This Day In History
On his third voyage to the Western Hemisphere, Christopher Columbus becomes the first European to discover the island of Trinidad.
Daniel Defoe is placed in a pillory for the crime of seditious libel after publishing a politically satirical pamphlet, but is pelted with flowers.
The very first U.S. patent is issued: to inventor Samuel Hopkins for a potash process.
The first narrow gauge mainline railway in the world opens at Grandchester, Australia.
The radio mystery program The Shadow airs for the first time.
Archaeologists discover engraved gold and silver plates from King Darius the Great in Persepolis.
Ranger 7 sends back the first close-up photographs of the moon, with images 1,000 times clearer than anything ever seen from earth-bound telescopes.
Black Tot Day: The last day of the officially sanctioned rum ration in the Royal Navy.
NASA intentionally crashes the Lunar Prospector spacecraft into the Moon, completing its mission to detect frozen water on the moon's surface.
Alessandro Algardi, Italian sculptor and architect (d. 1654)
John Ericsson, Swedish inventor and engineer (d. 1889)
Paul du Chaillu, French explorer (d. 1903)
Jean Dubuffet, French painter and sculptor (d. 1985)
Milton Friedman, American economist, Nobel laureate (d. 2006)
Ahmet Ertegun, Turkish-born record company executive (d. 2006)
Steve Miller, American writer
Wesley Snipes, American actor
J. K. Rowling, British writer