1764 – Author Ann Radcliffe (The Italian, The Mysteries of Udolpho, The Romance of the Forest) was born in London.
1850 – After taking office 16 months earlier, President Zachary Taylor died following a brief and sudden illness. His Vice-President, Millard Fillmore, was sworn in the next day. The cause of Taylor’s death has been disputed by historians, but it most likely was cholera.
1901 – Author Barbara Cartland (Jigsaw, Etiquette Handbook, The Herb for Happiness, Lights, Laughter and a Lady, The Passionate Pilgrim) was born in Birmingham, England.
1922 – Johnny Weissmuller became the first to swim the 100-meters freestyle in less than a minute at an event in Alameda, CA.
1947 – In a ceremony at the Pentagon, Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower appointed Florence Blanchfield to be a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army, making her the first woman in U.S. history to hold permanent military rank.
1953 – New York Airways began the first commuter passenger service by helicopter in New York City.
1993 – British forensic scientists announced that they had positively identified the remains of Russia’s last czar, Nicholas II, his wife, Alexandra, and three of their daughters. The scientists used mitochondrial DNA to identify the bones, which had been excavated from a mass grave near Yekaterinburg, Russia, in 1991.