In 1784, the Methodist Church was chartered by John Wesley.
In 1844, an explosion rocked the war steamer USS Princeton after it test-fired one of its guns. The blast killed or wounded a number of top U.S. government officials who were aboard.
In 1849, the first shipload of gold seekers arrived in San Francisco after a five-month journey from New York.
In 1854, the Republican Party was founded in a meeting at Ripon, Wis.
In 1885, the American Telephone and Telegraph Co. was incorporated in New York as a subsidiary of American Bell Telephone.
In 1935, nylon was invented by DuPont researcher Wallace Carothers.
In 1942, Japanese forces landed in Java, the last Allied bastion in the Dutch East Indies.
In 1982, the J. Paul Getty Museum became the most richly endowed museum when it received a $1.2 billion bequest left by Getty.
In 1983, the concluding episode of the long-running television series M*A*S*H drew what was then the largest TV audience in U.S. history.
In 1986, Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme was assassinated on a street in Stockholm.