1797: Albany became the capital of New York state, replacing New York City.
1863: President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, declaring that slaves in rebel states were free.
1892: The Ellis Island Immigrant Station in New York formally opened.
1901: The Commonwealth of Australia was proclaimed.
1945: France was admitted to the United Nations.
1953: Country singer Hank Williams Sr., 29, died of a drug and alcohol overdose while en route to a concert date in Canton, Ohio.
1958: Treaties establishing the European Economic Community went into effect.
1959: Fidel Castro led Cuban revolutionaries to victory over Fulgencio Batista.
1979: The United States and China held celebrations in Washington and Beijing to mark the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
1984: The break-up of AT&T; took place as the telecommunications giant was divested of its 22 Bell System companies under terms of an antitrust agreement.
1990: David Dinkins was sworn in as New York City’s first black mayor.
1992: Czechoslovakia peacefully split into two new countries, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
1994: The North American Free Trade Agreement went into effect.