1500 - Vicente Yáñez Pinzón discovered Brazil.
1736 - Stanislaus I formally abdicated as King of Poland.
1784 - In a letter to his daughter, Benjamin Franklin expressed unhappiness over the eagle as the symbol of America. He wanted the symbol to be the turkey.
1788 - The first European settlers in Australia, led by Captain Arthur Phillip, landed in what became known as Sydney. The group had first settled at Botany Bay eight days before. This day is celebrated as Australia Day.
1841 - Britain formally occupied Hong Kong, which the Chinese had ceded to the British.
1875 - George F. Green patented the electric dental drill for sawing, filing, dressing and polishing teeth.
1905 - The Cullinan diamond, weighing 114 lbs, was found by Captain Wells at the Premier Mine, near Pretoria, South Africa.
1911 - Inventor Glenn H. Curtiss flew the first successful seaplane.
1939 - In the Spanish Civil War, Franco's forces, with Italian aid, took Barcelona.
1942 - The first American expeditionary force to go to Europe during World War II went ashore in Northern Ireland.
1950 - India officially proclaimed itself a republic as Rajendra Prasad took the oath of office as president.
1962 - The U.S. launched Ranger 3 to land scientific instruments on the moon. The probe missed its target by about 22,000 miles.
1965 - Hindi was made the official language of India.
1979 - The ‘Gizmo’ guitar synthesizer was first demonstrated.
1992 - Russian president Boris Yeltsin announced that his country would stop targeting U.S. cities with nuclear weapons.
1999 - Saddam Hussein vowed revenge against the U.S. in response to air-strikes that reportedly killed civilians. The strikes were U.S. planes defending themselves against anti-aircraft fire.