1227 – Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor, is excommunicated by Pope Gregory IX for his failure to participate in the Crusades.
1717 – An earthquake strikes Antigua Guatemala, destroying much of the city’s architecture and making authorities consider moving the capital to a different city.
1789 – The United States Department of War first establishes a regular army with a strength of several hundred men.
1829 – The Metropolitan Police of London, later also known as the Met, is founded.
1911 – Italy declares war on the Ottoman Empire.
1954 – The convention establishing CERN (the European Organization for Nuclear Research) is signed.
1960 – Nikita Khrushchev, leader of Soviet Union, disrupts a meeting of the United Nations General Assembly with a number of angry outbursts.
2004 – The asteroid 4179 Toutatis passes within four lunar distances of Earth.
2004 – The Burt Rutan Ansari X Prize entry SpaceShipOne performs a successful spaceflight, the first of two required to win the prize.
2008 – Following the bankruptcies of Lehman Brothers and Washington Mutual, The Dow Jones Industrial Average falls 777.68 points, the largest single-day point loss in its history.
106 BC – Pompey, Roman general and politician (d. 48 BC)
1547 – Miguel de Cervantes, Spanish author, poet, and playwright (d. 1616)
1901 – Enrico Fermi, physicist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1954)
1912 – Michelangelo Antonioni, Italian director and screenwriter (d. 2007)
1913 – Trevor Howard, English actor (d. 1988)
1923 – Stan Berenstain, American author and illustrator (d. 2005)
1935 – Jerry Lee Lewis, American singer-songwriter and pianist
1936 – Silvio Berlusconi, Italian businessman and politician, 50th Prime Minister of Italy
1942 – Jean-Luc Ponty, French violinist and composer
1943 – Lech Wałęsa, Polish electrician and politician, 2nd President of Poland, Nobel Prize laureate
855 – Lothair I, Roman emperor (b. 795)
1833 – Ferdinand VII of Spain (b. 1784)
1902 – Émile Zola, French journalist, author, and playwright (b. 1840)
1910 – Winslow Homer, American painter, illustrator, and engraver (b. 1836)
1913 – Rudolf Diesel, German engineer, invented the diesel engine (b. 1858)
1967 – Carson McCullers, novelist, playwright, essayist, and poet (b. 1917)
1975 – Casey Stengel, American baseball player and manager (b. 1890)
1987 – Henry Ford II, American businessman (b. 1917)
1997 – Roy Lichtenstein, American painter and sculptor (b. 1923)
2010 – Tony Curtis, American actor (b. 1925)