Today is the 40th day of the year, with only 325 days remaining until the end of the year.
1775 - The British Parliament declares Massachusetts in rebellion.
1825 - After no presidential candidate receives a majority of electoral votes, the United States House of Representatives elect John Quincy Adams as President.
1870 - The United States Weather Bureau is established.
1889 - The United States Department of Agriculture is established as a Cabinet-level entity.
1895 - William G. Morgan creates a game called Mintonette, which soon comes to be referred to as volleyball.
1942 - Top United States military leaders hold their first formal meeting to discuss American military strategy in the war.
1945 - HMS Venturer sinks U-864 off the coast of Fedje, Norway, in a rare instance of submarine-to-submarine combat.
1959 - The R-7 Semyorka, the first intercontinental ballistic missile, becomes operational at Plesetsk, USSR.
1964 - The Beatles make their first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, performing before an audience of 73 million viewers.
1965 - The first United States combat troops are sent to South Vietnam.
1969 - It is the first test flight of the Boeing 747.
1971 - Satchel Paige becomes the first Negro League player to be voted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
1971 - Apollo 14 returns to Earth after its mission to the moon is complete.
1995 - Space Shuttle astronauts Bernard A. Harris Jr. and Michael Foale becomes the first African-American and the first Briton, to perform spacewalks.