668 – Eastern Roman Emperor Constans II is assassinated in his bath at Syracuse, Italy.
1440 – Gilles de Rais, one of the earliest known serial killers, is taken into custody upon an accusation brought against him by Jean de Malestroit, Bishop of Nantes.
1616 – The first non-aristocratic, free public school in Europe is opened in Frascati, Italy.
1776 – American Revolutionary War: British forces land at Kip’s Bay during the New York Campaign.
1812 – The French army under Napoleon reaches the Kremlin in Moscow.
1821 – Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica jointly declare independence from Spain.
1830 – The Liverpool to Manchester railway line opens; British MP William Huskisson becomes the first widely reported railway passenger fatality when he is struck and killed by the locomotive Rocket.
1835 – HMS Beagle, with Charles Darwin aboard, reaches the Galápagos Islands. The ship lands at Chatham or San Cristobal, the easternmost of the archipelago.
1916 – World War I: Tanks are used for the first time in battle, at the Battle of the Somme.
1935 – The Nuremberg Laws deprive German Jews of citizenship.
1935 – Nazi Germany adopts a new national flag bearing the swastika.
1945 – A hurricane strikes southern Florida and the Bahamas, destroying 366 airplanes and 25 blimps at Naval Air Station Richmond.
1958 – A Central Railroad of New Jersey commuter train runs through an open drawbridge at the Newark Bay, killing 48.
1959 – Nikita Khrushchev becomes the first Soviet leader to visit the United States.
1967 – President Lyndon B. Johnson, responding to a sniper attack at the University of Texas at Austin, writes a letter to Congress urging the enactment of gun control legislation.
1981 – The John Bull becomes the oldest operable steam locomotive in the world when the Smithsonian Institution operates it under its own power outside Washington, D.C. Click here to watch.
Not exactly the John Bull but a fun 4 minute clip from a 1923 movie with a replica of the Rocket steam locomotive.
2008 – Lehman Brothers files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the largest bankruptcy filing in U.S. history.
1533 – Catherine of Austria, Queen of Poland (d. 1572)
1736 – Jean Sylvain Bailly, French astronomer, mathematician, and politician, first Mayor of Paris (d. 1793)
1789 – James Fenimore Cooper, American novelist and historian (d. 1851)
1857 – William Howard Taft, 27th President of the United States (d. 1930)
1881 – Ettore Bugatti, Italian-French businessman, founded Bugatti (d. 1947)
Ettore Arco Isidoro Bugatti was born into a family of highly creative and successful designers. His father was Carlo Bugatti who designed Italian Art Nouveau furniture and jewelry. His family was filled with sculptors, painters and architects.
In 1901, Baron de Dietrich offered Ettore a chance to work with him on automobile design and before long he was designing the best race cars with the most advanced engines for its time. Like Enzo Ferrari, Bugatti treated some of customers
with a bit of disdain. One owner who complained that his car was difficult to start on cold mornings, he is said to have retorted, “Sir! If you can afford a Type 35, you can surely afford a heated garage!”
Which reminds us of the FIAT (Fix It Again Tony) mechanic, when being told our new car didn’t start in the rain, replied with an impish smile, “Well, get it an umbrella.” After that it was only German engineering!
1890 – Agatha Christie, English crime novelist, short story writer, and playwright (d. 1976)
1894 – Jean Renoir, French actor, director, producer, and screenwriter (d. 1979)
1907 – Fay Wray, Canadian-American actress (d. 2004)
1946 – Oliver Stone, American director, screenwriter, and producer
668 – Constans II, Byzantine emperor (b. 630)
1326 – Dmitry of Tver (b. 1299) Dmitry Mikhaylovich of Tver, nicknamed The Fearsome Eyes, was a Grand Prince of Vladimir and Grand Prince of Tver.
1496 – Hugh Clopton, Lord Mayor of London (b. c. 1440)
1510 – Saint Catherine of Genoa (b. 1447)
1938 – Thomas Wolfe, American novelist (b. 1900)
1975 – Franco Bordoni, Italian race car driver and pilot (b. 1913)
1978 – Willy Messerschmitt, German engineer and academic, designed the Messerschmitt Bf 109 (b. 1898)
1980 – Bill Evans, American pianist and composer (b. 1929)
1989 – Robert Penn Warren, novelist, poet, and literary critic (b. 1905)