1496 – Leonardo da Vinci unsuccessfully tests a flying machine.
1521 – Martin Luther is Excommunicated by Pope Leo X from the Roman Catholic Church for failing to recant parts of his Ninety-five Theses which started the Protestant Reformation.
1777 – General George Washington’s revolutionary army defeats British forces at Battle of Princeton, New Jersey.
1925 – Benito Mussolini dissolves the Italian parliament and proclaims himself dictator of Italy, taking the title “Il Duce” (the Leader).
1938 – U.S. Pres. Franklin D. Roosevelt established the National Foundation of Infantile Paralysis (later called the March of Dimes) to find a cure for polio, a disease he had been stricken with in 1921.
1977 – Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs incorporate Apple Computer, Inc.
1985 – Israel government confirms resettlement of 10,000 Ethiopian Jews.
1990 – After undergoing 10 days of psychological warfare—which included U.S. forces blasting rock music at the Vatican embassy, where he had sought refuge—Panamanian military leader Manuel Noriega surrendered to the United States.
2001 – Hillary Clinton was sworn in as a U.S. senator from New York, having become the first first lady in U.S. history to win elective office.
2004 – NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Spirit landed on Mars to study the chemical and physical composition of the planet’s surface.
Births & Deaths:1892 – English author and scholar J.R.R. Tolkien, who was perhaps best known for his richly inventive epic fantasy The Lord of the Rings (1954–55), was born in South Africa.
1929 – Italian motion-picture director Sergio Leone, known primarily for his popularization of the “spaghetti western,” was born.
Music: 1987 – Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inducts 1st female artist, Aretha Franklin
Via Britannica / On This Day