Highlight: In 1913, the first enclosed sedan-type automobile, a Hudson, went on display at the 13th National Automobile Show in New York.
In 1861, Alabama became the fourth state to withdraw from the Union.
In 1908, President Theodore Roosevelt proclaimed the Grand Canyon National Monument (it became a national park in 1919).
In 1927, the creation of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences was proposed during a dinner of Hollywood luminaries at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles.
In 1935, aviator Amelia Earhart began an 18-hour trip from Honolulu to Oakland, Calif., that made her the first woman to fly solo across the Pacific Ocean.
In 1942, Japan declared war against the Netherlands, the same day that Imperial Japanese forces invaded the Dutch East Indies.
In 1943, the United States and Britain signed treaties relinquishing extraterritorial rights in China.
In 1964, U.S. Surgeon General Luther Terry issued the first government report that said smoking may be hazardous to one’s health.
In 1977, France set off an international uproar by releasing Abu Daoud, a PLO official behind the massacre of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics.
In 1995, 52 people were killed when a Colombian airliner crashed as it was preparing to land near the Caribbean resort of Cartagena — however, a 9-year-old girl, Erika Delgado, survived.
Ten years ago: Calling the death penalty process “arbitrary and capricious, and therefore immoral," Illinois Gov. George Ryan commuted the sentences of 167 condemned inmates, clearing his state’s death row two days before leaving office.
Five years ago: Bank of America said it would buy Countrywide Financial for $4.1 billion in stock in a deal rescuing the country’s biggest mortgage lender.
One year ago: Joran van der Sloot, the longtime suspect in the still unsolved disappearance of American Natalee Holloway in Aruba, pleaded guilty in Lima to the 2010 murder of a Peruvian woman, Stephany Flores; he was sentenced to 28 years in prison.