In 1775, Patrick Henry delivered an address to the Virginia Provincial Convention in which he is said to have declared, "Give me liberty, or give me death!"
In 1792, Joseph Haydn's Symphony No. 94 in G Major (the "Surprise" symphony) had its first public performance in London.
In 1806, explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, having reached the Pacific coast, began their journey back east.
In 1912, Wernher von Braun, the scientist who helped develop the V-2 combat rocket for the Nazis and the Saturn V booster rocket for NASA, was born in Wirsitz, Germany.
In 1919, Benito Mussolini founded his Fascist political movement in Milan, Italy.
In 1933, the German Reichstag adopted the Enabling Act, which effectively granted Adolf Hitler dictatorial powers.
In 1942, the first Japanese-Americans evacuated by the U.S. Army during World War II arrived at the internment camp in Manzanar, Calif.
In 1956, Pakistan became an Islamic republic.
In 1965, America's first two-person space flight began as Gemini 3 blasted off with astronauts Virgil I. Grissom and John W. Young aboard for a nearly five-hour flight.
In 1983, President Ronald Reagan first proposed developing technology to intercept incoming enemy missiles — an idea that came to be known as the Strategic Defense Initiative. Dr. Barney Clark, recipient of a Jarvik permanent artificial heart, died at the University of Utah Medical Center after 112 days with the device.
In 1994, Luis Donaldo Colosio, Mexico's leading presidential candidate, was assassinated in Tijuana. Wayne Gretzky broke Gordie Howe's National Hockey League career record with his 802nd goal.
In 2010, President Barack Obama signed a $938 billion health care overhaul, declaring "a new season in America."
Ten years ago: President George W. Bush, during a visit to South America, pledged cooperation with Peru in the fight against terrorism. Girls in Afghanistan celebrated their return to school for the first time in years. Irina Slutskaya captured her first world title, defeating four-time champion Michelle Kwan at the World Figure Skating Championships in Nagano, Japan. Opera and pop singer Eileen Farrell died in Park Ridge, N.J. at age 82.