1620 – Pilgrims aboard the Mayflower sight land at Cape Cod, Massachusetts.
1799 – Napoleon Bonaparte pulls off a coup and becomes the dictator of France.
1851 – Kentucky marshals abduct abolitionist minister Calvin Fairbank from Indiana and take him to Kentucky to stand trial for helping a slave escape.
1872 – The Great Boston Fire consumed about 65 acres of Boston’s downtown.
1906 – Theodore Roosevelt is the first sitting President of the United States to make an official trip outside the country. He did so to inspect progress on the Panama Canal.
1918 – Kaiser Wilhelm II abdicates after the German Revolution, and Germany is proclaimed a Republic.
1967 – The first issue of Rolling Stone magazine is published.
1979 – The NORAD computers and the Alternate National Military Command Center in Fort Ritchie, Maryland detect a purported massive Soviet nuclear strike. After reviewing the raw data from satellites and checking the early-warning radars, the alert is cancelled.
1985 – Garry Kasparov, 22, of the Soviet Union becomes the youngest World Chess Champion by beating fellow Soviet Anatoly Karpov.
1989 – Fall of the Berlin Wall. East Germany opens checkpoints in the Berlin Wall, allowing its citizens to travel to West Berlin.
1994 – The chemical element darmstadtium is discovered.
1998 – Brokerage houses are ordered to pay $1.03 billion to NASDAQ investors to compensate for price-fixing.
2019 – Prominent Russian history professor Oleg Sokolov discovered with severed arms of his murder victim in his backpack when rescued from Moika River, St Petersburg
1731 – Benjamin Banneker, mathematician, astronomer, surveyor of Washington, DC, and almanac author (d. 1806)
1853 – Stanford White, American architect and partner, co-founded McKim, Mead & White (d. 1906). He was responsible for many New York City structures during the Gilded Age, including the Washington Square Arch. His personal life was filled with scandal—his relationships with 16-year-old Evelyn Nesbitt led to his murder on June 25, 1906.
1918 – Spiro Agnew, 39th Vice President of the United States (d. 1996)
1924 – Robert Frank, photographer and director (d. 1956)
1928 – Anne Sexton, poet and academic (d. 1974)
1936 – Mary Travers, singer-songwriter (d. 2009)
959 – Constantine VII, Byzantine emperor (b. 905)
1924 – Henry Cabot Lodge, historian and politician (b. 1850)
1940 – Neville Chamberlain, English businessman and politician, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (b. 1869)
1953 – Dylan Thomas, Welsh poet and author (b. 1914)
1970 – Charles de Gaulle, general, 18th President of France (b. 1890)
1988 – John N. Mitchell, lieutenant, lawyer, and politician, 67th United States Attorney General (b. 1913)
2003 – Art Carney, actor and comedian (b. 1918)
2004 – Stieg Larsson, Swedish author, dies of a heart attack at 50
2006 – Ed Bradley, journalist, dies of lymphocytic leukemia at 65