On this date in history:
In 1607, Jamestown, the first permanent English colony in North America, was founded near the James River in Virginia.
In 1846, the United States declared war on Mexico.
In 1912, Britain established its air force — the Royal Flying Corps.
In 1958, a crowd of protesters — mostly students — attacked Vice President Richard Nixon and his wife, Pat Nixon, as they arrived in Venezuela. Shouting anti-American slogans, the group broke the windows of Nixon’s vehicle and nearly toppled it before the U.S. delegation made an escape unharmed,
In 1963, President John F. Kennedy sent military riot-control units to Birmingham, Ala., stating that the government would do everything in its power preserve order, to protect the lives of its citizens and to uphold the law. Kennedy also directed an executive order be drafted enabling him to order the Alabama National Guard into immediate federal service if violence between black and white people was to once again erupt.
In 1981, Turkish gunman Mehmet Ali Agca shot and injured Pope John Paul II in St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City. Later, the pope, from his hospital bed, forgave his assailant.
In 1985, a Philadelphia police helicopter bombed the fortified house of a radical organization, MOVE, to end a 24-hour siege. Eleven people died and the ensuing fire destroyed 53 homes.
In 1994, President Bill Clinton nominated Judge Stephen Breyer to succeed Justice Harry A. Blackmun on the U.S. Supreme Court. Breyer joined the court in August.
In 2005, Colombian authorities said they made the biggest drug raid in the nation’s history, seizing 12 tons of cocaine valued at $300 million.
In 2009, astronauts on a 14-day servicing mission embarked on the first of five planned spacewalks to repair and update the 19-year-old Hubble Space Telescope. The project included installation of a wide-field camera and a Cosmic Origins Spectograph.
In 2011, in a reported retaliation to the slaying of terrorist chief Osama bin Laden, two suicide bombers killed 80 Pakistani recruits at a training center.
In 2012, the mutilated bodies of 49 people, apparently victims of an escalating war between the Zetas gang and Sinaloa drug cartel, were found along a highway between Monterrey, Mexico, and McAllen, Texas.
In 2013, psychologist and longtime newspaper columnist Joyce Brothers died in Fort Lee, N.J., at age 85.
In 2014, in Israel former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was sentenced to six years in prison for taking bribes while he was mayor of Jerusalem.
In 2014, in western Turkey, an explosion and fire in a coal mine killed more than 300 people and injured dozens of others.