1279 – A Mongolian victory in the Battle of Yamen ends the Song Dynasty in China
1524 – Giovanni da Verrazzano sailing for King Francis of France sights land around area of Carolinas. In the upcoming days and weeks he sailed north stopping in New York Harbor, which he described as a lake and mentioned the Lenape Indians living there. His third voyage ended with his death, as one version tells it he was killed and eaten by the natives. Another story says the Spanish executed him at sea for piracy.
When the bridge linking Staten Island to Brooklyn was in the planning stages there was a big push to name the bridge after Verrazzano. Robert Moses was against the idea for two reasons, ” It’s too long a name and I never heard of the guy”.
1644 – 200 members of Peking imperial family/court commit suicide in loyalty to the Emperor
1687 – Explorer Robert Cavelier de La Salle, searching for the mouth of the Mississippi River, is murdered by his own men
and merchandise then valued at over $1,000,000. The wreck was discovered on the same day and month, exactly 102 years later. See 1965 below.
1883 – Jan Matzeliger invents first machine to manufacture an entire shoe
1917 – U.S. Supreme Court upheld 8-hour work day for railroad employees
1918 – Congress authorizes time zones and approves daylight saving time
1931 – Nevada legalizes gambling
1932 – The Sydney Harbour Bridge is opened
1942 – FDR orders men between 45 and 64 to register for non-military duty
1949 – First museum devoted exclusively to atomic energy in Oak Ridge, TN
1966 – The wreck of the SS Georgiana, was discovered by then teenage diver and pioneer underwater archaeologist E. Lee Spence exactly 102 years after its destruction
1969 – Chicago 8 indicted in aftermath of Chicago Democratic convention
The Chicago Eight: Jerry Rubin, Abbie Hoffman, Tom Hayden, Rennie Davis, Bobby Seale, Lee Weiner, John Froines and David Dellinger were indicted for conspiracy and inciting a riot during the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. Froines and Weiner were acquitted on all charges. The other five were convicted of inciting to riot, but the convictions were overturned on appeal.
1973 – John Dean tells Richard Nixon, “There is a cancer growing on the Presidency”
1978 – 50,000 demonstrate in Amsterdam against the neutron bomb
1987 – PTL leader Jim Bakker resigns after sex scandal with Jessica Hahn
1994 – Largest omelet (1,383sq ft) made with 160,000 eggs in Yokohama Japan
1995 – Five die by poison gas in Japanese subway
2004 – A Swedish DC-3 shot down by a Russian MiG-15 in the 1950s is finally recovered after years of work. The remains of the crew are left in place,
pending further investigations.
2013 – NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity discovers further evidence of water-bearing minerals
1589 – William Bradford, governor of Plymouth colony for 30 years
1813 – David Livingstone, Scotland, explorer (found by Stanley in Africa)
1888 – Josef Albers, German/US graphic artist/painter/writer (Bauhaus)
1904 – John J Sirica, US federal judge (Watergate hearings)
1914 – Jiang Qing (born Li Shumeng) Chinese actress and wife of Mao Zedong
1924 – American poet e.e. (Edward Estlin) Cummings marries first wife Elaine Orr. The marriage lasts less than 9 months.
1996 – Winnie Mandela divorces Nelson after 38 years of marrage
1644 – Chongzhen, last Ming Emperor of China, commits suicide
2005 – John De Lorean, American automobile engineer (b. 1925)
2008 – Sir Arthur C. Clarke, English science fiction author and inventor (b. 1917)
Edited from various sources including historyorb.com, the NYTimes.com and many other Google searches