1851 – Dr. John Gorrie of Apalachicola FL, patented the mechanical refrigerator.
1851 – Linus Yale of Newport, NY became well known for his patent of the clock-type lock.
1856 – Psychiatrist Sigmund Freud was born in Frieberg, Germany.
1856 – Robert E. Peary, first person to reach the North Pole, was born in Cresson, PA.
1895 – Silent film screen star Rudolph Valentino was born Rodolfo Alfonso di Valentina D’Antonguolla in Puglia, Italy.
1937 – The German airship Hindenburg, the largest dirigible ever built, exploded as it arrived at Lakehurst, NJ.
1940 – John Steinbeck won the Pulitzer Prize for The Grapes of Wrath.
1941 – Joseph Stalin became the premier of Russia.
1942 – Lte. Gen. Jonathan Wainwright surrendered all American troops in the Philippines to the Japanese.
1954 – Roger Bannister broke the four-minute mile in Oxford, England with a time of 3:59.4 seconds.
1959 – Pablo Picasso’s painting of a Dutch girl was sold for $154,000 in London, the highest price paid at the time for a painting by a living artist.
1994 – A rail tunnel beneath the English Channel joining Great Britain with France, called the “Chunnel,” officially opened.