In 1639, Harvard College in Massachusetts was named for John Harvard, a founder and major benefactor of the school.
In 1781, the planet Uranus was discovered by British astronomer William Herschel.
In 1868, the Republican-dominated U.S. Senate began impeachment proceedings against U.S. President Andrew Johnson, a Democrat and successor to Abraham Lincoln, climaxing a political feud following the Civil War. He was acquitted by one vote.
In 1881, Czar Alexander II, the ruler of Russia since 1855, was killed in a St. Petersburg street by a bomb thrown by a member of the revolutionary People's Will group.
In 1887, Chester Greenwood of Maine received a patent for earmuffs.
In 1933, in the depths of the Great Depression, banks throughout the United States began to reopen after a weeklong bank holiday declared by President Franklin Roosevelt in a successful effort to stop runs on bank assets.
In 1943, a plot by German officers to kill Hitler by blowing up his plane failed.
In 1974, the oil-producing Arab countries agreed to lift their five-month embargo on petroleum sales to the United States. The embargo, during which gasoline prices soared 300 percent, was in retaliation for U.S. support of Israel during the October 1973 Middle East War.
In 1989, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration quarantined fruit imported from Chile after traces of cyanide were found in two Chilean grapes.
In 1990, the Soviet Congress of People's Deputies formally ended the Communist Party's monopoly rule, establishing a presidential system and giving Mikhail Gorbachev broad new powers.