1783 - Britain declared a formal cessation of hostilities with its former colonies, the United States of America.
1789 - Electors unanimously chose George Washington to be the first president of the United States.
1824 - J.W. Goodrich introduced rubber galoshes to the public.
1904 - The Russo-Japanese War began after Japan laid seige to Port Arthur.
1913 - Louis Perlman received a patent for his demountable tire-carrying rims.
1932 - The first Winter Olympics were held in the United States at Lake Placid, NY.
1936 - Radium E. became the first radioactive substance to be produced synthetically.
1945 - During World War II, U.S. President Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Soviet leader Josef Stalin began a conference at Yalta to outline plans for Germany's defeat.
1948 - Ceylon gained independence within the British Commonwealth. The country later became known as Sri Lanka.
1968 - The world's largest hovercraft was launched at Cowes, Isle of Wight.
1993 - Russian scientists unfurled a giant mirror in orbit and flashed a beam of sunlight across Europe during the night. Observers saw it only as a momentary flash.
1997 - President Milosevic of Serbia apparently surrendered to the will of his people, ordering his government to recognize opposition victories in local elections held in November 1996.
2003 - Yugoslavia was formally dissolved by lawmakers. The country was replaced with a loose union of its remaining two republics, Serbia and Montenegro.