In 1919, a fire destroyed a large part of the Fairbanks business district.
In 1988, an earthquake measuring 5.8 on the Richter scale, with its epicenter 70 miles northwest of Homer, struck the Kenai Peninsula.
In the nation
In 1756, America's third vice president, Aaron Burr, was born in Newark, N.J.
In 1788, Massachusetts became the sixth state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.
In 1895, baseball legend Babe Ruth was born in Baltimore.
In 1899, a peace treaty between the United States and Spain was ratified by the U.S. Senate.
In 1933, the 20th Amendment to the Constitution, the so-called "lame duck" amendment, was declared in effect.
In 1959, the United States successfully test-fired for the first time a Titan intercontinental ballistic missile from Cape Canaveral, Fla.
In 1992, 16 people were killed when a C-130 military transport plane crashed in Evansville, Ind.
In 1993, tennis Hall-of-Famer and human rights advocate Arthur Ashe died in New York at age 49.
In 1994, a day after a mortar shell killed 68 people in a Sarajevo marketplace, President Clinton called on the United Nations to determine who was to blame. Actor Joseph Cotten died in Los Angeles at age 88.
In 1998, President Clinton signed a bill changing the name of Washington National Airport to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.
In 1999, the public finally got to see and hear Monica Lewinsky as excerpts of the former White House intern's videotaped testimony were shown at President Clinton's impeachment trial. President Clinton requested legislation to require background checks on buyers at gun shows.
In 2003, edging closer to war, President Bush declared "the game is over" for Saddam Hussein and urged skeptical allies to join in disarming Iraq. ABC's "20/20" aired a British documentary on Michael Jackson in which the King of Pop revealed he sometimes let children sleep in his bed.
In the world
In 1778, the United States won official recognition from France with the signing of treaties in Paris.
In 1952, Britain's King George VI died. He was succeeded as reigning monarch by his daughter, Elizabeth II.