- 1985Gorbachev takes overMikhail Gorbachev became head of the Soviet Union following the death of Konstantin Chernenko. At 54, he was the youngest member of the ruling Politburo.
The Confederate States of America adopted its constitution.
A torrential rainstorm hit the East Coast. The rain turned to snow the next day and it became the Blizzard of 1888, the most famous snowstorm in American history. It caused more than 400 deaths.
William Howard Taft became the first U.S. president to be buried in the National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia.
President Roosevelt signs the Lend-Lease Bill.
General Douglas MacArthur leaves the Philippines saying, "I shall return."
A newly elected parliament in Lithuania declared its independence from the Soviet Union.
Janet Reno won unanimous Senate confirmation to be the first female U.S. Attorney General.
Over 200 people were killed and over 1,400 were injured when bombs exploded in Madrid train stations. Al-Qaeda took responsibility for the attacks.
Japan is hit by an enormous earthquake that triggers a deadly 23-foot tsunami in the country's north, about 230 miles northeast of Tokyo. Cooling systems in one of the reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station fail shortly after the earthquake, causing a nuclear crisis.
Here are the facts and trivia that people are buzzing about.