742 - Charlemagne born
1513 - Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon landed in Florida.
1743 - Thomas Jefferson born
1796 - Haitian revolt leader Toussaint L'Ouverture takes command of French forces at Santo Domingo.
1834 - Colored Female Anti-Slavery Society of Middletown, CT was organized.
1855 - John Mercer Langston, considered the first African American to be elected to public office, was elected clerk of Brownhelm, Ohio township
1865 - Black soldiers of the Twenty-Fifth Corps were among the first Union soldiers to enter Petersburg.
1865 - Richmond, the capital of the Confederacy, was abandoned to Union forces
1911 - Charles "Honi" Coles born
1918 - Charles White born
1932 - Cowboy Willie "Bill" Pickett died
1939 - Marvin Gaye (Marvin Pentz Gay, Jr.) born
1943 - Larry Coryell born
1948 - Emmylou Harris born
1963 - Dr. Martin Luther King begins the first non-violent campaign in Birmingham, AL
1967 - Steve Winwood left the Spencer Davis Group to form Traffic.
1977 - "Sir Duke," Stevie Wonder’s tribute to Duke Ellington, was released.
1978 - The first episode of "Dallas" aired on CBS.
1984 - John Thompson of Georgetown University became the first Black coach to win the NCAA basketball tournament.
1987 - "Sign O' The Times" by Prince was released
1987 - Lenell Geter convicted falsely in armed robbery charge. His conviction, which would draw national protest, was finally overturned after having served a 16 month sentence.
1987 - Buddy Rich died
1991 - LL Cool J gave a pair of sneakers to every student and teacher at The Thompson Middle School in Dorchester, MA to celebrate them winning the 'foot locker cool school video' contest.
1993 - Roberta Flack appeared on the ABC-TV soap opera "Loving".
1998 - Rob Pilatus (Milli Vanilli) died
2001 - Mariah Carey signed the richest recording deal in history.
2003 - Edwin Starr died
2005 - Pope John Paul II died