1863: The world's first subway line opened in London, to start what would become known as the Tube. It initially covered a distance of 3.6 kilometers, and had 7 stations. A one-way trip along the line took 33 minutes.
1994: The presidents and the prime ministers of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization member states gathered in NATO's Brussels headquarters to sign the Partnership for Peace program.
1994: The Central Asian republics of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan signed a common economic zone accord, providing for free movement of merchandise, services, capital, and labor as well as for coordinated crediting, budgetary, taxation, pricing, customs, and monetary policies. In April 1994, Kyrgyzstan joined in; Tajikistan came on board in March 1998. Later on, the agreement provided a legal framework for the Central Asian Union, which in 1998 was renamed Central Asian Economic Community. This organization became the basis for the establishment of the Central Asian Cooperation Organization in February 2002.
1708: The first secular calendar was published in Moscow.
1883: Count Alexei Tolstoy was born (1883-1945). His literary legacy includes "The Ordeal" (a trilogy), the sci-fi novels "Aelita" and "Engineer Garin and his Death Ray," and an unfinished novel about Peter the Great, to give just a few examples.
1970: Soviet cosmonaut Pavel Belyaev (born in 1925) died. He went on a space mission March 18, 1965, as the commander of the Voskhod 2 crew. It was during this mission that his crewmate Alexei Leonov carried out mankind's first spacewalk. Voskhod's main system failed on reentry, and Belyaev used manual control equipment to ensure the capsule's safe landing.
1978: The Soviet spacecraft Soyuz 27 was launched with a two-member crew, Vladimir Janibekov and Oleg Makarov. On January 11, it docked with the Salyut 6-Soyuz 26 orbiting station (Yuri Romanenko, Georgy Grechko). In the history of space exploration this was the first example of a manned research station, formed from two spacecraft and an orbiter.