The last US troops left Beirut. (1984) President Ronald Reagan had sent the troops to be a peacekeeping force in the nation in 1982 after an Israeli invasion. During the two years the troops spent in Beirut, over 200 servicemen were killed.
Napoleon escaped from Elba. (1815) He had been exiled there after being defeated by a coalition of European countries, but escaped within a year. He was captured again some months later and sent back into exile.
The Berlin Act was signed. (1885) The Berlin Act came out of the Berlin Conference, which was held to start regulating European colonization and actions in Africa. The conference started an era of new imperialism in Europe, and eradicated most of Africa's existing political autonomy. Perhaps the most notable part of the treaty was the granting of some 800,000 square miles (about 2 million square km) of the Congo as essentially the personal property of Leopold II of Belgium.
The Luftwaffe re-formed. (1935) The infamous German air force had been dissolved at the end of World War I, but was reorganized again by Hitler as he became increasingly militant. The Luftwaffe was one of the strongest military forces Germany had during World War II, and is best known for the bombing of London.
The Grand Canyon and Grand Tetons National Parks were dedicated. (1919,1929) The first was dedicated by President Wilson, though President Theodore Roosevelt had designated it to be a national monument earlier. President Coolidge dedicated the Grant Tetons National Park ten years later to the day, after a decade of social and political maneuvering on the part of ranchers, tourist industry workers, and John D. Rockefeller, who had bought up massive amounts of land in the area.
The Titanic's sister ship was launched. (1914) The HHMS Britannia was a sister ship to the Olympia and the Titanic, and was intended to be a passenger vessel as well. Unfortunately, she launched right around the beginning of World War I, was conscripted as a hospital ship, and struck a mine and sank in Greece two years after she launched.
The first pneumatic subway was demonstrated to the public. (1870) The Beach Pneumatic System was the first attempt to build a subway in New York, and it had its first demonstration on this day. Though the project was initially very successful, financial problems caused by the crash of the stock market shut it down.
The US lifted a travel ban on Libya. (2004) The travel ban had been in place for 23 years because of the country's political policies as well as a long history of conflict, espionage, and counter-espionage with the US.
One of the oldest banks in the United Kingdom collapsed. (1995) Baring's bank, the oldest investment institution in Britain collapsed after one trader, Nick Leeson, lost $1.5 billion USD speculating on futures.
John Harvey Kellogg was born. (1852) Kellogg developed the first dry cereal as a remedy for insanity — among other ailments — and became extremely wealthy when it became popular as a breakfast food.