1785: The first state university in America, the University of Georgia, was chartered in Athens.
1880: American inventor Thomas Alva Edison of Menlo Park, New Jersey, patented the incandescent electric lamp.
1951: The U.S. began testing atomic devices in the Nevada desert as an Air Force plane dropped a one-kiloton bomb on Frenchman Flats.
1956: RCA released its first record by Elvis Presley. "Heartbreak Hotel" hit #1 on both the pop and country charts and reached #5 on the R&B charts.
1958: "Little" Richard Wayne Penniman interrupted his music career to enter a theological seminary in Huntsville, Alabama, where he received a degree.
1971: British musician David Bowie arrived in America for the first time. He did not perform, but received lots of publicity in Texas and Louisiana for wearing dresses.
1973: Tom T. Hall’s "(Old Dogs and Children and) Watermelon Wine" hit #1 on Billboard’s country music chart. After chatting with an old man in a hotel bar, he had written the song during an airplane flight on the back of an airsick bag.
1984: Wayne Gretzky set a National Hockey League record for consecutive game scoring, as his streak ended at 51 games. Gretzky collected 153 points, 61 goals and 92 assists, during the run.
1985: The Coca-Cola Company, of Atlanta announced plans to sell its soft drinks for the first time in Russia and other Soviet Republics.
1989: A meter maid discovered the body of a 67-year-old man in a parked van in Oklahoma City. He had been dead of natural causes for four days. Several parking tickets, placed on the van during the three previous days, were cancelled.
1994: Rueben Mattus died at age 81. Starting as a teenager he sold his family’s homemade ice cream to small stores in the Bronx for 30 years. Then in 1959 he took a chance, doubled the price, and changed the name to Haagen-Dazs.
1998: First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, appearing on NBC's Today show, charged the allegations of sexual impropriety against her husband were the work of a "vast right-wing conspiracy."
2001: Actress Beverley D'Angelo gave birth to twin girls, making actor Al Pacino a father again at age 60.
2003: A teenager was catapulted 25 feet in the air during an auto accident in Blue Springs, Missouri, but grabbed onto overhead telephone wires like an action hero and dangled for 20 minutes before a rescue crew brought him down by ladder. Eighteen-year-old Joe Thompson was treated for bruises and scratches. He told reporters, "God was definitely in control."
Birthdays: dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov is 61;
singer Tracy Lawrence 41;
singer Kevin Denney 34;
Kentucky Headhunter Richard Young 54;
actress Bridget Fonda 45;
actor Alan Cumming 44;
actor Josh Randall 37;
tennis player Marat Safin 29.