hedy Lamarr became a U.S. citizen.
1959 – Japan's Crown Prince Akihito married commoner Michiko Shoda.
1960 – The U.S. Senate passed the Civil Rights Bill.
1961 – Gary Player of South Africa became the first foreign golfer to win the Masters Golf Tournament in Augusta, Georgia.
1963 – 129 people died when the nuclear-powered submarine USS Thresher failed to surface off Cape Cod, MA.
1967 – The 13-day strike by the American Federation of Radio-TV Artists (AFTRA) came to an end less than two hours before the
39th Academy Awards presentation went on the air.
1968 – U.S. President Johnson replaced General Westmoreland with General Creighton Abrams in Vietnam.
1971 – The American table tennis team arrived in China. They were the first group of Americans officially allowed into China since the founding of the People Republic in 1949. The team had recieved the surprise invitation while in Japan for the 31st World Table Tennis Championship.
1972 – An earthquake in Iran killed more than 5,000 people.
1972 – The U.S. and the Soviet Union joined with 70 other nations in signing an agreement banning biological warfare.
1973 – In Switzerland, 108 people died when a plane crashed while attempting to land at Basel.
1974 – Yitzhak Rabin replaced resigning Israeli Prime Minister, Golda Meir. Meir resigned over differences within her Labor Party.
1980 – Spain and Britain agreed to reopen the border between Gibraltar and Spain. It had been closed since 1969.