The first Opium War between China and Britain broke out.
Panama proclaimed its independence from Colombia.
Clarence Birdseye marketed the first frozen peas.
The Soviet Union sent the first animal, a dog named Laika, into space aboard the Sputnik II. Laika died in orbit.
A Lebanese magazine broke the story of U.S. arms sales to Iran, leading to the Iran-Contra affair.
Carol Moseley-Braun became the first black woman elected to the U.S. Senate.
Hamid Karzai was declared the winner in Afghanistan's first presidential election.