In 1776, a committee of Benjamin Franklin, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson suggested the United States adopt E pluribus unum -- Out of many, one -- as the motto for its Great Seal.
In 1821, Missouri entered the United States as the 24th state and the first entirely west of the Mississippi River.
In 1977, 24-year-old postal employee David Berkowitz was arrested and charged with being the Son of Sam, the serial killer who terrorized New York City for more than a year, killing six young people and wounding seven others.
In 1984, Nevada's chief U.S. district judge, Harry Claiborne, was convicted on tax evasion charges. It was the first conviction of a sitting federal judge.
In 1990, District of Columbia Mayor Marion Barry was convicted on one misdemeanor cocaine possession charge and acquitted on another. The jury deadlocked on the 12 other counts and a mistrial was declared.
In 1991, China agreed in principle to sign the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.
In 1993, Ruth Bader Ginsburg was sworn in as the U.S. Supreme Court's 107th justice and second female member.
In 1996, Republican presidential nominee Bob Dole selected former congressman, Cabinet secretary and NFL quarterback Jack Kemp as his running mate.
In 2001, about 250 people were killed in a train wreck in Albania, caused by a mine set on the tracks by rebels.
In 2003, more than 80 prisoners tunneled their way out of Brazil's Joao Pessoa prison, one of the nation's top security facilities.
Copyright 2012 by United Press International