A federal appeals court ruled California's ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional.
Hollingsworth v. Perry
AOL Inc. announced the $315 million purchase of The Huffington Post website.
The Black Saturday bushfires in Australia kill 173 people. The fires were the worst natural disaster in Australian history.
Black Saturday bushfires
Ellen MacArthur breaks the speed record for sailing solo around the world. The journey took her 71 days, 14 hours, 18 minutes, and 33 seconds.
Jordan's King Hussein died at age 63.
King Hussein of Jordan
Ramzi Yousef, the alleged mastermind of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, was arrested in Islamabad, Pakistan.
The European Union is established as the Maastricht Treaty is signed. The treaty also defined a single European currency: the Euro.
Jean-Bertrand Aristide was sworn in as Haiti's first democratically elected president.
The Soviet Union's Communist Party gave up its monopoly on power by agreeing to let other political parties compete for control of the country.
Communist Party of the Soviet Union
Haiti's president, Jean-Claude “Papa Doc” Duvalier, flees the country, ending 28 years of family rule. On the same day 5 years later, the first democratically elected president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, was sworn in.
NASA astronauts take the first untethered spacewalk. The photographs of Bruce McCandless and Robert L. Stewart hovering freely in space became some of the most iconic images of the 1980s.
The island nation of Grenada won independence from Britain.
Women in Switzerland were finally granted suffrage.
Women's suffrage in Switzerland
The Beatles arrived in the U.S. for the first time.
The Beatles in the United States
President John F. Kennedy imposed a full trade embargo on Cuba..
United States embargo against Cuba
Germany launched a counteroffensive at Anzio, Italy, during World War II.
Battle of Anzio
Carter G. Woodson founded Negro History Week, which later evolved into Black History Month.
Carter G. Woodson
Disastrous fire destroyed more than 1,500 buildings in downtown Baltimore.
Great Baltimore Fire
The colonial Tasmanian Parliament passes the first piece of legislation (the Electoral Act of 1856) anywhere in the world providing for elections by way of a secret ballot.
Electoral Act 1856
Battle of Debre Tabor: Ras Ali Alula, Regent of the Emperor of Ethiopia defeats warlord Wube Haile Maryam of Semien.
List of battles 1801–1900
Author Charles Dickens was born in Portsmouth, England.
The 11th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified.
Eleventh Amendment to the United States Constitution
Edward of Caernarion (later Edward II) becomes first (English) Prince of Wales.
The Mongols burn the Russian city of Vladimir.
Mongol invasion of Rus'