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Vladimir Ilyich Lenin addresses soldiers of the new Soviet Army in Red Square in May, 1919
Vladimir Ilyich Lenin addresses soldiers of the new Soviet Army in Red Square in May, 1919 (Associated Press)

In 1922, Vladimir I. Lenin proclaimed the establishment of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, which lasted nearly seven decades before dissolving in December 1991.

1853: The United States and Mexico signed a treaty under which the U.S. agreed to buy some 45,000 square miles of land from Mexico for $10 million in a deal known as the Gadsden Purchase.

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1936: The United Auto Workers union staged its first "sit-down" strike at the General Motors Fisher Body Plant No. 1 in Flint, Michigan. (The strike lasted until Feb. 11, 1937.)

1940: California's first freeway, the Arroyo Seco Parkway connecting Los Angeles and Pasadena, was officially opened.

1989: A Northwest Airlines DC-10, which had been the target of a telephoned threat, flew safely from Paris to Detroit with 22 passengers amid extra-tight security.

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