[Robert Stephenson's Britannia Bridge (foreground) and its earlier cousin, Thomas Telford's Menai Suspension Bridge of 1826, both span the lovely Menai Strait in northern Wales; originally a tubular bridge of wrought-iron, following a major fire in May 1970 the Britannia Bridge was rebuilt as a truss arch bridge.]
1689 - Daniel Finch, 2nd Earl of Nottingham was named Secretary of State for the Northern Department by co-monarchs William III and Mary II.
1766 - Antonio de Ulloa, the first Spanish governor of Louisiana, arrived in New Orleans.
1770 - Five Americans - including a black man named Crispus Attucks and a boy - were killed by British troops in the so-called Boston Massacre, an event that would contribute to the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War five years later.
1784 - Thomas Townshend, 1st Viscount Sydney was named President of the Board of Trade.
1848 - Louis Antoine Garnier-Pages was named France's Minister of Finance.
1850 - The Britannia Bridge - across the Menai Strait between the Isle of Anglesey and the mainland of Wales - was opened.
1861 - The Stars and Bars was first flown as the flag of the Confederate States of America, having been adopted for use the previous day.
1868 - A court of impeachment was organized in the US Senate to hear charges against President Andrew Johnson.
1915 - German zeppelin LZ 33 was damaged by enemy fire and stranded south of Ostend.
1933 - President Franklin Delano Roosevelt declared a 'bank holiday', closing all US banks and freezing all financial transactions; meanwhile, on the same day, FDR's other foe Adolf Hitler and his Nazis won 44 percent of the vote in parliamentary elections.
1943 - First flight of Gloster Meteor jet aircraft in the United Kingdom.
1946 - Winston Churchill coined the phrase 'Iron Curtain' in a speech at Westminster College, Missouri.
1949 - The Jharkhand Party was founded in India.
1978 - Landsat 3 was launched from Vandenberg AFB in California.
1979 - Voyager 1 made its closest approach to Jupiter: 172,000 miles.
1982 - The Soviet Union's Venera 14 satellite arrived at the planet Venus, where it became the first man-made object to land on that planet; the Venera program's earlier Venera 3 space probe had been the first on the surface of the planet, in March 1966 but had not been equipped with any landing gear and was too badly damaged to return any data.
1998 - NASA announced that the Clementine probe orbiting the Moon had found enough water there (in the form of ice) to support a human colony.
1999 - Paul Okalik became the first elected Premier of Nunavut.
2001 - Charles Andrew Williams started shooting at his fellow students at Santana High School in Santee, California, killing two and wounding thirteen.
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