1498 – Christopher Columbus, on his third voyage to the Western Hemisphere, arrived at the island of Trinidad.
1790 – The first U.S. patent was issued to Samuel Hopkins for his process for making potash and pearl ashes. The substance was used in fertilizer.
1919 – Germany’s Weimar Constitution was adopted.
1928 – MGM’s Leo the lion roared for the first time. He introduced MGM’s first talking picture, “White Shadows on the South Seas.”
1932 – Enzo Ferrari retired from racing. In 1950 he launched a series of cars under his name.
1945 – Pierre Laval of France surrendered to Americans in Austria.
1955 – Marilyn Bell of Toronto, Canada, at age 17, became the youngest person to swim the English Channel.
1959 – The Euskadi Ta Askatasuna (ETA) was founded. The group is known for being an armed Basque nationalist and separatist organization.
1964 – The American space probe Ranger 7 transmitted pictures of the moon’s surface.
1971 – Men rode in a vehicle on the moon for the first time in a lunar rover vehicle (LRV).
1982 – Yugoslavia imposed a six-month freeze on prices.
1989 – A pro-Iranian group in Lebanon released a videotape reportedly showing the hanged body of American hostage William R. Higgins.
1991 – U.S. President George H.W. Bush and Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev signed the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty.
1999 – The spacecraft Lunar Prospect crashed into the moon. It was a mission to detect frozen water on the moon’s surface. The craft had been launched on January 6, 1998.