Egyptian scholar and statesman Boutros Boutros-Ghali—who, as UN secretary-general (1992–96), vigorously supported UN mediation in post-Cold War strife and oversaw lengthy and difficult peacekeeping operations in several war-torn countries—died at age 93.
The Kyoto Protocol, an international treaty aimed at reducing the emission of gases that contribute to global warming, went into effect.
The NHL became the first North American professional sports league to cancel an entire season; the 2004–05 season was canceled after the collective-bargaining agreement between the owners and the players’ union ran out.
American tennis player John McEnroe was born in West Germany.
The first Knesset (Hebrew: “Assembly”), the unicameral parliament of Israel and supreme authority of that state, opened in Jerusalem.
American paratroopers landed on Corregidor Island in the Philippines during World War II, and within two weeks they recaptured it from the Japanese.
Austrian Chancellor Kurt von Schuschnigg admitted an Austrian Nazi to his cabinet, believed to be the first step in the German overthrow of his government.
DuPont chemist Wallace Hume Carothers patented nylon.
The burial chamber of King Tutankhamun was unsealed by British archaeologist Howard Carter; his discovery of the tomb the previous year was one of the most-celebrated contributions to Egyptology.
The 20-member Taryba (council) of Lithuanian delegates proclaimed their country an independent state.
American ventriloquist and radio comedian Edgar Bergen was born in Chicago.
Katharine Cornell, one of the most-celebrated American stage actresses from the 1920s to the 1950s, was born in Germany.
Frederick William, the Great Elector of Brandenburg in 1640–88, who restored the Hohenzollern dominions after the devastation of the Thirty Years’ War, was born.