537 – Siege of Rome: The Ostrogoth army under king Vitiges begins the siege of the capital. Belisarius conducts a delaying action outside the Flaminian Gate; he and a detachment of his bucellarii are almost cut off.
1498 – Vasco da Gama’s fleet visits the Island of Mozambique.
1561 – Mendoza, Argentina is founded by Spanish conquistador Pedro del Castillo.
1657 – Great Fire of Meireki: A fire in Edo (now Tokyo), Japan, caused more than 100,000 deaths; it lasted three days
1791 – Long-distance communication speeds up with the unveiling of a semaphore machine in Paris.
1855 – Alexander II becomes Tsar of Russia.
1859 – The two-day Great Slave Auction, the largest such auction in United States history, begins.
1877 – U.S. presidential election, 1876: Just two days before inauguration, the U.S. Congress declares Rutherford B. Hayes the winner of the election even though Samuel J. Tilden had won the popular vote on November 7, 1876.
1882 – Queen Victoria narrowly escapes an assassination attempt by Roderick McLean in Windsor.
1903 – In New York City the Martha Washington Hotel opens,becoming the first hotel exclusively for women.
1933 – The film King Kong opens at New York’s Radio City Music Hall.
1946 – Ho Chi Minh is elected the President of North Vietnam.
1949 – Captain James Gallagher lands his B-50 Superfortress Lucky Lady II in Fort Worth, Texas after completing the first non-stop around-the-world airplane flight in 94 hours and one minute.
1962 – Wilt Chamberlain sets the single-game scoring record in the National Basketball Association by scoring 100 points.
1972 – The Pioneer 10 space probe is launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida with a mission to explore the outer planets.
1983 – Compact discs and players are released for the first time in the United States and other markets. They had previously been available only in Japan.
1998 – Data sent from the Galileo spacecraft indicates that Jupiter’s moon Europa has a liquid ocean under a thick crust of ice.
2017 – The elements Moscovium, Tennessine, and Oganesson were officially added to the periodic table at a conference in Moscow, Russia
1453 – Johannes Engel, doctor, astronomer and astrologer (d. 1512)
1769 – DeWitt Clinton, 6th Governor of New York (d. 1828)
1793 – Sam Houston, First President of the Republic of Texas (d. 1863)
1900 – Kurt Weill, German-American pianist and composer (d. 1950)
1904 – Dr. Seuss, children’s book writer, poet, and illustrator (d. 1991)
1917 – Desi Arnaz, Cuban-American actor, singer, and producer (d. 1986)
1921 – Ernst Haas, photographer and journalist (d. 1986)
1931 – Mikhail Gorbachev, Russian lawyer and politician, President of the Soviet Union, Nobel Prize laureate
1931 – Tom Wolfe, American journalist and author
1942 – Lou Reed, singer-songwriter, guitarist, producer, and actor (d. 2013)
1953 – Russ Feingold, American lawyer and politician
1729 – Francesco Bianchini, Italian astronomer and philosopher (b. 1662)
1835 – Francis II, Holy Roman Emperor (b. 1768)
1930 – D. H. Lawrence, novelist, poet, playwright, and critic (b. 1885)
1939 – Howard Carter, English archaeologist and historian (b. 1874)
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