1974: Hank Aaron of the Atlanta Braves hits his 715th career home run in a game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, breaking Babe Ruth’s record.
Also on this day:
- 1864: The United States Senate passes, 38-6, the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution abolishing slavery. (The House of Representatives would pass it in January 1865; the amendment would be ratified and adopted in December 1865.)
- 1911: An explosion at the Banner Coal Mine in Littleton, Ala., claims the lives of 128 men, most of them convicts loaned out from prisons.
- 1913: The 17th Amendment to the Constitution, providing for popular election of U.S. senators (as opposed to appointment by state legislatures), is ratified.
- 1913: President Woodrow Wilson becomes the first chief executive since John Adams to address Congress in person as he asked lawmakers to enact tariff reform.
- 1952: President Harry S. Truman seizes the American steel industry to avert a nationwide strike. (The Supreme Court later would rule that Truman had overstepped his authority, opening the way for a seven-week strike by steelworkers.)