240 BC – First recorded perihelion passage of Halley’s Comet.
1660 – Charles II landed at Dover at the invitation of the Convention Parliament, which marked the end of the Cromwell-proclaimed Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland and began the Restoration of the British monarchy.
1738 – A treaty between Pennsylvania and Maryland ended the Conojocular War with settlement of a boundary dispute and exchange of prisoners.
1787 – After a delay of 11 days, the United States Constitutional Convention formally convened in Philadelphia after a quorum of seven states was secured.
1865 – In Mobile, Alabama, around 300 people were killed when an ordnance depot exploded.
1895 – Playwright, poet and novelist Oscar Wilde was convicted of “committing acts of gross indecency with other male persons” and sentenced to serve two years in prison.
1922 – Babe Ruth was suspended for one day and fined $200 for throwing dirt on an umpire.
1925 – Scopes Trial: John T. Scopes was indicted for teaching human evolution in Tennessee.
1927 – Henry Ford announced that he was ending production of the Model T Ford.
1932 – Goofy, aka Dippy Dawg, first appeared in ‘Mickey’s Revue’ by Walt Disney.
1935 – Jesse Owens of Ohio State University broke three world records and tied a fourth at the Big Ten Conference Track and Field Championships in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
1937 – The first airmail letter to circle globe returned to New York.
1953 – Nuclear weapons testing: At the Nevada Test Site, the United States conducted its first and only nuclear artillery test.
1953 – The first public television station in the United States officially began broadcasting as KUHT from the campus of the University of Houston.
1955 – In the United States, a night-time F5 tornado struck the small city of Udall, Kansas, and killed 80 and injured 273. It was the deadliest tornado to ever occur in the state and the 23rd deadliest in the U.S.
1961 – Apollo program: U.S. President John F. Kennedy announced before a special joint session of the U.S. Congress, his goal to initiate a project to put a “man on the Moon” before the end of the decade.
1962 – The Isley Brothers released “Twist & Shout”.
1967 – John Lennon took delivery of his psychedelically painted Rolls Royce.
1968 – The Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri, was dedicated.
1968 – The Rolling Stones released the song “Jumping Jack Flash”.
1973 – George Harrison released the hit single “Give Me Love” in UK.
1977 – Star Wars (retroactively titled Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope) was released in theaters.
1977 – The Chinese government removed a decade-old ban on William Shakespeare’s work, and effectively ended the Cultural Revolution started in 1966.
1978 – The first of a series of bombings orchestrated by the Unabomber detonated at Northwestern University which resulted in minor injuries.
1979 – Horror film “Alien”, directed by Ridley Scott and starring Sigourney Weaver, was released.
1979 – John Spenkelink, a convicted murderer, was executed in Florida. He was the first person to be executed in the state after the reintroduction of capital punishment in 1976. He never got to see “Alien.”
1979 – American Airlines Flight 191: A McDonnell Douglas DC-10 crashed during takeoff at O’Hare International Airport, Chicago, and killed all 271 on board and two people on the ground.
1986 – The Hands Across America event took place. It was a public fundraising event in which 5 to 6.5 million people held hands for 15 minutes and formed a continuous human chain across the contiguous United States.
1986 – 95-year-old woman scored a hole-in-one in Florida.
1999 – The United States House of Representatives released the Cox Report which detailed China’s nuclear espionage against the U.S. over the prior two decades.
2001 – Erik Weihenmayer became the first blind person to reach the summit of Mount Everest, in the Himalayas, with Dr. Sherman Bull.
2008 – NASA’s Phoenix lander touched down in the Green Valley region of Mars to search for environments suitable for water and microbial life.
2011 – Oprah Winfrey aired her last show, thus ending her 25-year run of The Oprah Winfrey Show.
2012 – The SpaceX Dragon became the first commercial spacecraft to successfully rendezvous and berth with the International Space Station.