1814 - During the War of 1812, at the Battle of Lundy's Lane, reinforcements for General Phineas Riall's British and Canadian forces arrived near Niagara Falls and a bloody, all-night battle with Jacob Brown's Americans began shortly after 6 pm, following which the Americans retreated to Fort Erie.
1853 - Joaquin Murietta - the famous Californio bandit known as 'Robin Hood of El Dorado' - was killed.
1861 - Near the outset of the American Civil War the Crittenden-Johnson Resolution was passed by Congress stating that the war was being fought to preserve the Union and not to end slavery.
1866 - The US Congress passed legislation authorizing the rank of General of the Army (commonly called '5-star general'); Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant became the first recipient of this rank.
1868 - Wyoming became a United States territory.
1897 - Writer Jack London sailed to join the Klondike Gold Rush where he wrote his first successful stories; while in the far north, though, his health rapidly deteriorated, leaving him toothless from scurvy and his face permanently scarred.
1898 - The US invasion of Puerto Rico began when troops landed at the harbor of Guánica, led by General Nelson A. Miles; while the land invasion, proper, began that day, sea-based bombardment and shelling of the capital city of San Juan had been occurring since May 1898.
1946 - As part of Operation Crossroads the US military detonated an atomic bomb underwater in the lagoon of Bikini Atoll; owing to radioactive contamination, the site remains uninhabitable to this day.
1956 - 45 miles south of Nantucket Island, the Italian ocean liner SS Andrea Doria collided with the MS Stockholm in heavy fog and sank the next day, killing 51.
1969 - President Richard Nixon declared the Nixon Doctrine, stating that the United States now expected its Asian allies to take care of their own military defense; this began the so-called 'Vietnamization' of the Vietnam War.
1978 - The Cerro Maravilla Incident occurred when Puerto Rican independence activists Carlos Soto Arriví and Arnaldo Darío Rosado were killed in a police ambush; their driver was undercover agent Alejandro Gonzalez Malavé, who was himself killed eight years later by Los Macheteros.
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