1540 – Waltham Abbey is surrendered to King Henry VIII of England; the last religious community to be closed during the Dissolution of the Monasteries.
1775 – American Revolutionary War: Patrick Henry delivers his speech – “Give me liberty, or give me death!” – at St. John’s Episcopal Church, Richmond, Virginia.
1801 – Tsar Paul I of Russia is struck with a sword, then strangled, and finally trampled to death inside his bedroom at St. Michael’s Castle.
1806 – After traveling through the Louisiana Purchase and reaching the Pacific Ocean, explorers Lewis and Clark and their “Corps of Discovery” begin their arduous journey home.
1857 – Elisha Otis’s first elevator is installed at 488 Broadway
1909 – Theodore Roosevelt leaves New York for a post-presidency safari in Africa. The trip is sponsored by the Smithsonian Institution and National Geographic Society.
1933 – The Reichstag passes the Enabling Act of 1933, making Adolf Hitler dictator of Germany.
1965 – NASA launches Gemini 3, the United States’ first two-man space flight (crew: Gus Grissom and John Young).
1994 – A United States Air Force (USAF) F-16 aircraft collides with a USAF C-130 at Pope Air Force Base and then crashes, killing 24 United States Army soldiers on the ground. This later became known as the Green Ramp disaster.
1999 – Gunmen assassinate Paraguay’s Vice President Luis María Argaña.
2001 – The Russian Mir space station gets pulled back to earth breaking up in the atmosphere and into the Pacific Ocean near Fiji. Mir operated in low Earth orbit from 1986 to 2001 andwas the first modular space station and was actually assembled in orbit.
1699 – John Bartram, American botanist and explorer (d. 1777)
1823 – Schuyler Colfax, 17th Vice President of the United States (d. 1885)
1900 – Erich Fromm, German psychologist and sociologist (d. 1980)
1912 – Wernher von Braun, German physicist and engineer (d. 1977)
1952 – Rex Tillerson, American businessman, engineer and diplomat; 69th United States Secretary of State
1954 – Kenneth Cole, American fashion designer, founded Kenneth Cole Productions
1842 – Stendhal, French novelist (b. 1783)
1963 – Thoralf Skolem, Norwegian mathematician and logician (b. 1887)
2011 – Elizabeth Taylor, actress, socialite and humanitarian (b. 1932)
2016 – Joe Garagiola, Sr., baseball player and sportscaster (b. 1926)
Edited from various sources including historyorb.com, the NYTimes.com Wikipedia and other internet searches