In 1721, John Douglas, for whom Douglas Island near Juneau was named, was born in Scotland.
In 1868, the U.S. House approved funds to buy Alaska by a vote of 113 to 43.
In 1954, dedication ceremonies were held at the Ketchikan Pulp Mill, the first large pulp mill in Alaska. A 40,000-acre fire near Healy was reported out of control. Severe flooding damaged a 100-mile section of the Alaska Highway near the Haines cutoff.
In the nation
In 1798, Congress passed the Sedition Act, making it a federal crime to publish false, scandalous or malicious writing about the United States government.
In 1881, outlaw William H. Bonney Jr., alias Billy the Kid, was shot and killed by Sheriff Pat Garrett in Fort Sumner, N.M.
In 1965, the American space probe Mariner 4 flew by Mars, sending back photographs of the planet.
In 1966, eight student nurses were murdered by Richard Speck in a Chicago dormitory.
In 1976, Jimmy Carter won the Democratic presidential nomination at the party's convention in New York.
In 1995, under pressure from Congress, FBI Director Louis Freeh removed his friend Larry Potts as the bureau's deputy director because of controversy over Potts' role in a deadly 1992 FBI siege in Idaho.
In 2000, a Florida jury ordered five major tobacco companies to pay smokers a record $145 billion in punitive damages. (However, in 2003, a state appeals court reversed not only the award but also the class action unifying hundreds of thousands of sick Florida smokers under a single lawsuit; the Florida Supreme Court agreed in May 2004 to review that decision.)
In 2004, the Senate scuttled a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage (48 senators voted to advance the measure - 12 short of the 60 needed - and 50 voted to block it).
In the world
In 1789, during the French Revolution, citizens of Paris stormed the Bastille prison and released the seven prisoners inside.
In 1933, all German political parties, except the Nazi Party, were outlawed.
In 1958, the army of Iraq overthrew the monarchy.
In 1965, U.S. Ambassador Adlai E. Stevenson Jr. died in London at age 65.
In 1978, Soviet dissident Natan Sharansky was convicted of treasonous espionage and anti-Soviet agitation, and sentenced to 13 years of hard labor. (Sharansky was released in 1986.)
In 2004, In Iraq, a suicide attacker detonated a massive car bomb at a checkpoint near the British Embassy and the interim government's headquarters in Baghdad, killing 11 people; the governor of Mosul was killed in attack on his convoy.