In 1631, British clergyman Roger Williams arrived in Salem, Mass., seeking religious freedom. He founded the colony of Rhode Island.
In 1919, screen legends Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks and D.W. Griffith formed United Artists.
In 1971, Apollo 14 astronauts Alan Shepard and Edward Mitchell walked on the moon for four hours.
In 1981, U.S. President Ronald Reagan, in a nationwide address, said the United States was in the worst economic mess since the Great Depression and called for sweeping spending and tax cuts.
In 1986, world oil prices plunged toward $15 per barrel from $30 three months earlier after OPEC failed to curb production. Prices dropped to $9 by the summer of 1986.
In 1988, two U.S. grand juries in Florida announced indictments of Panama military strongman Manuel Antonio Noriega and 16 associates on drug smuggling and money laundering charges.
In 1989, Radio Moscow announced the last Soviet soldier had left Kabul, Afghanistan.
In 1990, Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev proposed the Communist Party give up its monopoly on power in the Soviet Union. Two days later, the party's Central Committee agreed.
In 1994, a mortar shell was fired into a crowded market in Sarajevo, Bosnia, killing 69 people and injuring 200.
Also in 1994, white supremacist Byron De La Beckwith was convicted of the 1963 killing of Mississippi civil rights leader Medgar Evers.