To YIELD , means - you must allow the other traffic to pass before you can go.
At first it wasn't. It was every car for itself. Next, came officers in the street controlling traffic. You see this when there is an accident today. In some cities in Europe officers are still in the street controlling traffic.
If it's a one way street, whether or not it has traffic lights, the answer is going to be no. At some point, whether before or after the U-turn, you're traveling in the wrong direction, hence, you're in violation of the law.
The horse and buggy was replaced by the automobile. Trains already existed before the automobile.
police had to steer traffic.
The car was invented before the airplane.
Police officers giving traffic signals.
British railroad signal engineer J P Knight invented the first traffic light in 1868, before there were any motor cars. The red and green lights were fitted on the Bridge street and the then George Street crossroad, outside the Houses of Parliament in London, England to control the flow of horse drawn transport and pedestrians.