1587 – Mary Queen of Scots was beheaded.1693 – College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Va., received its charter, becoming the second institution of higher learning in the United States.1870 – The National Weather Service was established under the U.S. Army Signal Corps.1904 – The Russo-Japanese war began when the Japanese launched a surprise attack on the Russian fleet at Port Arthur in northeast China.1915 – D. W. Griffith’s controversial epic, The Birth of a Nation premiered in Los Angeles.1924 – The gas chamber was used for the first time as a method of execution in the United States. Gangster Gee Jon was put to death at the Nevada State Prison in Carson City.1960 – The payola (pay for broadcast airplay) hearings opened in the U.S. House of Representatives. Dick Clark would testify in April.1980 – President Jimmy Carter revealed his plan to reinstate selective service draft registration.]]]]> ]]>See a typo? Report it here.