1534 French explorer Jacques Cartier became the first European to discover the river he named for St. Lawrence in present-day Quebec.
1822 Charles Graham receives the first patent for false teeth.
1869 Charles Elmer Hires sells his first root beer in Philadelphia.
1870 Author Charles Dickens (David Copperfield, Oliver Twist, A Christmas Carol) dies at age 58.
1883 The Chicago El, the first commercial electric railway line, begins operation.
1898 With the signing of the Second Convention of Peking, Britain was granted 99 years of rule over Hong Kong.
1934 Donald Duck made his first screen appearance, in The Wise Little Hen.
1954 During the Senate-Army hearings, Army counsel Joseph Welch assailed Communist-hunting Senator Joseph McCarthy for his verbal attack on a member of Welch’s law firm. Welch famously said, “Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?”
1969 Mick Taylor is announced as the new guitarist with the Rolling Stones, replacing original member Brian Jones.
1970 Bob Dylan is given an honorary Doctor Of Music degree by Princeton University in New Jersey.
1972 Bruce Springsteen is signed to a record deal by John Hammond, who had also discovered and signed Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, and Billie Holiday, among others.
1973 Secretariat became horse racing’s first Triple Crown winner in 25 years by winning the 105th Belmont Stakes after taking the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness. Secretariat set a one-and-a-half-mile course world record (two minutes, 24 seconds) and a record for largest margin of victory in the Belmont (31 lengths).
1973 “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” by the Rolling Stones peaks at Number 42 on the pop chart.
1977 George and Pattie Harrison officially divorce.
1978 Leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints struck down a 148-year-old policy excluding black men from the Mormon priesthood.
1979 “Renegade” by Styx peaks at Number 16 on the pop chart.
1980 Comedian Richard Pryor suffered nearly fatal burns at his California home when a mixture of “free-base” cocaine exploded.
1984 “Oh Sherrie” by Steve Perry peaks at Number Three on the pop chart.
1984 “Sister Christian” by Night Ranger peaks at Number Five on the pop chart.
1984 “The Heart Of Rock & Roll” by Huey Lewis & the News peaks at Number Six on the pop chart.
1986 The Rogers Commission released its report on the Challenger disaster, saying an O-ring on one of the solid fuel rockets had failed, causing the explosion of the space shuttle a little over one minute after takeoff. The report criticized NASA and rocket-builder Morton Thiokol for management problems that led to disaster, which took the lives of seven astronauts.
1989 The movie Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, starring William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, James Doohan, Walter Koenig, Nichelle Nichols, and George Takei, opens.
1993 The movie What’s Love Got To Do With It, starring Angela Bassett and Laurence Fishburne, opens.
1993 Japanese Crown Prince Naruhito married commoner Masako Owada in an elaborate Shinto religious ceremony.
1993 The U.S. Post Office unveils its “Legends Of American Music, Rock And Roll-Rhythm And Blues” stamp series. It features Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, Bill Haley, Ritchie Valens, Otis Redding, Clyde McPhatter, and Dinah Washington.
1999 After 78 days of NATO airstrikes, Yugoslav and Western generals signed a pact clearing the way for a Kosovo peace plan.
2000 The Justice Department released a report saying an 18-month investigation had found no credible evidence that conspirators aided or framed James Earl Ray in the 1968 assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.