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History of the Day for:
- 1756: America's third vice president, Aaron Burr, was born in Newark, N.J.
- 1778: The U.S. won official recognition from France as the two nations signed a pair of treaties in Paris.
- 1788: Massachusetts became the sixth state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.
- 1815: New Jersey issued the first American railroad charter to John Stevens, who proposed a rail link between Trenton and New Brunswick. The line was never built.
- 1820: The first organized emigration of blacks back to Africa was arranged.
- 1862: Gen. Ulysses S. Grant captured Fort Henry in Tennessee.
- 1895: Baseball legend Babe Ruth was born in Baltimore.
- 1921: "The Kid," starring Charlie Chaplin and 6-year-old Jackie Coogan, was released.
- 1933: The 20th Amendment to the Constitution came into effect. The amendment moved the start of presidential, vice?presidential and congressional terms from March to January.
- 1943: A Los Angeles jury acquitted actor Errol Flynn of three counts of statutory rape; Singer Frank Sinatra made his debut as vocalist on radio's "Your Hit Parade."
- 1952: King George VI of Great Britain was found dead in bed by a servant delivering the morning tea.
- 1956: Autherine Lucy became the first African American student to enroll in the University of Alabama.
- 1964: France and Great Britain signed an accord committing the two nations to the construction of a tunnel under the English Channel.
- 1968: The 10th Winter Olympic Games opened in Grenoble, France.
- 1970: The NBA expanded to 18 teams for the '70-'71 season. New franchises were granted to Buffalo and Cleveland in the East and to Houston and Portland in the West.
- 1971: Apollo 14 astronaut Alan Shepherd took a few shots at some golf balls while on the moon.
- 1974: The U.S. House of Representatives approved an inquiry to determine if there were grounds for impeachment of President Nixon.
- 1978: Muriel Humphrey took the oath of office as a United States senator from Minnesota, filling the seat of her late husband, former Vice President Hubert Humphrey.
- 1990: Brett Hull, son of Bobby Hull, became the first son of an NHL 50-goal scorer to score 50 himself.