On this day in 1954, British athlete Roger Bannister became the first person to run a mile in under four minutes (3:59:4). Bannister became a distinguished neurologist and Master of Pembroke College, Oxford, before retiring in 2001. Sir Roger was the inaugural recipient of the Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year award in January 1955 (1954 Sportsman of the Year).

In 1851, The mechanical refrigerator was patented by Dr. John Gorrie.

In 1882, The U.S. Congress passed the Chinese Exclusion Act. The act barred Chinese immigrants from the U.S. for 10 years.

In 1889, The Universal Exposition opened in Paris, marking the completion and dedication of the Eiffel Tower.

In 1941, Dictator Joseph Stalin became the premier of Russia.

In 1960, U.S. President Eisenhower signed the Civil Rights Act of 1960.

In 1994, The Chunnel between England and France officially opened.

In 1999, Scotland elected its first separate parliament in three centuries.