Obama surprised Biden with the Presidential Medal of Freedom during a White House ceremony.
A 7.0 magnitude earthquake in Haiti claimed 160,000 lives.
The disaster wreaked havoc in the country and destroyed the capital of Port-Au-Prince with an estimated USD 7.8-8.5 billion damage.
NASA’s Deep Impact space probe launched from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
The Deep Impact probe was designed to fly out to and study the Tempel 1 comet. Unlike all previous attempts at studying comets, this was not a fly-by mission. Instead, it released an impactor into the comet to analyze the composition of the dust and debris kicked up by the impactor. The results, which showed the comet to be composed mainly of dust-like particles, were surprising as scientists believed Tempel 1 to be made up of ice more than anything else.
Nineteen European nations forbade human cloning; however, the UK and Germany refused to sign the agreement.
Malcolm X’s daughter, Qubilah Shabazz, was arrested for making arrangements to kill Louis Farrakhan, who she believed killed her father in 1965.
US Congress gave George H. W. Bush the authority to declare war on Iraq.
ABC aired Batman for the first time.
Stars included Adam West as Batman, Burt Ward as Robin, and Cesar Romero as The Joker.
Five boys rediscovered the Caves of Nerja in Andalucia, Spain.
The friends were bat hunting when they found the entrance blocked by stalactites but broke past them the following day. It was later discovered that the caves date back to 42,000 years ago. The cavern inside is home to some of the world’s oldest cave art.
Over 50,000 people greeted Queen Elizabeth II as she opened New Zealand Parliament.
College students illegally produced the very first X-ray photo.
Three of Dr. Henry Smith’s students bribed a janitor to access the laboratory, where they successfully took the first X-ray images. Little did they know they would change medical history.
The National Trust (UK) was founded as an independent charity to conserve England’s environment and heritage.
The oldest soft drink brand, Dr Pepper, sold its very first bottle in the USA.
The Charleston Museum was founded, making it the first public museum in the United States.
At first, the museum didn’t actually occupy any one building; instead, its collection was showcased at various places around Charleston. In 1778 the museum’s original collection was destroyed in a fire.