The Portuguese explorer Pedro Alvares Cabral reaches the coast of Brazil and claims the region for Portugal.
Sir Francis Drake launches a surprise attack on the heavily fortified city of Santo Domingo in Hispanola.
The Abenaki Indians and Massachusetts colonists sign a treaty halting hostilities between the two.
A U.S. law banning the import of slaves comes into effect, but is widely ignored.
William Lloyd Garrison publishes the first edition of a journal entitled The Liberator, calling for the complete and immediate emancipation of all slaves in the United States.
Facilities opened on Ellis Island, New York, to cope with the vast flood of immigrants coming into the United States.
The first gasoline pipeline begins operation. Along the 40 miles and three inches of pipe from Salt Creek to Casper, Wyoming.
At a party at the Hormel Mansion in Minnesota, a guest wins $100 for naming a new canned meat--Spam.
In Operation Bodenplatte, German planes attack American forward air bases in Europe. This is the last major offensive of the Luftwaffe.
As the United States builds its strength in the Mediterranean, Libyan leader Muammar al-Qaddafi threatens to retaliate if attacked.