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History of the Day for:
- 1536: The Argentine city of Buenos Aires was founded by Pedro de Mendoza of Spain.
- 1653: New Amsterdam - now New York City - was incorporated.
- 1709: British sailor Alexander Selkirk was rescued after being marooned on a desert island for five years. His story became the inspiration for Daniel Defoe's "Robinson Crusoe."
- 1848: The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, ending the Mexican War, was signed; the U.S. acquired Texas, California, New Mexico & Arizona for $15 million.
- 1876: Baseball's National League was formed in New York with eight teams in Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Hartford, Louisville, New York, Philadelphia and St. Louis.
- 1882: James Joyce, the Irish novelist whose "Ulysses" is considered one of the masterpieces of world literature, was born.
- 1892: The bottle cap with cork seal was patented by William Painter of Baltimore.
- 1893: The first "close-up" in film history was filmed at Edison's new studio in New Jersey, showing Fred Otte sneezing.
- 1913: New York City's Grand Central Terminal opened.
- 1935: The lie detector was first used in court in Portage, Wisc.
- 1940: Frank Sinatra made his singing debut in Indianapolis with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra.
- 1943: the remainder of Nazi forces from the Battle of Stalingrad surrendered in a major victory for the Soviets in World War II.
- 1949: Golfer Ben Hogan suffered a fractured pelvis, broken collarbone and other injuries when his car hit a bus; the first 45 RPM record was released.
- 1963: Pebbles Flintstone was born on "The Flintstones."
- 1964: The GI Joe doll made its debut on the American toy market.
- 1971: Ugandan army strongman Major-General Idi Amin took full powers as military head of state and formed an 18-man cabinet to run the country.
- 1979: Sid Vicious, bassist with the British punk group The Sex Pistols, died of a drug overdose.
- 1990: South Africa's President F.W. de Klerk lifted a ban on the African National Congress and promised to free Nelson Mandela.
- 1995: The space shuttle Discovery blasted off from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, piloted by astronaut Eileen Collins, the first woman ever to fly a space shuttle.
- 1996: Hollywood song and dance legend Gene Kelly, star of such classic movies as "Singin' in the Rain" and "An American in Paris," died.