On this date:
In 1805, the Michigan Territory was created by an act of Congress.
In 1861, Alabama became the fourth state to withdraw from the Union.
In 1908, President Theodore Roosevelt proclaimed the Grand Canyon National Monument (it became a national park in 1919).
In 1927, the creation of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences was proposed during a dinner of Hollywood luminaries at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles.
In 1935, aviator Amelia Earhart began an 18-hour trip from Honolulu to Oakland, Calif., that made her the first woman to fly solo across the Pacific Ocean.
In 1942, Japan declared war against the Netherlands, the same day that Imperial Japanese forces invaded the Dutch East Indies.
In 1943, the United States and Britain signed treaties relinquishing extraterritorial rights in China.
In 1963, the Beatles' single "Please Please Me" (B side "Ask Me Why") was released in Britain by Parlophone.
In 1964, U.S. Surgeon General Luther Terry issued the first government report that said smoking may be hazardous to one's health.
In 1972, East Pakistan changed its name to Bangladesh.
In 1977, France set off an international uproar by releasing Abu Daoud, a PLO official behind the massacre of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics.
In 1995, 52 people were killed when a Colombian airliner crashed as it was preparing to land near the Caribbean resort of Cartagena -- however, a 9-year-old girl, Erika Delgado, survived.
Ten years ago: Calling the death penalty process "arbitrary and capricious, and therefore immoral," Illinois Gov. George Ryan commuted the sentences of 167 condemned inmates, clearing his state's death row two days before leaving office.
Five years ago: Bank of America said it would buy Countrywide Financial for $4.1 billion in stock in a deal rescuing the country's biggest mortgage lender. Authorities in Jacksonville, N.C., found the remains of Marine Lance Cpl. Maria Frances Lauterbach in the yard of Cpl. Cesar Armando Laurean, a comrade she had accused of raping her. (Laurean, who fled to Mexico, was later arrested and sent back to the U.S.; he was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.) Former Olympic track gold medalist Marion Jones was sentenced to six months in prison for lying to investigators about using performance-enhancing drugs and her role in a check-fraud scam. Sir Edmund Hillary, who conquered Mount Everest, died in Auckland, New Zealand, at age 88.
One year ago: Joran van der Sloot, the longtime suspect in the still unsolved disappearance of American Natalee Holloway in Aruba, pleaded guilty in Lima to the 2010 murder of a Peruvian woman, Stephany Flores; he was sentenced to 28 years in prison. French TV cameraman Gilles Jacquier was killed while filming a pro-government rally in Homs, Syria; he was the first Western journalist to die in the Syrian uprising.
Today's Birthdays: Producer Grant Tinker is 88. Actor Rod Taylor is 83. Composer Mary Rodgers is 82. The former prime minister of Canada, Jean Chretien (zhahn kray-tee-EHN'), is 79. Actor Mitchell Ryan is 79. Actor Felix Silla is 76. Movie director Joel Zwick is 71. Country singer Naomi Judd is 67. World Golf Hall of Famer Ben Crenshaw is 61. Singer Robert Earl Keen is 57. Actress Phyllis Logan (TV: "Downton Abbey") is 57. Musician Vicki Peterson (The Bangles) is 55. Actress Kim Coles is 51. Actor Jason Connery is 50. Contemporary Christian musician Jim Bryson (MercyMe) is 45. Rock musician Tom Dumont (No Doubt) is 45. Rhythm-and-blues singer Maxee Maxwell (Brownstone) is 44. Movie director Malcolm D. Lee is 43. Singer Mary J. Blige is 42. Musician Tom Rowlands (The Chemical Brothers) is 42. Actor Marc Blucas is 41. Actress Amanda Peet is 41. Actor Rockmond Dunbar is 40. Actress Kristolyn Lloyd (TV: "The Bold and the Beautiful") is 28. Reality TV star Jason Wahler (TV: "Laguna Beach"; "The Hills") is 26.
Thought for Today: "Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson, American essayist, poet and philosopher (1803-1882).