In 1649: England’s King Charles I was beheaded.
In 1798: A brawl broke out in the House of Representatives in Philadelphia, as Matthew Lyon of Vermont spat in the face of Roger Griswold of Connecticut.
In 1948: Indian freedom leader Mahatma Gandhi was murdered by a Hindu extremist.
In 1962: Two members of the “Flying Wallendas” high-wire act were killed when their seven-person pyramid collapsed during a performance in Detroit.
In 1968: The Tet Offensive began as Communist forces launched surprise attacks against South Vietnamese provincial capitals.
In 1979: The civilian government of Iran announced it had decided to allow Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who’d been living in exile in France, to return.