The Continental Congress begins laying the groundwork to form the American Navy.
Seven men were appointed to acquire and staff a fleet of ships that would be used to fight the British in the sea.
The committee included John Adams and Silas Deane, among other revolutionaries.
By the time fighting began in earnest, there would be 40 armed ships.
This fighting force was disbanded following the end of the American Revolution. It was formally reestablished in April 1798.
Oakland, California becomes one of the first large cities to outlaw major drugs.
Opium, morphine, and cocaine would only be available with a prescription.
Ironically, Oakland was one of the cities in recent history that has been the home to the debate over legalizing marijuana.
The “War of the Worlds” radio broadcast spooks Americans across the country.
The performance dramatized the broadcast of a martian invasion of Earth. Orson Welles helmed the adaptation of the science fiction novel by H.G. Wells. Orson had found fame as a radio character actor, and was well-known.
Despite his notoriety and repeated announcements that the ensuing broadcast was indeed fiction, an uproar followed.
By some estimates, a million people actually believed Earth was being taken over by aliens.
Highways were clogged and panic erupted.
Soon news of the hysteria reached the studio, and Welles broke character to remind everyone they were performing theater.
Welles thought he was through — but three years later he directed, wrote, produced and starred in Citizen Kane, one of the greatest movies of American cinema ever.
Muhammad Ali wins his second heavyweight championship.
The “Rumble in the Jungle” pitted Ali against George Foreman.
The fight took place in Zaire. It did well for Zaire’s local economy — the country’s president, Mobutuu Sese Seko personally paid each fighter $5 million just to make the trip.
Ali knocked down Foreman in the fifth round.
With the win, he became the second dethroned champion to win the title again.
The citizens of Quebec narrowly reject a legislative effort to secede from Canada.
Some of the largely French-speaking populace was opposed to the encroaching British and American influences across the rest of Canada. They feared they’d lose their relative autonomy and unique culture.