Here's a look at some interesting events that took place on this day in history:

1861 – Tennessee became the 11th (and last) state to secede from the Union (More info)

1949 – George Orwell's '1984' is published (More info)

1966 - A merger between the National Football League and the American Football League is announced; it takes effect in 1970. (More info)

1968 - James Earl Ray, Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassin, is arrested (More info)

1992 – The first World Oceans Day is celebrated, coinciding with the Earth Summit held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (More info)

1998 - Actor Charlton Heston formally assumes the presidency of the National Rifle Association (More info)