In 1764, the city of St. Louis was founded along the Mississippi River.
In 1898, the U.S. battleship Maine exploded in Havana harbor, killing 260 crewmen and leading to a U.S. declaration of war against Spain.
In 1933, U.S. President-elect Franklin Roosevelt narrowly escaped assassination in Miami when several shots were fired at him, fatally wounding Chicago Mayor Anton Cermak.
In 1942, the British bastion of Singapore surrendered to the Japanese army.
In 1965, Canada adopted a new national flag featuring a maple leaf emblem.
In 1982, the oil-drilling rig Ocean Ranger capsized and sank in a storm off Newfoundland. All 84 people aboard were lost.
In 1990, Washington Mayor Marion Barry was indicted on eight counts of perjury and drug possession.
In 1991, 100 people were killed when a tractor-trailer hauling dynamite overturned and exploded in Thailand.
In 1997, Tara Lipinski, 14, defeated defending women's champion Michelle Kwan to become the youngest U.S. figure skating champion.
In 2002, discovery of a human skull in a wooded area near a crematory in Georgia led investigators to remains of more than 300 bodies that were to have been cremated but instead were stacked in sheds and in the woods.