1493 – Christopher Columbus, with 17 ships and 1,200 men, sailed on a second voyage from Cadiz.
1499 – The citizens of Lisbon celebrated the triumphal return of the explorer Vasco de Gama after he completed his two-year journey around the Cape of Good Hope to India.
1543 – Mary Stuart was crowned “Queen of Scots” in the central Scottish town of Stirling. She was nine months old.
1588 – Thomas Cavendish, in his ship Desire, entered Plymouth and completed the first deliberately planned voyage of circumnavigation.
1739 – Stono Rebellion, the largest slave uprising in Britain’s mainland North American colonies prior to the American Revolution, erupted near Charleston, South Carolina.
1776 – The Continental Congress officially named its union of states the United States.
1791 – Washington, D.C., the capital of the United States, was named after President George Washington.
1839 – John Herschel took the first glass plate photograph.
1850 – California was admitted as the thirty-first U.S. state.
1850 – The Compromise of 1850 transferred a third of Texas’s claimed territory (now parts of Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Wyoming) to federal control in return for the U.S. federal government assuming $10 million of Texas’s pre-annexation debt.
1863 – American Civil War: The Union Army entered Chattanooga, Tennessee.
1892 – Amalthea, third closest and fifth found moon of Jupiter, was discovered by Edward Emerson Barnard.
1914 – World War I: The creation of the Canadian Automobile Machine Gun Brigade, the first fully mechanized unit in the British Army.
1924 – Hanapepe massacre occurred on Kauai, Hawaii.
1940 – George Stibitz pioneered the first remote operation of a computer.
1942 – World War II: A Japanese floatplane dropped incendiary bombs on Oregon.
1943 – World War II: The Allies landed at Salerno and Taranto, Italy.
1947 – First case of a computer bug being found: A moth lodged in a relay of a Harvard Mark II computer at Harvard University.
1955 – The Dual Music System Jukebox was introduced by the J.P. Seeburg Corporation. It was the first to hold a hundred singles.
1956 – Elvis Presley made his first appearance on the Ed Sullivan show Toast of the Town. He was shot from just the waist up during the performance. Elvis would make a total of three appearances on the show.
1965 – The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development was established.
1965 – Hurricane Betsy made its second landfall near New Orleans, leaving 76 dead and $1.42 billion in damages, becoming the first hurricane to cause over $1 billion in unadjusted damage.
1966 – The National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act was signed into law by U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson.
1967 – “Soul Man,” by Sam & Dave, was released.
1969 – Allegheny Airlines Flight 863 collided in mid-air with a Piper PA-28 Cherokee over Moral Township, Shelby County, Indiana, killing all 83 people on board both aircraft.
1969 – Jimi Hendrix mad his U.S. television debut on The Dick Cavett Show.
1971 – The four-day Attica Prison riot began which eventually resulted in 39 dead, most killed by state troopers retaking the prison.
1971 – John Lennon’s LP Imagine was released.
1972 – In Kentucky’s Mammoth Cave National Park, a Cave Research Foundation exploration and mapping team discovered a link between the Mammoth and Flint Ridge cave systems, making it the longest known cave passageway in the world.
1978 – “Beast of Burden” was released by The Rolling Stones.
1981 – Sting and Phil Collins both played their first solo sets at Amnesty’s International’s “The Secret Policeman’s Other Ball.”
1987 – Pink Floyd began their “A Momentary Lapse Of Reason” tour. It was the band’s first tour without Roger Waters.
1994 – Space Shuttle Discovery was launched on STS-64.
1998 – An episode of Judge Judy aired in which Sex Pistol Johnny Rotten appeared as the defendant in a case involving a drummer who sued Rotten for allegedly head-butting him during a contract dispute.
2015 – Elizabeth II became the longest reigning monarch of the United Kingdom.
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