In 1803, the United States formally took over territory acquired from France in the Louisiana Purchase.
In 1812, Sacagawea, the Indian woman who guided the Lewis and Clark Expedition, died.
In 1864, Union Gen. William T. Sherman completed his Civil War march to the sea across the South and arrived in Savannah, Ga.
In 1946 the first Indochina war began with Vietnamese troops under Ho Chi Minh clashing with the French at Hanoi.
In 1956, the Montgomery, Ala., public bus boycott officially ended but not until it had given a major boost to the civil rights struggle in the South. The boycott had been called in reaction to the Dec. 1, 1955, arrest of Rosa Parks, an African-American woman, for refusing to give up her bus seat to a white man.
In 1987, nearly 1,600 people died in the Philippines when a passenger ferry was struck by an oil tanker and sank. It was the century's worst peacetime maritime disaster.
In 1989, the United States invaded Panama to oust Manuel Noriega and install the duly elected civilian government. Twenty-three U.S. troops were killed.
In 1990, Eduard Shevardnadze abruptly resigned as Soviet foreign minister, warning against a dictatorship of hard-liners.
In 1991, Philippines prosecutors filed nine counts of graft against former first lady Imelda Marcos, charging she used bogus front companies to bilk millions of dollars from the nation.
In 1995, 160 people were killed when an American Airlines 757 crashed into a mountain shortly before it was scheduled to land in Cali, Colombia.
Copyright 2012 by United Press International