(2002) Switzerland joined the United Nations. Voters in Switzerland narrowly approved the nation joining. It was the first break in formal neutrality in over 200 years.
(1969) Apollo 9 was launched by NASA to test a lunar module.
(1939) In Bombay, Ghandi began a fast to protest the autocratic rule during that time.
(1938) Oil was discovered in Saudi Arabia. Before the discovery of oil there, the country was was relatively unknown in world affairs, then quickly transformed and became a major part in the petroleum industry. By the beginning of the 21st century, about 75 percent of the country's budget came from oil.
(1931) "The Star Spangled Banner," written by Francis Scott Key, was adopted as the American National Anthem. The anthem was originally a poem known as "Defense of Fort McHenry". Before the song became the national anthem, several others, including "Hail," "Columbia," and "My Country Tis of Thee," were used as anthems.
(1910) In New York, Robert Frost founded the National Housing Association in order to stave off specific urban living conditions.
(1875) George Bizet's world-famous opera "Carmen," had its premiere on this day, despite plenty of controversy. The story was considered too salacious for the general public, and Bizet in turn had plenty of trouble getting even one actress to agree to play the main role.
(1879) Belva Ann Bennett Lockwood, who was active in working for women's rights, became the first female lawyer to appear before the Supreme Court of the United States.