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1026 - Koenraad II crowned himself king of Italy.

1066 - The 18th recorded perihelion passage of Halley's Comet took place.

1657 - France and England formed an alliance against Spain.

1794 - Josiah G. Pierson patented a rivet machine.

1808 - Napoleon's brother Joseph took the throne of Spain.

1836 - The coin press was invented by Franklin Beale.

1840 - The first successful photo of the Moon was taken.

1848 - Hungary proclaimed its independence of Austria.

1858 - Eleazer A. Gardner patented the cable streetcar.

1861 - London's first tramcars began operations.

1881 - The Boers and Britain signed a peace accord ending the first Boer war.

1881 - A gas lamp caused a fire in an opera house in Nice, France. 70 people were killed.

1901 - Dame Nellie Melba, revealed the secret of her now famous toast.

1901 - It was reported that Boers were starving in British concentration camps in South Africa.

1902 - In Italy, the minimum legal working age was raised from 9 to 12 for boys and from 11 to 15 for girls.

1903 - The Wright brothers obtained an airplane patent.

1909 - British Lt. Shackleton found the magnetic South Pole.

1917 - Austrian Emperor Charles I made a peace proposal to French President Poincare.

1918 - Lithuania proclaimed independence.

1919 - Benito Mussolini founded his Fascist political movement in Milan, Italy.

1920 - Britain denounced the U.S. because of their delay in joining the League of Nations.

1921 - Arthur G. Hamilton set a new parachute record when he safely jumped from 24,400 feet.

1933 - The German Reichstag adopted the Enabling Act. The act effectively granted Adolf Hitler dictatorial legislative powers.

1936 - Italy, Austria & Hungary signed the Pact of Rome.

1942 - During World War II, the U.S. government began evacuating Japanese-Americans from West Coast homes to detention centers.

1956 - Sudan became independent.

1957 - The U.S. Army sold the last of its homing pigeons.

1965 - America's first two-person space flight took off from Cape Kennedy with astronauts Virgil I. Grissom and John W. Young aboard. The craft was the Gemini 3.

1967 - Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. called the Vietnam War the biggest obstacle to the civil rights movement.

1972 - Evel Knievel broke 93 bones after successfully jumping 35 cars.

1983 - U.S. President Reagan first proposed development of technology to intercept enemy missiles. The proposal became known as the Strategic Defense Initiative and "Star Wars."

1983 - Dr. Barney Clark died after 112 days with a permanent artificial heart.

1989 - A 1,000-foot diameter asteroid missed Earth by 500,000 miles.

1989 - Two electrochemists, Stanley Pons and Martin Fleischman, announced that they had created nuclear fusion in a test tube at room temperature.

1998 - Germany's largest bank pledged $3.1 million to Jewish foundations as restitution for Nazi looting.

1998 - Russian President Boris Yeltsin fired his entire Cabinet.

1998 - The movie "Titanic" won 11 Oscars at the Academy Awards.

1999 - NATO Secretary-General Javier Solana gave formal approval for air strikes against Serbian targets. 

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