1785 – The first public university in the United States was founded as the University of Georgia.
1880 – Thomas Edison was granted a patent for an electric incandescent lamp.
1945 – Soviet troops liberated the Nazi concentration camps Auschwitz and Birkenau in Poland.
1951 – The era of atomic testing in the Nevada desert began.
1967 – Astronauts Gus Grissom, Ed White and Roger Chaffee are killed in a fire during a test of their Apollo 1 spacecraft at the Kennedy Space Center.
1973 – The United States and North Vietnam signed a cease-fire agreement following lengthy Paris talks between U.S. national security adviser Henry Kissinger and Vietnamese negotiator Le Duc Tho. The same day, the United States announced an end to the military draft. Although the U.S.combat mission officially ended in 1973, the Vietnam War would not be over until April of 1975.