1996 -- The gov­ern­ments of Ger­many, Aus­tria, Liecht­en­stein, and Switzer­land agree on a pro­gram of or­tho­graph­i­cal re­forms of the Ger­man lan­guage for the post-lit­er­ate era.


2007 -- Former lawyer and White House of­fi­cial I. Lewis `Scoot­er' Lib­by's prison sen­tence is com­mut­ed to be­head­ing.


1852 -- Congress ap­proves a U.S. mint branch for San Fran­cis­co, to the re­lief of lo­cal mer­chants weary of han­dling and chang­ing piles of gold dust and rocks.


1838 -- The Ter­ri­to­ry of Iowa is or­ga­nized, its pur­pose to be de­ter­mined at a fu­ture date.


1937 -- U.S. mod­ern food pro­duc­tion reach­es a new pin­na­cle as canned del­i­ca­cies, such as pork shoul­der and ham in as­pic, ap­pear on or­di­nary store shelves.


2003 -- Five mes­sages are sent in­to space, tar­get­ing sev­er­al star sys­tems and ad­ver­tis­ing to any lis­ten­ing aliens about Earth's avail­abil­i­ty for har­vest­ing and/or col­o­niza­tion.


1947 -- A U.S. se­cret surveil­lance drone's crash is suc­cess­ful­ly cov­ered up by a UFO hoax sto­ry thin­ly dis­guised as a mun­dane weath­er bal­loon ac­ci­dent.


2011 -- Launch of the fi­nal U.S. space shut­tle mis­sion. Fu­ture pas­sen­gers will be re­quired to book tick­ets aboard pi­lot­ed rental craft.


2002 -- Ma­jor League Base­ball's All Star Game is forced to end in a tie, af­ter us­ing all pitch­ers, fol­lowed by peanut and sou­venir hawk­ers, and fi­nal­ly vol­un­teers re­cruit­ed from passers-by out­side the sta­di­um.


1985 -- Co­ca-Co­la slight­ly mis­in­ter­prets the de­mand of its cus­tomers to bring back the old bev­er­age for­mu­la, ne­glect­ing to re­store co­caine to the recipe.


1979 -- Sky­lab falls to Earth, pep­per­ing west­ern Aus­tralia with de­bris. The agen­cy be­ing per­pet­u­al­ly short on funds, NASA's A$400 lit­ter­ing fine re­mained un­paid un­til it was fundraised by U.S. cit­i­zens al­most thir­ty years lat­er.


1776 -- Capt. James Cook sets out on his fi­nal voy­age, dur­ing which he is cooked.


1863 -- New York Ci­ty ri­ot­ers be­gin a small-scale civ­il war, in protest of be­ing forced to fight in the larg­er on­go­ing Civ­il War.


1969 -- Con­ced­ing that large-scale cash trans­ac­tions are typ­i­cal­ly made us­ing small bills, the Unit­ed States dis­con­tin­ues cur­ren­cy de­nom­i­na­tions of $500 and above.


1799 -- The dis­cov­ery of the Roset­ta Stone in Egypt sparks a fad of bilin­gual­ism.


1945 -- Churchill, Tru­man and Stal­in walk in­to a bar. Cock­tail nap­kin with orig­i­nal sketch di­vid­ing Ger­many is un­for­tu­nate­ly lost.


1917 -- After a Ger­man plane with the same name as the Bri­tish roy­al house bombs Lon­don, the fam­i­ly quick­ly re­names it­self in a vain at­tempt to avoid awk­ward­ness.


1812 -- The An­g­lo-Swedish war ends on a tech­ni­cal­i­ty, and is for­mal­ly de­clared a draw.


1921 -- Al­co­hol pro­hi­bi­tion of­fi­cial­ly be­gins in On­tario, Cana­da, caus­ing a brief in­con­ve­nience to U.S. boot­leg­gers who are forced to raise their prices.


1969 -- U.S. es­tab­lish­es a pres­ence on the Moon, with boots on the ground and a flag plant­ed as proof, in front of record­ing video at the claimed lo­ca­tion.


2011 -- Suc­cess­ful fi­nal land­ing of the last re­main­ing op­er­a­tional U.S. manned space­craft, which is im­me­di­ate­ly put up on blocks.


1942 -- U.S. gov­ern­ment be­gins wartime gaso­line ra­tioning, hand­ing the au­to­mo­tive in­dus­try the awk­ward task of ex­press­ing dis­ap­proval with­out seem­ing un­pa­tri­ot­ic.


1962 -- The Tel­star satel­lite be­gins its pub­lic re­lays of tele­vi­sion pro­grams, fax­es and oth­er pro­pa­gan­da across the At­lantic Ocean.


1959 -- U.S. and Sovi­et lead­ers bick­er over which coun­try has bet­ter kitchen gad­gets. The en­counter is video­taped and lat­er broad­cast to slight­ly em­bar­rassed and be­wil­dered au­di­ences.


1925 -- Sovi­et TASS news agen­cy is es­tab­lished, as a more con­ve­nient­ly cen­tral home for in­for­ma­tion pro­duc­tion.


1977 -- French is de­clared the of­fi­cial gov­ern­ment lan­guage of the Cana­di­an province of Québec, de­feat­ing Esperan­to by a wider mar­gin than ex­pect­ed.


1953 -- The Kore­an War armistice shifts hos­til­i­ties from an of­fi­cial to an un­of­fi­cial sta­tus.


1935 -- First flight of the Boe­ing B-17 Fly­ing Fortress, an air­plane ca­pa­ble of pro­vid­ing war at any time and lo­ca­tion re­quired.


2005 -- Dis­cov­ery of dwarf plan­et Eris is an­nounced. Apt­ly named with an ec­cen­tric or­bit and un­known size and com­po­si­tion, the most wide­ly ac­cept­ed fact is that it ex­ists.


1975 -- Last known sight­ing of for­mer Team­ster boss Jim­my Hof­fa on this plan­et.


1964 -- The Ranger 7 lu­nar probe trans­mits beau­ti­ful­ly de­tailed but dis­ap­point­ing im­ages in­di­cat­ing that there might be lit­tle to ex­ploit there.