President Franklin Roosevelt signed the Lend-Lease bill. (1941) The bill was put in place to allow the US to supply equipment and food to the Allied forces while still remaining technically uninvolved in the war. By the end of the war, the US had sent over $50 billion US Dollars (USD) of aid to over 40 countries.
The blizzard of 1888 hit the US. (1888) The blizzard was one of the biggest natural disasters to hit the US, and over 400 people died. There were snow drifts over 50 feet (over 15 meters) high in some areas, most of which fell in three days.
Mikhail Gorbachev was chosen to lead the USSR. (1985) Gorbachev oversaw a radical transformation of Russia in his six years of power, including a series of treaties with the US. He resigned in 1991 as the USSR fell.
Queen Anne vetoed the Scottish Militia Bill. (1708) The bill itself wasn't as important as Anne's veto of it, since it was the last time a British monarch vetoed legislation.
Paul McCartney was knighted. (1997) McCartney was knighted for his services to music. The other two surviving Beatles at the time, Ringo Starr and George Harrison, reportedly took the knighthood in stride, ribbing McCartney and calling him "Your Holiness."
The Roxy Theater opened. (1927) The Roxy was a landmark in New York, and many famous shows and movies were shown there. The theater was known for its extremely lavish productions, as well as the quality of their attendants, who were trained by a drill sergeant.
Frankenstein was published. (1818) The book, widely considered the first work of science fiction, was written by 21-year-old Mary Wollstonecraft. She came up with the story on a rainy afternoon when she, her husband Percy Shelley, and their friend, Lord Byron, decided to hold a contest to see who could write the most frightening story.
The first daily newspaper was published in Britain. (1702)The Daily Courant was one of the first daily newspapers in the Western world. It was published by Elizabeth Mallet, and consisted of a single page with two columns.
COPS debuted on FOX. (1989) The show was considered the first reality TV show, and paved the way for the huge influx of shows like Fear Factor and Survivor in the 1990s.
Sir Alexander Fleming died. (1955) Fleming was best known as the discoverer of penicillin, for which he won the Nobel prize. He is credited with making the modern use of antibiotics possible.