1493 – Christopher Columbus went ashore on an island called Borinquen he first saw the day before. He named it San Juan Bautista (later renamed again Puerto Rico).
1581 – Tsarevich Ivan Ivanovich died after being attacked by his father, Ivan the Terrible, three days earlier.
1620 – The Mayflower reached Cape Cod and explored the coast.
1794 – The United States and the Kingdom of Great Britain signed Jay’s Treaty, which attempted to resolve some of the lingering problems left over from the American Revolutionary War.
1805 – Lewis and Clark expedition, led by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, reached the Pacific Ocean, first European Americans to cross the west.
1863 – American Civil War: U.S. President Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address at the dedication ceremony for the military cemetery at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
1873 – William Magear Tweed “Boss Tweed”, of Tammany Hall was convicted of defrauding New York City of $6 million. He was sentenced to 12 years’ imprisonment.
1895 – American inventor Frederick E. Blaisdell patented the pencil.
1911 – The Doom Bar, a sandbar, in Cornwall claimed two ships, Island Maid and Angele, the latter of which killed the entire crew except the captain.
1916 – Samuel Goldwyn and Edgar Selwyn established Goldwyn Pictures. It eventually merged into Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, MGM.
1939 – Comic superheroes Flash (as Jay Garrick) and Hawkman (Carter Hall) first appeared in “Flash Comics No. 1” published by DC comics.
1943 – Holocaust: Nazis liquidated Janowska concentration camp in Lemberg (Lviv), western Ukraine, and murdered at least 6,000 Jews after a failed uprising and mass escape attempt.
1944 – World War II: U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt announced the sixth War Loan Drive, which was aimed at selling $14 billion in war bonds to help pay for the war effort.
1946 – Afghanistan, Iceland and Sweden joined the United Nations.
1950 – US General Dwight D. Eisenhower became Supreme Commander of NATO-Europe.
1959 – “Rocky & His Friends” debuted on ABC. It was later renamed “The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle and Friends.”
1959 – Ford Motors canceled its poorly received Edsel model.
1962 – Cuban Missile Crisis: Fidel Castro accepted the removal of Soviet weapons.
1965 – Kellogg’s Pop Tarts pastries were created.
1969 – Apollo program: Apollo 12 astronauts Pete Conrad and Alan Bean landed at Oceanus Procellarum (the “Ocean of Storms”) and became the third and fourth humans to walk on the Moon.
1975 – “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” based on book by Ken Kesey, directed by Milos Forman and starring Jack Nicholson and Louise Fletcher, was released (Academy Awards Best Picture 1976).
1976 – Patty Hearst was freed on $15 million bail.
1979 – Iran hostage crisis: Iranian leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini ordered the release of 13 female and black American hostages who were being held at the US Embassy in Tehran.
1979 – Chuck Berry was released from prison where he served time for income tax evasion.
1980 – CBS banned a Calvin Klein jean ad which featured Brooke Shields.
1985 – Cold War: In Geneva, U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Soviet Union General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev met for the first time.
1985 – Pennzoil won a $10.53 billion judgment against Texaco, in the largest civil verdict in the history of the United States. It stemmed from Texaco executing a contract to buy Getty Oil after Pennzoil had entered into an unsigned, yet still binding, buyout contract with Getty.
1990 – Pop duo Milli Vanilli were stripped of their Grammy Award after it was learned they did not sing on their award-winning “Girl You Know Its True” album.
1996 – A Beechcraft 1900 and a Beechcraft King Air collided at Quincy Regional Airport in Quincy, Illinois, killing 14.
1998 – Clinton–Lewinsky scandal: The United States House of Representatives Judiciary Committee began impeachment hearings against U.S. President Bill Clinton.
1998 – Vincent van Gogh’s “Portrait of the Artist Without Beard” sold at auction for $71.5 million.
2010 – “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1”, the 7th film based on the books by J. K. Rowling, was released worldwide.