In 1509, theologian John Calvin, a key figure of the Protestant Reformation, was born in Noyon, Picardy, France.
In 1890, Wyoming became the 44th state.
In 1919, President Woodrow Wilson personally delivered the Treaty of Versailles (vehr-SY’) to the Senate and urged its ratification. (However, the Senate rejected it.)
In 1929, American paper currency was reduced in size as the government began issuing bills that were approximately 25 percent smaller.
In 1940, during World War II, the Battle of Britain began as Nazi forces began attacking southern England by air. (The Royal Air Force was ultimately victorious.)
In 1951, armistice talks aimed at ending the Korean War began at Kaesong.
In 1962, AT&T’s Telstar 1 communications satellite, capable of relaying television signals and telephone calls, was launched by NASA from Cape Canaveral.
In 1973, the Bahamas became fully independent after three centuries of British colonial rule. John Paul Getty III, the teenage grandson of the oil tycoon, was abducted in Rome by kidnappers who cut off his ear when his family was slow to meet their ranson demands; young Getty was released in December 1973 for nearly $3 million.
In 1985, the Greenpeace protest ship Rainbow Warrior was sunk with explosives in Auckland, New Zealand, by French intelligence agents; one activist was killed. Bowing to pressure from irate customers, the Coca-Cola Co. said it would resume selling old-formula Coke, while continuing to sell New Coke.
In 1989, Mel Blanc, the “man of a thousand voices,” including such cartoon characters as Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and Porky Pig, died in Los Angeles at age 81.
In 1991, Boris N. Yeltsin took the oath of office as the first elected president of the Russian republic. President George H.W. Bush lifted economic sanctions against South Africa.
In 1994, in the first meeting of its kind, Russian President Boris N. Yeltsin joined leaders of the Group of Seven nations for political talks following their annual economic summit in Naples, Italy.