1579: Sir Francis Drake lands somewhere north of Spain's northernmost claim point in Alta California and claims the land for England. He calls the land, somewhere north of present-day San Diego, Nova Albion, which is Latin for "New Britain."
1673: French explorers Jacques Marquette and Louis Jolliet reach the Mississippi River and become the first Europeans to make a detailed account of its course.
1775: Colonists inflict heavy casualties on British forces while losing the Battle of Bunker Hill in Charlestown, Mass.
1856: In Philadelphia, Pa., the Republican Party convenes its first national convention to nominate a presidential candidate. The party chose Gen. John C. Frémont of California and former Sen. William Dayton of New Jersey for president and vice president, respectively. The ticket lost the 1856 presidential election to James Buchanan and John C. Breckinridge.
1882: Igor Stravinsky, widely considered to be one of the most important and influential composers of the 20th century, is born in Oranienbaum, Russia.
1898: Graphic artist M. C. Escher, known for his often mathematically inspired artwork featuring impossible constructions, explorations of infinity, and architecture, is born Maurits Cornelis Escher in Leeuwarden, Netherlands. Some of his best known works include the lithographs "Relativity," "Drawing Hands" and "Waterfall."
1901: The College Board introduces its first standardized test, the forerunner to the SAT. The test contained sections on English, French, German, Latin, Greek, history, mathematics, chemistry and physics. The test was not multiple choice, but instead was evaluated based on essay responses as "excellent," "good," "doubtful," "poor" or "very poor."
1904: Actor Ralph Bellamy, best known for movies such as "The Awful Truth," "His Girl Friday," "The Professionals," "Rosemary's Baby" and "Trading Places," is born in Chicago, Ill. Bellamy earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his role in 1937's "The Awful Truth" and also earned three Emmy Award nominations in his career. He also was a founder of the Screen Actors Guild and served as as a four-term president of Actors' Equity from 1952 to 1964.
1930: U.S. President Herbert Hoover signs the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act into law. The law raised U.S. tariffs on more than 20,000 imported goods to record levels. It was designed to protect American jobs and farmers from foreign competition, but it and the ensuing retaliatory tariffs by U.S. trading partners actually worsened the Great Depression.
1932: Around a thousand World War I veterans amass at the United States Capitol as the U.S. Senate considers a bill that would further delay military bonuses promised to be paid to them in 1945. With many veterans out of work since the beginning of the Great Depression, the "Bonus Army" was seeking the immediate payment of the bonuses owed to them. Although the Senate defeated the bonus delay, the Bonus Army remained in their camp, pressing for President Herbert Hoover to act. On July 28, U.S. Attorney General William D. Mitchell ordered the veterans removed from all government property, a move that was met with resistance and violence ending in the deaths of two veterans. Hoover then ordered the Army to clear the veterans' campsite.
1933: Four FBI agents and captured fugitive Frank Nash are gunned down by gangsters attempting to free Nash at the Union Station railroad depot in Kansas City, Mo. Charles "Pretty Boy" Floyd was identified by the FBI as one of the gunmen, although there is some evidence suggesting that Floyd was not actually involved.
1939: The last public guillotining in France takes place when Eugen Weidmann, a convicted murderer seen here after his arrest, is guillotined in Versailles outside the Saint-Pierre prison. Executions by guillotine in France continued in private until Sept. 10, 1977, when Hamida Djandoubi was the last person to be executed.
1943: Politician Newt Gingrich, the speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1995 to 1999, is born Newton Leroy McPherson in Harrisburg, Pa. Gingrich, who represented Georgia's 6th congressional district as a Republican from 1979 to 1999, also served as House minority whip and was a candidate for the 2012 Republican Party presidential nomination.
1943: Singer-songwriter Barry Manilow, best known for hit songs like "Mandy," "Can't Smile Without You" and "Copacabana (At the Copa)," is born Barry Alan Pincus in Brooklyn, N.Y.
1950: The first cadaveric kidney transplant takes place with 44-year-old Ruth Tucker receiving a donated kidney at Little Company of Mary Hospital in Evergreen Park, Ill. Tucker's body would reject the kidney 10 months later, but that timeframe gave her remaining kidney enough time to recover and she lived another five years. The first kidney transplants between living patients were undertaken in 1954 in Boston and Paris.
1958: Filmmaker Bobby Farrelly, best known for writing, directing and producing films such as "There's Something About Mary," "Dumb and Dumber" and "Kingpin" with his brother Peter Farrelly, is born in Cumberland, R.I.
1960: Ted Williams of the Boston Red Sox hits his 500th career home run. He would end his career after the 1960 season with a total of 521.
1960: Actor Thomas Haden Church, best known for the TV series "Wings" and "Ned & Stacey," and movies such as "George of the Jungle," "Sideways" and "Spider-Man 3," is born Thomas Richard McMillen in Woodland, Calif. Church earned Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations for his role in "Sideways."
1963: Actor Greg Kinnear is born in Logansport, Ind. Kinnear, an Academy Award nominee for 1997's "As Good as it Gets," is also known for the movies "Sabrina," "You've Got Mail," "Nurse Betty," "Little Miss Sunshine" and "Invincible." He also hosted the TV show "Talk Soup" and played John F. Kennedy in the miniseries "The Kennedys."
1964: The Supremes' "Where Did Our Love Go" is released. It became their first song to get to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 pop singles chart. It was also the first of five Supremes songs in a row to reach No. 1, with "Baby Love," "Come See About Me," "Stop! In the Name of Love" and "Back in My Arms Again" following it.
1965: Speed skater Dan Jansen, who won a gold medal in world record time in his final race (1,000 meters) in the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, is born in West Allis, Wis.
1966: Actor Jason Patric, best known for movies like "The Lost Boys," "Sleepers" and "Speed 2: Cruise Control" (pictured), is born in Queens, N.Y.
1967: The People's Republic of China tests its first hydrogen bomb. With successful testing of the three-stage thermonuclear device, China became the fourth country to have successfully developed a thermonuclear weapon after the United States, Soviet Union and the United Kingdom.
1972: Five White House operatives are arrested during a burglary of the offices of the Democratic National Committee in the Watergate complex in Washington, D.C., in an attempt by some members of the Republican Party to illegally wiretap the opposition. The men implicated themselves on other counts and charges by voluntarily telling investigators about having committed an early break-in at the offices a few weeks earlier. The Watergate scandal ultimately led to U.S. President Richard Nixon's resignation two years later.
1976: The New York Nets, Denver Nuggets, Indiana Pacers and San Antonio Spurs of the American Basketball Association merge with the NBA, with the rest of the ABA folding.
1980: Tennis player Venus Williams, a former World No. 1 player who has won seven Grand Slam singles titles, including five Wimbledon championships, is born in Lynwood, Calif. Williams, the older sister of fellow tennis star Serena Williams, became the World No. 1 for the first time on Feb. 25, 2002, becoming the first black woman to ever hold the ranking.
1985: The space shuttle Discovery launches on mission STS-51-G, carrying payload specialist Sultan Salman Al Saud of Saudi Arabia. Al Saud (third from right) became the first Arab, the first Muslim and the first member of a royal family to fly into space.
1994: Following a televised low-speed highway chase, O.J. Simpson is arrested in connection with the slayings of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, waiter Ronald Goldman. Simpson, a former college and professional football star and actor, was later acquitted of the killings in a high-profile murder trial, but was held liable in wrongful death civil suit.
2008: Actress and dancer Cyd Charisse, best known for roles in movies such as "Singin' in the Rain," "The Band Wagon" and "Silk Stockings," dies of a heart attack at the age of 86 in Los Angeles, Calif.
2008: Hundreds of same-sex couples get married across California on the first full day that gay marriage became legal by order of the state's highest court. However, by approving the constitutional amendment Proposition 8 in November, California voters subsequently banned gay marriage in the state. A federal district court decision finding the ban unconstitutional has worked its way to the U.S. Supreme Court.
2008: "One of the Boys," Katy Perry's major-label debut album, is released. The album, which sold more than three million copies worldwide, featured the hits "I Kissed a Girl," "Hot n Cold," "Waking Up in Vegas" and "Thinking of You," and earned Perry two Grammy nominations.
2011: "Bon Iver, Bon Iver" the second album by indie folk band Bon Iver, is released. The album will go on to peak at No. 2 on the U.S. Billboard 200 albums chart. The album won the Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album at the 2012 ceremony, while the song "Holocene" was nominated for Song of the Year and Record of the Year. It also helped the band earn the Grammy for Best New Artist at the ceremony.
2012: Rodney King, who became nationally known after being beaten with excessive force by Los Angeles police officers in 1991, dies at age 47 in an accidental drowning in the pool at his home in Rialto, Calif. An autopsy later revealed that alcohol, marijuana, cocaine and PCP were in his blood at the time of the drowning and were contributing factors to his death.
Actress Tori Spelling recently spoke publically about her husband and fellow actor Dean McDermott's affair. But he's not the first celebrity to get in hot water over extramarital activities. Check out this list of high-profile celebrity affairs.