1513 - Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon sighted Florida. The next day he went ashore.
1801 - During the Napoleonic Wars, the Danish fleet was destroyed by the British at the Battle of Copenhagen.
1860 - The first Italian Parliament met in Turin.
1872 - G.B. Brayton received a patent for the gas-powered streetcar.
1889 - Charles Hall patented aluminum.
1910 - Karl Harris perfected the process for the artificial synthesis of rubber.
1935 - Sir Watson-Watt was granted a patent for RADAR.
1963 - Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King began the first non-violent campaign in Birmingham, Alabama.
1990 - Iraqi President Saddam Hussein threatened to incinerate half of Israel with chemical weapons if Israel joined a conspiracy against Iraq.
1996 - Lech Walesa resumed his old job as an electrician at the Gdansk shipyard. He was the former Solidarity union leader who became Poland's first post-war democratic president.
2002 - Israeli troops surrounded the Church of the Nativity. More than 200 Palestinians had taken refuge at the church when Israel invaded Bethlehem.