In 1473, Nicolaus Copernicus, the father of modern astronomy, was born in Torun, a city in north-central Poland.
In 1807, Aaron Burr, a former U.S. vice president, was arrested in Alabama on charges of plotting to annex Spanish territory in Louisiana and Mexico to be used toward the establishment of an independent republic.
In 1878, Thomas Edison patented the first gramophone.
In 1922, vaudeville star Ed Wynn became the first big name in show business to sign for a regular radio show.
In 1942, as a security measure during World War II, the U.S. government began relocating Japanese-Americans living in coastal Pacific areas to internment camps in remote areas of several states. They were allowed to return to their homes in January 1945.
In 1945, U.S. Marines landed on the island of Iwo Jima, opening one of the bloodiest battles in the Pacific during World War II.
In 1986, the U.S. Senate endorsed the U.N. convention against genocide, 37 years after U.S. President Harry Truman first sought approval of the accord.
Also in 1986, the Soviet Union launched the Mir space station. It was occupied for 10 of its 15 years in orbit.
In 1997, China's paramount leader Deng Xiaoping died at age 92.
In 2003, all 289 people aboard an Iranian military transport plane were killed when it crashed in a mountainous region of southeastern Iran.