Abolitionist John Brown was hanged for his raid on Harper's Ferry.
The first controlled nuclear chain reaction was demonstrated at the University of Chicago.
The Senate voted to condemn Republican senator Joseph R. McCarthy of Wisconsin for "conduct that tends to bring the Senate into dishonor and disrepute."
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was established.
Barney B. Clark became the first person to receive an artificial heart in a transplant operation.
Benazir Bhutto was sworn in as the Prime Minister of Pakistan, becoming the first woman to head an Muslim nation.
Composer Aaron Copland died at age 90.
A Protestant and Catholic cabinet convened for the first time in Northern Ireland.