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History of the Day for:
- 1690: The first paper money in America was issued by the colony of Massachusetts; the currency was used to pay soldiers fighting a war against Quebec.
- 1809: The Illinois Territory, including present-day Wisconsin, was established.
- 1836: The Whig Party held its first national convention, in Albany N.Y.
- 1867: Prince Mutsuhito became Emperor Meiji of Japan at the age of 14 and reigned until 1912.
- 1876: Albert Spalding and his brother took $800 and started a sporting goods company. They manufactured the first official baseball, tennis ball, basketball, golf ball, and football.
- 1882: Circus owner P.T. Barnum bought his world famous elephant Jumbo.
- 1913: The 16th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified, giving the government the power to impose and collect taxes on income.
- 1917: The United States broke off diplomatic relations with Germany after Berlin announced a policy of unrestricted submarine warfare.
- 1919: The first meeting of the League of Nations took place in Paris.
- 1948: Dick Button became the first world figure skating champion from the United States.
- 1951: Tennessee Williams' "Rose Tattoo" premiered in New York City.
- 1956: Toni Sailor became first Olympic skier to sweep the three alpine events.
- 1959: A plane crash near Clear Lake, Iowa, claimed the lives of rock 'n' roll stars Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson.
- 1969: The Palestine National Congress appointed Yasser Arafat head of the Palestine Liberation Organization.
- 1973: President Nixon signed the Endangered Species Act into law.
- 1984: The first baby conceived by embryo transplant was born in Long Beach, Calif.
- 1987: The San Diego Yacht Club celebrated the victory of skipper Dennis Conner and the "Stars and Stripes" over Australia's "Kookaburra Three" to sweep the America's Cup series.
- 1989: Bill White became the first black man to head an American professional sports league when he was named to succeed A. Bartlett Giamatti as National League president.
- 1993: The federal trial of four police officers charged with civil rights violations in the videotaped beating of Rodney King began in Los Angeles.
- 1993: Marge Schott was suspended as Cincinnati Reds owner for one year for her repeated use of racial and ethnic slurs.
- 1994: President Bill Clinton announced the lifting of the U.S. trade embargo against Vietnam, marking a dramatic shift in relations chilled for decades by war and postwar hostility.