A prison fire in Comayagua, Honduras killed 360.
Comayagua prison fire
Protesters swarmed Wisconsin's capitol after Gov. Scott Walker proposed cutbacks in benefits and bargaining rights for public employees.
Business tycoon Steve Fossett, 63, was declared dead five months after his small plane vanished over California's Sierra Nevada mountains. (His remains were discovered later in the year.).
Defrocked priest Paul Shanley was sentenced in Boston to 12 to 15 years in prison on child rape charges.
Catholic sex abuse cases in the United States
The largest peace demonstration in history takes place. Up to 30 million people in 600 cities around the world protested against the Iraq War.
Protests against the Iraq War
Olympics officials resolved the judging scandal by awarding Canadian pairs figure skaters Jamie Sale and David Pelletier a gold medal while allowing the Russians, Elena Berezhnaya and Anton Sikharulidze, to keep their medal.
2002 Winter Olympics figure skating scandal
The first draft of the human genome is published. The human genome contains the complete human genetic information.
Human Genome Project
The Soviet Union pulls out of Afghanistan. Despite their military superiority, the Soviet and Afghan armies did not succeed in breaking the Mujahideen insurgents' resistance.
Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan
Ferdinand Marcos wins rigged presidential election in the Philippines.
Philippine presidential election, 1986
The United Kingdom and Ireland decimalize their currencies. Before the change, a pound sterling was made up of 240 pence, or 20 shillings.
Canada adopts its current national flag showing a maple leaf. The leaf symbolizes the country's forests, the middle white stripe the arctic snow, and the red stripes the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
Flag of Canada
A funeral was held at Windsor Castle for Britain's King George VI, who had died nine days earlier.
President-elect Franklin D. Roosevelt escaped an assassination attempt in Miami that claimed the life of Chicago Mayor Anton J. Cermak.
The New York Armory Show opened, introducing America to Picasso, Duchamp, and Matisse.
The U.S. battleship Maine blew up in Havana harbor, killing more than 260 crew members and bringing the U.S. closer to war with Spain over the issue of Cuban independence.
USS Maine (ACR-1)
President Rutherford Hayes signed a bill allowing female attorneys to argue cases before the Supreme Court.
1879 in the United States
St. Louis, Mo., was founded as a French fur-trading post.
History of St. Louis
Austria, Prussia & Saxony sign Treaty of Hubertusburg, marking the end of the French and Indian War and of the Seven Years War.
Treaty of Hubertusburg
Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei was born in Pisa.
Khosrau II, the last great Sasanian king is crowned King of Persia.