293 – Emperor Diocletian and Maximian appoint Constantius Chlorus and Galerius as Caesars. This is considered the beginning of the Tetrarchy, known as the Quattuor Principes Mundi (“Four Rulers of the World”).
1562 – Sixty-three Huguenots are massacred in Wassy, France, marking the start of the French Wars of Religion.
1565 – The city of Rio de Janeiro is founded.
1642 – Georgeana, Massachusetts (now known as York, Maine), becomes the first incorporated city in the United States.
1692 – Sarah Good, Sarah Osborne and Tituba are brought before local magistrates in Salem Village, Massachusetts, beginning what would become known as the Salem witch trials.
1790 – The first United States census is authorized.
1815 – Napoleon returns to France from his banishment on Elba, start of the Hundred Days.
1815 – Georgetown University’s congressional charter is signed into law by President James Madison.
1845 – President John Tyler signs a bill authorizing the United States to annex the Republic of Texas.
1867 – Nebraska becomes the 37th U.S. state; Lancaster, Nebraska is renamed Lincoln and becomes the state capital.
1872 – Yellowstone National Park is established as the world’s first national park.
1873 – E. Remington and sons begin production of the first practical typewriter.
1893 – Electrical engineer Nikola Tesla gives the first public demonstration of radio in St. Louis, Missouri.
1896 – Henri Becquerel discovers radioactive decay.
1910 – The worst avalanche in United States history buries a Great Northern Railway train in northeastern King County, Washington, killing 96 people.
1932 – Charles Lindbergh’s son is reported kidnapped.
1936 – The Hoover Dam is completed.
1950 – Cold War: Klaus Fuchs is convicted of spying for the Soviet Union by disclosing top secret atomic bomb data.
1953 – Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin suffers a stroke and collapses; he dies four days later.
1954 – Nuclear weapons testing: The Castle Bravo, a 15-megaton hydrogen bomb, is detonated on Bikini Atoll in the Pacific Ocean, resulting in the worst radioactive contamination ever caused by the United States.
1954 – Armed Puerto Rican nationalists attack the United States Capitol building, injuring five Representatives.
The shooting incident was an attack by four Puerto Rican nationalists who shot 30 rounds from the visitors Gallery of the House of Representatives chamber in the United States Capitol. Their cause was for Puerto Rican independence. Lolita Lebrón, Rafael Cancel Miranda, Andres Figueroa Cordero, and Irvin Flores Rodríguez, unfurled a Puerto Rican flag and began shooting at the 240 Representatives of the 83rd Congress, who were debating an immigration bill. Five were wounded, but all recovered. The assailants were arrested, tried and convicted and given long sentences. They were pardoned by President Jimmy Carter and returned to Puerto Rico.
1961 – President John F. Kennedy establishes the Peace Corps.
1966 – Venera 3 Soviet space probe crashes on Venus becoming the first spacecraft to land on another planet’s surface.
1974 – Watergate scandal: Seven are indicted for their role in the Watergate break-in and charged with conspiracy to obstruct justice.
2002 – U.S. invasion of Afghanistan: Operation Anaconda begins in eastern Afghanistan.
2002 – The Envisat environmental satellite successfully reaches an orbit 800 kilometers (500 mi) above the Earth on its 11th launch, carrying the heaviest payload to date at 8500 kilograms (8.5 tons).
1683 – 6th Dalai Lama (d. 1706)
1732 – William Cushing, American lawyer and judge (d. 1810)
1810 – Frédéric Chopin, Polish pianist and composer (d. 1849)
1904 – Glenn Miller, American trombonist, composer, and bandleader (d. 1944)
1917 – Robert Lowell, American poet (d. 1977)
1922 – Yitzhak Rabin, General and politician, 5th Prime Minister of Israel, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1995)
1924 – Deke Slayton, American soldier, pilot, and astronaut (d. 1993)
1927 – Harry Belafonte, American singer-songwriter and actor
1954 – Ron Howard, American actor, director, and producer
1792 – Leopold II, Holy Roman Emperor (b. 1747)
1979 – Mustafa Barzani, Iraqi-Kurdistan politician (b. 1903)
1984 – Jackie Coogan, American actor (b. 1914)
1991 – Edwin H. Land, Scientist and businessman, co-founded the Polaroid Corporation (b. 1909)
2012 – Andrew Breitbart, American journalist and publisher (b. 1969)