1502-Portuguese explorers landed at Guanabara Bay on the coast of South America and named it Rio de Janeiro (River of January). Rio de Janeiro is currently Brazil's second largest city.
1714-A patent was issued for the first typewriter designed by British inventor Henry Mill "for the impressing or transcribing of letters singly or progressively one after another, as in writing."
1776-During the American Revolution, George Washington unveiled the Grand Union Flag, the first national flag in America.
1892-Ellis Island in New York Harbor opened. Over 20 million new arrivals to America were processed until its closing in 1954.
1915-During World War I, the British Battleship Formidable was hit by a torpedo in the English Channel, killing 547 crewmen.
1924-British Egyptologist Howard Carter found the sarcophagus of Tutankhamen in the Valley of the Kings near Luxor after several years of searching.
1942-During World War II in the Pacific, the Japanese captured the Philippines capital of Manila and nearby air base at Cavite.
1959-Fidel Castro seized power in Cuba after leading a revolution that drove out Dictator Fulgencio Batista. Castro then established a Communist dictatorship.
1972-President Richard Nixon signed a bill approving $5.5 billion over six years to build and test the NASA space shuttle.
1987-The Dow Jones industrial average first topped the 2,000 mark.
1991-Congress authorized President George Bush to use military force against Iraq following its invasion of Kuwait.
1999-The first presidential impeachment trial in 130 years began as members of the US Senate were sworn in by Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist to decide whether President Clinton should be removed from office.