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1492 – Christopher Columbus set sail from Palos, Spain, with three ships, Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria seeking a westerly route to the Far East.

1790 – The first U.S. census was completed with a total population of 3,929,214. 1892 – Charles A. Wheeler patented the first escalator.

1899 – The refrigerator was patented by A.T. Marshall.

1914 – The first electric traffic signal lights were installed in Cleveland, Ohio.

1920 – The 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified, granting women the right to vote.

1935 – President Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act.

1944 – Anne Frank penned her last entry into her diary.

1945 – V-J Day, commemorating President Truman’s announcement that Japan had surrendered to the Allies.

1959 – President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed a proclamation admitting Hawaii to the Union as the 50th state.

1962 – Apartheid opponent Nelson Mandela was arrested by security police in South Africa.

1966 – Michael DeBakey became the first surgeon to install an artificial heart pump in a patient.

1969 – Woodstock began in a field near Yasgur’s Farm at Bethel, New York.

1997 – Britain’s Princess Diana died at age 36.

1998 – “Titanic” became the first movie in North America to earn more than $600 million.