In 1784, a U.S. merchant ship, the Empress of China, left New York for the Far East to trade goods with China.
In 1862, Jefferson Davis, already the provisional president of the Confederacy, was inaugurated for a six-year term following his election in Nov. 1861.
In 1865, Tennessee adopted a new constitution which included the abolition of slavery.
In 1909, the Great White Fleet, a naval task force sent on a round-the-world voyage by President Theodore Roosevelt, returned after more than a year at sea.
In 1924, President Calvin Coolidge delivered the first radio broadcast from the White House as he addressed the country over 42 stations.
In 1934, Frank Capra’s romantic comedy “It Happened One Night,” starring Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert, opened at New York’s Radio City Music Hall.
In 1943, Pan Am Flight 9035, a Boeing 314 flying boat, crashed while attempting to land in Lisbon, Portugal. Twenty-five people were killed; 14 survived, including actress-singer Jane Froman.
In 1959, the inaugural Daytona 500 race was held; although Johnny Beauchamp was initially declared the winner, the victory was later awarded to Lee Petty.
In 1967, more than 25,000 U.S. and South Vietnamese troops launched Operation Junction City, aimed at smashing a Vietcong stronghold near the Cambodian border. (Although the communists were driven out, they later returned.)
In 1974, Pakistan officially recognized Bangladesh (formerly East Pakistan).
In 1980, the “Miracle on Ice” took place in Lake Placid, N.Y., as the United States Olympic hockey team upset the Soviets, 4-3.
(The U.S. team went on to win the gold medal.)
In 1984, David Vetter, a 12-year-old Texas boy who’d spent most of his life in a plastic bubble because he had no immunity to disease, died 15 days after being removed from the bubble for a bone-marrow transplant.
Ten years ago: Consumer advocate Ralph Nader announced he was running again for president, this time as an independent. A Palestinian suicide bomber blew himself up on a crowded Jerusalem bus, killing eight passengers. Rebels captured Haiti’s second-largest city, claiming Cap-Haitien (kahp haht-YEN’) as their biggest prize in a two-week-old uprising.
Five years ago: “Slumdog Millionaire” won best picture and seven other Academy Awards; the late Heath Ledger won the best supporting actor Oscar for “The Dark Knight.” A gas explosion in a coal mine in northern China killed more than 70 miners.
One year ago: The Justice Department joined a lawsuit against disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong alleging the former seven-time Tour de France champion had concealed his use of performance-enhancing drugs and defrauded his longtime sponsor, the U.S. Postal Service. Paralympian Oscar Pistorius walked out of a South African court after a magistrate agreed to release him on bail ahead of his premeditated murder trial over the shooting death of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.
Today’s Birthdays: Announcer Don Pardo is 96. Actor Paul Dooley is 86. Hollywood “ghost singer” Marni Nixon is 84. Movie director Jonathan Demme (DEH’-mee) is 70. Actor John Ashton is 66. Actress Miou-Miou is 64. Actress Julie Walters is 64. Basketball Hall of Famer Julius Erving is 64. Actress Ellen Greene is 63. Former Sen. Bill Frist, R-Tenn., is 62. Former White House adviser David Axelrod is 59. Actor Kyle MacLachlan is 55. World Golf Hall of Famer Vijay Singh is 51. Actress-comedian Rachel Dratch is 48. Actor Paul Lieberstein (TV: “The Office”) is 47. Actress Jeri Ryan is 46. Actor Thomas Jane is 45. TV host Clinton Kelly (TV: “The Chew”; “What Not to Wear”) is 45. Actress Tamara Mello is 44. Actress-singer Lea Salonga (LAY’-uh suh-LONG’-guh) is 43. Actor Jose Solano is 43. International Tennis Hall-of-Famer Michael Chang is 42. Rock musician Scott Phillips is 41. Actress Drew Barrymore is 39. Actress Liza Huber is 39. Singer James Blunt is 37. Rock singer Tom Higgenson (Plain White T’s) is 35. Actor Zach Roerig is 29. Actor Daniel E. Smith is 24.