- 1777 – American Revolution: France formally recognizes the United States.
- 1903 – The Wright brothers make the first controlled powered, heavier-than-air flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. The flight lasted 12 seconds and covered 120 feet.
- 1967 – The Clean Air Act is signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson.
- 1975 – A federal jury sentenced Lynette Alice “Squeaky” Fromme to life in prison for her attempted assassination of President Gerald R. Ford. She was released from prison in 2009.
- 1989 – The Simpsons first premiers on television with the episode “Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire.”
- 1992 – President George H.W. Bush and the leaders of Mexico and Canada formally signed the North American Free Trade Treaty.
- 2014 – The United States and Cuba re-establish diplomatic relations after severing them in 1960.