The first section of the Guttenberg Bible, the first book printed from movable type, was published in Germany.
Italian navigator Giovanni Verrazano discovered New York Harbor.
The first permanent European settlement in what is now the continental United States was founded on the site of the present St. Augustine, Fla.
John Billington, one of the first pilgrims to land in America was hanged for murder - becoming the first criminal to be executed in the American colonies.
New Hampshire became a royal colony of the British crown.
The first American newspaper, called "Publick Occurrences, Both Foreign and Domestic," appeared in Boston.
The city of New Orleans was founded.
Freedom of the media was established in the American colonies when John Peter Zenger, publisher of a New York City newspaper, was acquitted of libel charges.
Danish navigator Vitus Jonas Bering discovered what is now Alaska.
New York City staged the first parade honoring the Roman Catholic feast day of St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. It was led by Irish soldiers serving in the British army
George Washington was named Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army.
The Continental Congress established the army as the first U.S. military service.
The Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence, proclaiming U.S. independence from Britain.
A committee of Benjamin Franklin, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson suggested the United States adopt "E pluribus Unum" -- "Out of many, one" -- as the motto for its Great Seal.
The second Continental Congress officially changed the new American nation's name from "United Colonies" to "United States."
The British hanged American Revolutionary War hero and patriot Nathan Hale. His famous last words were, "I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country."
The Star and Stripes became the national U.S. flag.
American soldiers won the first Battle of Saratoga in the Revolutionary War.
British troops occupied Philadelphia.
American forces under Gen. George Washington were defeated by the British in a battle at Germantown, Pa.
The USS Bonhomme Richard, commanded by John Paul Jones, defeated British frigate HMS Serapis in a battle off the coast of Scotland.
Gen. Benedict Arnold betrayed the United States when he promised secretly to surrender the fort at West Point to the British army. He later fled to England and died in poverty.
British spy Maj. John Andre was convicted in connection with Benedict Arnold's treason and was hanged in Tappan, N.Y.
Grigory Shelikhov, a Russian fur trader, founded the first permanent Russian settlement in Alaska on Kodiak Island.
The dollar was unanimously chosen as the official currency of the United States.
It was announced in the U.S. Congress that the new Constitution had been ratified by the required nine states, the ninth being New Hampshire.
The Judiciary Act of 1789 was passed by Congress and signed by President George Washington, establishing the Supreme Court of the United States as a tribunal made up of six justices who were to serve on the court until death or retirement. The number of justices became nine in 1869.
Congress authorized the first U.S. national election, to be conducted "the first Wednesday in January next (1789).”
The first U.S. Congress adopted 12 amendments to the Constitution. Ten were ratified and became known as "The Bill of Rights”.
The U.S. War Department organized the United States' first standing army -- 700 troops who would serve for three years.
American statesman, printer, scientist and writer Benjamin Franklin died in Philadelphia at age 84.
The New York Stock Exchange was formed.
U.S. explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark returned to St. Louis from the first recorded overland journey from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Coast and back.
The world's first commercial steamboat service was inaugurated by Robert Fulton.
Aaron Burr, vice president of the United States under Thomas Jefferson, was acquitted of treason charges growing out of an alleged plot to set up an independent empire in the nation's south and west.
The first steam-powered ferry in the world started its run between New York City and Hoboken, N.J.
The Shawnee Indian Chief Tecumseh was killed while fighting on the side of the British during the War of 1812.
The British captured Washington and burned the Capitol building and the White House.
During the British attack on Fort McHenry, Md., Francis Scott Key wrote the lyrics of "The Star-Spangled Banner”.
The Klondike gold rush began.
The first U.S. public school for the deaf, Connecticut Asylum for the Education and Instruction of Deaf and Dumb Persons (now the American School for the Deaf), was founded at Hartford, Conn.
Missouri entered the United States as the 24th state and the first located entirely west of the Mississippi River.
In one of history's notable coincidences, former U.S. Presidents John Adams and Thomas Jefferson both died, 50 years to the day after the Declaration of Independence was adopted.
Chicago was incorporated as a village with a population of about 200.
The U.S. Naval Academy was formally opened at Fort Severn, Annapolis, Md., with 50 midshipmen in the first class.
A dentist in Charleston, Mass., extracted a tooth with the aid of an anesthetic -- ether. It was the first time an anesthetic had been used.
After 17 months and many miles of travel, Brigham Young led 148 Mormon pioneers into Utah's Valley of the Great Salt Lake.
U.S. President Zachary Taylor died suddenly of cholera. He was succeeded by Millard Fillmore.
California became the 31st state.
The Republican Party was formally established at a meeting in New York City.
After several unsuccessful attempts, the first telegraph line across the Atlantic Ocean was completed.
U.S. President Abraham Lincoln sent Congress a message recognizing a state of war with the Southern states and calling for 75,000 volunteer soldiers.
U.S. President Abraham Lincoln signed into law the first federal income tax. A wartime measure, it was rescinded in 1872.
The first major military engagement of the Civil War occurred at Bull Run Creek, Va.
Union troops defeated Confederate forces in a battle at Vicksburg, Miss.
April 15 \
U.S. President Abraham Lincoln died of an assassin's bullet. Vice President Andrew Johnson was sworn in as chief executive.
Thomas Alva Edison filed papers for his first invention: an electrical vote recorder to rapidly tabulate floor votes in the U.S. Congress. Members of Congress rejected it.
The massive Chicago fire destroyed more than 17,000 buildings, killed more than 300 people and left 90,000 homeless.
Also on this day, a forest fire broke out at Peshtigo, Wis., eventually killing about 1,100 people while burning some 850 square miles.
Outlaw Jesse James held up the Rock Island express train at Adair, Iowa, and escaped with $3,000.
U.S. President James Garfield was shot and seriously wounded by Charles Guiteau, a mentally disturbed office-seeker. Garfield died Sept. 19 and was succeeded by Chester Arthur.
Five years after U.S. Army Gen. George A. Custer's defeat at the Battle of Little Bighorn, Sioux leader Sitting Bull surrendered to the U.S. Army which promised amnesty for him and his followers.
U.S. President James Garfield died in Elberon, N.J., of gunshot wounds inflicted by a disgruntled office-seeker. Vice President Chester Arthur was sworn in as his successor.
The first major league baseball doubleheader was played between the Providence, R.I., and Worchester, Mass., teams.
Griswold Lorillard of Tuxedo Park, N.Y., fashioned the first tuxedo for men.
Mormons in Utah renounced polygamy.
More than 100,000 people rushed to the Cherokee Strip as a large area of the Indian Territory, now Oklahoma, was opened to homesteaders.
The poem "America the Beautiful," by Wellesley College Professor Katherine Lee Bates, was published.
Thomas Edison was awarded a patent for his movie camera, the Kinetograph.
Some 2,000 U.S. Marines joined with European forces to capture Beijing, ending the Boxer Rebellion against the Western presence in China.
A Packard automobile completed a 52-day journey from San Francisco to New York, becoming the first car to cross the nation under its own power.
Ford introduced the Model T.
Sgt. Alvin York of Tennessee became a World War I hero by single-handedly capturing a hill in the Argonne Forest of France, killing 20 enemy soldiers and capturing 132 others. Sgt. York was a member of the 82nd All American Infantry Division.
Capt. John Alcock and Lt. Arthur Brown flew a Vickers Vimy bomber 1,900 miles non-stop from St. Johns, Newfoundland, Canada, to Clifden, Ireland, for the first non-stop trans-Atlantic flight.
The U.S. Congress passed the Volstead Act, prohibiting the sale or consumption of alcoholic beverages.
Also on this day the first U.S. transcontinental air race began with 63 planes competing in the round-trip aerial derby between California and New York. Each way took about three days.
Warren G. Harding became the first U.S. president to broadcast a message over the radio. The occasion was the dedication of the Francis Scott Key Memorial in Baltimore.
The so-called Monkey Trial in Dayton, Tenn., which pitted Clarence Darrow against William Jennings Bryan in one of the great confrontations in legal history, ended with John Thomas Scopes convicted of t
eaching evolution in violation of state law. He was fined $100.
Aviator James Doolittle demonstrated the first "blind" takeoff and landing, using only instruments to guide his aircraft.
Amelia Earhart became the first woman to fly non-stop across the United States.
The U.S. Congress passed the Social Security Act and U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt immediately signed it into law.
In the presidential race between Franklin D. Roosevelt and Alf Landon, both parties used radio for the first time.
The Blue Water Bridge opened. The Blue Water Bridge is a twin-span bridge that spans the St. Clair River between Port Huron, Michigan and Point Edward, Ontario
The Babi Yar massacre of 33,771 Jewish men, women, and children began on the outskirts of Kiev in the Nazi-occupied Ukraine. The Babi Yar massacre is considered to be "the largest single massacre in the history of the Holocaust“.
As World War II raged, popular bandleader Glenn Miller ended his long-running radio show and announced he was going into the U.S. Army.
U.S., Canadian and British forces invaded Sicily during World War II.
The U.S. flag was raised over Berlin as the first U.S. troops moved in to take part in the post-World War II occupation.
Florence Blanchard, a nurse, was appointed lieutenant colonel in the Army, becoming the first woman to hold a permanent U.S. military rank
President Truman issued the first peacetime military draft in the United States.
The U.S. nuclear monopoly ended as the Soviet Union detonated its first atomic bomb.
The Federal Communications Commission issued to CBS the first license to broadcast color television.
Congress adopted the Internal Security Act, which provided for the registration of communists. It was ruled later unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court.
U.N. troops took the South Korean capital of Seoul from North Korean forces.
The "Peanuts" comic strip by Charles M. Schulz was published for the first time.
Univac I, the world's first commercial computer, designed for the U.S. Census Bureau, was unveiled.
The groundbreaking ceremony for Saint Lawrence Seaway was held at Massena, New York.
The USS Nautilus, the world's first nuclear submarine, was commissioned by the Navy.
Under escort from the U.S. Army's 101st Airborne Division, nine black students entered all-white Central High School in Little Rock, Ark.
The Soviet Union launched the first man-made space satellite, Sputnik-1.
Alaska became the 49th U.S. state.
The USS Nautilus traveled under the Arctic ice cap.
NASA launched the lunar probe Pioneer 1.
U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower and Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev met at Camp David, Md.
Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev threatened the United States with rockets if U.S. forces attempted to oust the communist government of Cuba.
The first televised presidential debate aired from a Chicago TV studio. It featured presidential candidates John F. Kennedy and Richard M. Nixon.
Pope Paul VI arrived at Kennedy International Airport in New York on the first visit by a reigning pope to the United States.
Thurgood Marshall was sworn in as the first African-American justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.
U.S. astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin became the first men to set foot on the moon.
Astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin lifted off from the surface of the moon.
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Abe Fortas resigned after admitting he had made a financial deal with the Louis Wolfson Foundation.
The SR-71 Blackbird set the record for shortest flight from New York to London.
Viking 1 Lander, an unmanned U.S. planetary probe, became the first spacecraft to successfully land on the surface of Mars.
The United States and Panama reached agreement in principle to transfer the Panama Canal to Panama by the year 2000.
The first U.S. Voyager spacecraft was launched from Cape Canaveral, Fla., bound for Jupiter and Saturn.
Sandra Day O'Connor was sworn in as the first woman U.S. Supreme Court justice.
A U.S. appeals court in Cincinnati ruled public schools could require students to study textbooks not accepted by religious fundamentalists.
U.S. President George H.W. Bush called for the United States to organize a long-range space program to support an orbiting space station, a moon base and a manned mission to Mars.