1781 – The planet Uranus was discovered by British astronomer William Herschel.
1862 – The U.S. federal government forbids all Union army officers from returning fugitive slaves, thus annulling the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 and setting the stage for the Emancipation Proclamation.
1865 – The Confederate States of America agree to the use of African-American troops.
1868 – The Senate began impeachment proceedings against President Andrew Johnson. Johnson was later acquitted by one vote.
1933 – Banks in the U.S. begin to re-open after President Franklin D. Roosevelt mandates a “bank holiday.”
1991 – The Department of Justice announces that Exxon has agreed to pay $1 billion for the clean-up of the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska.