On This Day in:
1496 – References in Leonardo da Vinci notebooks suggested that he tested his flying machine. The test didn't succeed and he didn't try to fly again for several years.
1521 – Pope Leo X excommunicated Martin Luther.
1777 – The Battle of Princeton took place in the War of Independence, in which George Washington defeated the British forces, led by Cornwallis.
1815 – By secret treaty, Austria, Britain, and France formed a defensive alliance against Prusso-Russian plans to solve the Saxon and Polish problems.
1823 – Stephen F. Austin received a grant from the Mexican government and began colonization in the region of the Brazos River in Texas.
1825 – The first engineering college in the U.S. , Rensselaer School, opened in Troy, NY. It is now known as Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
1833 – Britain seized control of the Falkland Islands in the South Atlantic. About 150 years later, Argentina seized the islands from the British, but Britain took them back after a 74-day war.
1850 – The first American ice-skating club was organized in Philadelphia, PA.
1884 – The socialist Fabian Society was founded in London.
1896 – Utah became the 45th U.S. state.
1928 – NBC Radio debuted 'The Dodge Victory Hour' which starred Will Rogers, Paul Whiteman and his Orchestra and singer Al Jolson.
1935 – Bob Hope was heard for the first time on network radio as part of 'The Intimate Revue.'
1936 – The first pop music chart based on national sales was published by 'Billboard' magazine.
1944 – The attack on Monte Cassino was launched by the British Fifth Army in Italy.
1948 – Britain granted independence to Burma.
1951 – During the Korean conflict, North Korean and Communist Chinese forces captured the city of Seoul.
1953 – Tufted plastic carpeting was introduced by Barwick Mills.
1957 – 'Collier’s' magazine was published for the last time. The periodical was published for 69 years.
1958 – The Soviet satellite Sputknik I fell to the earth from its orbit.
The craft had been launched on October 4, 1957.
1962 – New York City introduced a train that operated without conductors and motormen.
1965 – The Fender Guitar Company was sold to CBS for $13 million.
1965 – In his State of the Union address, U.S. President Johnson proclaimed the building of the 'Great Society.'
1972 – Rose Heilbron became the first woman judge in Britain at the Old Bailey, London.
1974 – U.S. President Nixon refused to hand over tape recordings and documents subpoenaed by the Senate Watergate Committee.
1974 – NBC-TV presented hockey in prime time. The Boston Bruins and the New York Rangers were the teams in the National Hockey League (NHL) game.
1981 – The Broadway show 'Frankenstein' lost an estimated $2 million, when it opened and closed on the same night.
1982 – Bryant Gumbel moved from NBC Sports to the anchor desk where he joined Jane Pauley as co-host of the 'Today' show on NBC.
1984 – Wayne ‘The Great One’ Gretzky scored eight points (four goals and four assists) for the second time in his National Hockey League (NHL) career. Edmonton’s Oilers defeated the Minnesota North Stars, 12-8. The game was the highest-scoring NHL game to date.
1991 – The U.N. Security Council voted unanimously to condemn Israel's treatment of the Palestinians in the occupied territories.
1997 – The Greek Cypriot government signed an agreement to buy S-300 surface-to-air missiles from Russia.