Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was killed. (2006) The leader of al-Qaida in Iraq was killed when the U.S. Air Force dropped two 500-pound (about 230-kilogram) guided bombs on his safehouse. His body was identified — and his death verified — using his fingerprints.
Gandhi committed his first act of disobedience. (1893) When traveling by train across South Africa, Gandhi was asked to leave the first-class compartment — for which he had a ticket — because another passenger complained of having to ride with a colored person. He refused to move and authorities were called to force him and his luggage to disembark in Maritzburg.
Contraception use for married couples is legalized in the United States. (1965) The United States Supreme Court made the ruling in the Griswold v. Connecticut decision. Until that time, a Connecticut law prohibited the use of contraceptives. The court determined this violated the right to marital privacy.
The first successful ascent of Mt. McKinley was accomplished. (1913) An Alaskan missionary named Hudson Stuck led the ascent. Mt. McKinley reaches a height of 20,320 feet (6,193 meters) and is the highest point on the American continent. Today, about 1,000 people attempt the ascent each year; about half of them make it.
Homer Plessy was arrested for refusing to move from a designated "white" seat on a train. (1892) His arrest and subsequent trial (Plessy v. Ferguson) led to the landmark "separate but equal" decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1896, which permitted segregation. The ruling was overturned in 1954 with the Brown v. Board of Education case, which ruled that racial segregation was a violation of the U.S. Constitution.
A U.S. federal judge ordered the breakup of Microsoft Corp. (2000) The judge called the company "untrustworthy" and ordered that it be broken into two smaller companies to avoid violating anti-trust laws. The ruling was overturned a year later.
The musical Grease opened on Broadway. (1972) When the musical closed in 1980, it had completed 3,388 performances — a record at that time. In 1978, a film was made of the musical starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John.
American musician Prince was born. (1958) Prince, also known as The Artist Formerly Known as Prince (TAFKAP) and by a symbol, is perhaps best known for his album — and its subsequent movie — Purple Rain. The album sold more than 13 million copies in the U.S. and the movie won an Academy award. In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked him number 28 on its 100 Greatest Artists of All Time list.
Dorothy Parker died. (1967) The author, critic and poet was a staunch defender of civil rights. She died of a heart attack and willed her estate to the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. foundation.
President Abraham Lincoln was nominated for a second presidential term. (1864) President Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States and served his second term until his assassination in 1865.
King George VI and his wife Queen Elizabeth visit Niagara, NY. (1939) The King and Queen were the first reigning British monarchs to visit the United States.
American actor Ronald Reagan became governor of California. (1966) Reagan continued his political career, becoming the 40th president of the United States for two terms between 1981 and 1989.
A devastating earthquake hit Port Royal in Jamaica. (1692) In only three minutes, 1,600 people were killed.
U.S. President Benjamin Harrison became the first U.S. president to attend a baseball game. (1892) Harrison was the 23rd President of the United States and the grandson of William Henry Harrison, the 9th President of the United States.