1789: Benjamin Franklin wrote a letter to a friend in which he said, “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”
1927: The Holland Tunnel opened to the public, linking New York City and New Jersey beneath the Hudson River.
1940: The Walt Disney animated movie “Fantasia” had its world premiere in New York.
1942: The minimum draft age was lowered from 21 to 18.
1956: the Supreme Court struck down laws calling for racial segregation on public buses.
1974: Karen Silkwood, a technician and union activist at the Kerr-McGee Cimarron plutonium plant near Crescent, Okla., was killed in a car crash.
1977: The comic strip “Li’l Abner” by Al Capp appeared in newspapers for the last time.
1982: The Vietnam Veterans Memorial was dedicated in Washington.
1985: some 23,00 residents of Armero, Colombia, died when a mudslide, triggered by the Nevado del Ruiz volcano, buried the city.
1987: Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega unveiled an 11-point proposal in Washington for a cease-fire that called for the Contra rebels to lay down their weapons and accept an amnesty.