England’s King Charles I dissolved Parliament; he did not call it back for 11 years.
Thomas Jefferson was appointed minister to France, succeeding Benjamin Franklin.
Napoleon Bonaparte was forced to withdraw at the Battle of Laon in France.
the Senate ratified the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, ending the war with Mexico.
Abraham Lincoln applied for a patent, the first U.S. president to do so.
the U.S. government issued its first paper money.
Ulysses S. Grant became commander in chief of the Union armies in the Civil War.
the first successful voice transmission over Alexander Graham Bell’s telephone took place in Boston as his assistant heard Bell say, “Mr. Watson, come here. I want you.”
the Salvation Army arrived in the United States from England.
New York Gov. Roswell Flower signed the nation’s first dog-licensing law. (The license fee was $2, renewable annually for $1.)
jazz musician and composer Bix Beiderbecke was born in Davenport, Iowa.
Italian women voted in local elections for the first time.
the body of the anti-Communist foreign minister of Czechoslovakia, Jan Masaryk, was found in the garden of Czernin Palace in Prague. Also in 1948 fire swept through an Asheville, N.C., hospital, killing nine female mental patients; among them was Zelda Fitzgerald, 47, widow of writer F. Scott Fitzgerald.
Nazi wartime broadcaster Mildred Gillars, also known as “Axis Sally,” was convicted in Washington
James Earl Ray pleaded guilty in Memphis to the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. (Ray later repudiated that plea, maintaining his innocence until his death.)
“Scarsdale Diet” author Dr. Herman Tarnower was shot to death in Purchase, N.Y. (Jean Harris, convicted of murder, served nearly 12 years in prison before being released in January 1993.)
the United States, accusing Moammar Gadhafi of supporting international terrorism, imposed an embargo on Libyan oil imports and curtailed exports of high technology to Libya.
Konstantin Chernenko, Soviet leader for just 13 months, died at age 73.
actor Ray Milland died in Torrance, Calif.; he was 78.
the Vatican issued a 40-page document on scientific techniques involving procreation, condemning such practices as surrogate motherhood, test-tube births and cloning.
pop singer Andy Gibb died in Oxford, England, of heart inflammation; he was 30.
Haitian ruler Lt. Gen. Prosper Avril resigned during a popular uprising against his military regime.
Dr. David Gunn was shot to death outside a Pensacola, Fla., abortion clinic. (Nearly a year later, antiabortion activist Michael Griffin was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison.)
the Clinton administration released $3 billion to support Mexico’s faltering economy. Also in 1995 former Mexican President Carlos Salinas de Gortari fled to the United States.
Hezbollah guerrillas launched a wave of bomb and rocket attacks on Israeli troops in south Lebanon.