In 1770, Captain James Cook discovered the Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Australia by accidentally running aground on a shoal.

In 1776, the Continental Congress appointed the Committee of Five — John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman and Robert Livingston — to begin drafting the Declaration of Independence.

In 1963, Alabama Gov. George Wallace, confronted by National Guard troops, allowed the University of Alabama to be desegregated.

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