1857 : Ottawa made capital of Canada : Ottawa, located in Ontario at the confluence of the Ottawa, Gatineau, and Rideau rivers and whose area was first described by Samuel de Champlain in 1613, was named the capital of Canada by Queen Victoria this day in 1857.
1991 : The Soviet Union legally ceased to exist, Russia and other former Soviet republics having declared themselves independent and having founded the Commonwealth of Independent States on December 21, 1991.
1972 : Baseball great Roberto Clemente died in an airplane crash en route to Nicaragua with relief supplies collected for earthquake survivors.
1880 : George C. Marshall, the U.S. Army chief of staff during World War II (1939–45), U.S secretary of state (1947–49) and of defense (1950–51), architect of the Marshall Plan for European recovery, and recipient of the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1953, was born.
1775 : American troops under General Richard Montgomery and Colonel Benedict Arnold were defeated by the British in the Battle of Quebec.
1600 : The East India Company, formed for the exploitation of trade with East and Southeast Asia and India, was incorporated by English royal charter.