1409 – The University of Leipzig opens.
1697 – St Paul’s Cathedral is consecrated in London.
1804 – At Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, Napoleon Bonaparte crowns himself Emperor of the French.
1823 – Monroe Doctrine: In a State of the Union message, President James Monroe proclaims American neutrality in future European conflicts, and warns European powers not to interfere in the Americas.
1845 – Manifest destiny: In a State of the Union message, U.S. President James K. Polk proposes that the United States should aggressively expand into the West.
1859 – Militant abolitionist leader John Brown is hanged for his October 16 raid on Harpers Ferry, West Virginia.
1867 – At Tremont Temple in Boston, British author Charles Dickens gives his first public reading in the United States.
1927 – Following 19 years of Ford Model T production, the Ford Motor Company unveils the Ford Model A as its new automobile.
1930 – Great Depression: In a State of the Union message, President Herbert Hoover proposes a $150 million (equivalent to $2,128,000,000 in 2015) public works program to help generate jobs and stimulate the economy.
1939 – New York City’s LaGuardia Airport opens.
1942 – World War II: During the Manhattan Project, a team led by Enrico Fermi initiates the first artificial self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction.
1961 – In a nationally broadcast speech, Cuban leader Fidel Castro declares that he is a Marxist-Leninist and that Cuba is going to adopt Communism.
1964 – Ringo Starr’s tonsils are removed
1968 – President Nixon names Henry Kissinger security advisor
1971 – Soviet Mars 3 is first to soft land on Mars
1980 – Salvadoran Civil War: Four American missionaries are raped and murdered by a death squad.
1982 – At the University of Utah, Barney Clark becomes the first person to receive a permanent artificial heart.
1993 – Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar is shot and killed in Medellín.
2001 – Enron files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
2015 – San Bernardino attack: Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik kill 14 people and wound 22 at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, California.
1759 – James Edward Smith, English botanist and mycologist, founded the Linnean Society (d. 1828)
1859 – Georges Seurat, French painter (d. 1891)
1923 – Maria Callas, American-Greek soprano and actress (d. 1977)
1924 – Alexander Haig, American general and 59th US Secretary of State (d. 2010)
1931 – Edwin Meese, American colonel, lawyer and 75th US Attorney General
1946 – David Macaulay, English-American author and illustrator
1946 – Gianni Versace, Italian fashion designer, founded Versace (d. 1997)
1963 – Ann Patchett, American author
1594 – Gerardus Mercator, Flemish mathematician, cartographer, and philosopher (b. 1512)
1885 – Allen Wright, Principal chief of the Choctaw Nation (1866-1870); proposed the name “Oklahoma”, from Choctaw words okra and umma, meaning “Territory of the Red People.” (b. 1826)
1892 – Jay Gould, American businessman and financier (b. 1836)
1936 – John Ringling, American businessman, co-founded Ringling Brothers Circus (b. 1866)
1986 – Desi Arnaz, Cuban-American actor, singer, businessman, and television producer (b. 1917)
1990 – Aaron Copland, American composer and conductor (b. 1900)
2015 – Sandy Berger, American lawyer and politician, 19th United States National Security Advisor (b. 1945)