2002 : Euro introduced in Europe : On this day in 2002 the euro, the monetary unit of the European Union, was introduced with the issuance of both currency and coins, and by March 2002 it was the sole legal tender of participating member states.
1994 : The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) went into effect, eliminating most tariffs and other trade barriers on products and services passing between the United States, Canada, and Mexico.
1953 : American country-and-western musician Hank Williams died.
1909 : Barry M. Goldwater, a U.S. senator from Arizona (1953–64, 1969–87) and the Republican presidential candidate in 1964, was born.
1863 : The Emancipation Proclamation, which freed the slaves of the Confederacy (the states in rebellion against the Union during the American Civil War), was issued by U.S. President Abraham Lincoln.
1804 : Haiti declared its independence from France.
1735 : Paul Revere, the horseback-riding folk hero of the American Revolution, was born.
1449 : Florentine statesman, ruler, and patron of arts and letters Lorenzo de' Medici was born.