1571 – The Battle of Lepanto is fought, and the Holy League (Spain and Italy) annihilates the Turkish fleet.
1582 – Because of the implementation of the Gregorian calendar, this day is skipped in Italy, Poland, Portugal and Spain.
1691 – The English royal charter for the Province of Massachusetts Bay is issued.
1763 – King George III of the United Kingdom issues the Royal Proclamation of 1763, closing aboriginal lands in North America north and west of Alleghenies to white settlements.
1826 – The Granite Railway begins operations as the first chartered railway in the U.S.
1868 – Cornell University holds opening day ceremonies; initial student enrollment is 412, the highest at any American university to that date.
1919 – KLM, the flag carrier of the Netherlands, is founded. It is the oldest airline still operating under its original name.
1933 – Air France is inaugurated, after being formed by a merger of 5 French airlines.
1955 – American poet Allen Ginsberg performs his poem Howl for the first time at the Six Gallery in San Francisco. Born in Newark, N.J., he was an American poet and one of the leading figures the Beat Generation of the 1950s. Click here to read an interview with Allen Ginsberg
1958 – The U.S. manned space-flight project is renamed Project Mercury.
1959 – U.S.S.R. probe Luna 3 transmits the first ever photographs of the far side of the Moon.
1985 – The Achille Lauro is hijacked by Palestine Liberation Front.
1988 – An Inupiat hunter discovers three gray whales trapped under the ice in Barrow, Alaska, US; the situation becomes a multinational effort to free the whales.
1996 – The Fox News Channel begins broadcasting.
2001 – The Global War on Terrorism begins as a result of the September 11 attacks. The U.S. invasion of Afghanistan initiates with an air assault and covert operations on the ground.
1870 – Uncle Dave Macon, American singer-songwriter, banjo player, and comedian (d. 1952)
1885 – Niels Bohr, Danish physicist and philosopher, Nobel Prize laureate
1900 – Heinrich Himmler, German commander and politician (d. 1945)
1943 – Oliver North, American colonel, journalist, and author
1952 – Vladimir Putin, Russian leader
929 – Charles the Simple, French king (b. 879)
1849 – Edgar Allan Poe, American author, poet, and critic (b. 1809)
1894 – Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., American physician, author, and poet
1903 – Rudolf Lipschitz, German mathematician and academic (b. 1832)
1991 – Leo Durocher, American baseball player and manager (b. 1905)
2009 – Irving Penn, American photographer (b. 1917)