In 1845, the U.S. Naval Academy was formally opened at Fort Severn, Annapolis, Md., with 50 midshipmen in the first class.
In 1886, Griswold Lorillard of Tuxedo Park, N.Y., fashioned the first tuxedo for men.
In 1973, Spiro Agnew became the first U.S. vice president to resign in disgrace after pleading no contest to income tax evasion.
In 1985, movie legend Orson Welles, whose innovative "Citizen Kane" of 1941 was regarded by many as the best American-made film of all time, died of a heart attack at the age of 70.
In 1995, Israel freed about 900 Palestinian prisoners and pulled its troops out of four towns as the second phase of a peace plan was implemented on the West Bank.
In 1997, major tobacco companies agreed to a settlement in a class-action lawsuit by 60,000 flight attendants who said second-hand smoke in planes had caused cancer and other diseases.
In 2003, the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Iranian lawyer Shurin Ebadi for her work in promoting democracy and human rights in Iran and beyond. She was the first Muslim woman to win the award.
In 2005, Angela Merkel became the first woman chancellor of Germany after her Christian Democrats won the parliamentary election.
In 2008, Connecticut became the third state in the United States to legalize same-sex marriages, following California and Massachusetts.
In 2009, NASA deliberately crashed a hunk of space junk on the surface of the moon to check whether certain lunar craters held significant deposits of water.
In 2011, the National Basketball Association, caught up in a contract dispute, postponed the first two weeks of the season, set to open Nov. 1, then canceled the entire November schedule and followed with a player lockout. (The NBA ended up with a reduced season -- 66 games instead of 82.)
In 2012, actor and former football star Alex Karras died at his home in Los Angeles at the age of 77. Karras was a member of the College Football Hall of Fame and a four-time NFL Pro Bowler. In 2013, Scott Carpenter, one of NASA's seven original Mercury astronauts, died in Denver at the age of 88. On May 24, 1962, Carpenter flew the Aurora 7 spacecraft through three revolutions of Earth, becoming the second American (after John Glenn) to make a manned orbital flight.