539 BC – The army of Cyrus the Great of Persia takes Babylon.
1492 – Christopher Columbus’s expedition makes landfall in the Caribbean, specifically in The Bahamas. The explorer believes he has reached the Indies.
1654 – The Delft Explosion devastates the city in the Netherlands, killing more than 100 people.
1692 – The Salem witch trials are ended by a letter from Massachusetts Governor William Phips.
1773 – America’s first insane asylum opens.
1792 – The first celebration of Columbus Day is held in New York City.
1799 – Jeanne Geneviève Labrosse was the first woman to jump from a balloon with a parachute, from an altitude of 900 meters.
In 1797, Jeanne Labrosse watched André-Jacques Garnerin’s first hydrogen balloon flight and parachute descent at Parc Monceau. So excited that she became his pupil, and flew with him on 10 November 1798, at Parc Monceau.
1823 – Charles Macintosh of Scotland sells the first raincoat.
First employed as a clerk, his interest in chemistry was far greater than spending his life as a clerk.
Working with naphtha, a by-product of tar, led led him to cement two pieces of cloth together with India rubber, which was made soluble by the action of the naphtha. He then went out and played in the rain.
1847 – German inventor and industrialist Werner von Siemens founds Siemens & Halske, which later becomes Siemens AG
1892 – The Pledge of Allegiance is first recited by students in many US public schools, as part of a celebration marking the 400th anniversary of Columbus’s voyage.
1915 – World War I: British nurse Edith Cavell is executed by a German firing squad for helping Allied soldiers escape from Belgium
1960 – Cold War: Nikita Khrushchev pounds his shoe on a desk at United Nations General Assembly meeting to protest a Philippine assertion of Soviet Union colonial policy being conducted in Eastern Europe
1960 – Television viewers in Japan unexpectedly witness the assassination of Inejiro Asanuma, leader of the Japan Socialist Party, when he is stabbed and killed during a live broadcast.
1964 – The Soviet Union launches the Voskhod 1 into Earth orbit as the first spacecraft with a multi-person crew and the first flight without space suits
1992 – A 5.8 earthquake occurred in Cairo, Egypt. At least 510 died.
1994 – The Magellan spacecraft burns up in the atmosphere of Venus.
1999 – Pervez Musharraf takes power in Pakistan from Nawaz Sharif through a bloodless coup.
2000 – The USS Cole is badly damaged in Aden, Yemen, by two suicide bombers, killing 17 crew members and wounding at least 39.
2002 – Terrorists detonate bombs in the Sari Club in Kuta, Bali, killing 202 and wounding over 300.
2005 – The second Chinese human spaceflight Shenzhou 6 launched carrying Fèi Jùnlóng and Niè Hǎishèng for five days in orbit.
1710 – Jonathan Trumbull, 16th Governor of Connecticut
1932 – Dick Gregory, American comedian, actor, and author
1935 – Tony Kubek, American baseball player and sportscaster
1949 – Carlos the Jackal, Venezuelan terrorist and murderer
1152 – Adolf III of Berg (b. 1080)
1576 – Maximilian II, Holy Roman Emperor (b. 1527)
1858 – Hiroshige, Japanese painter (b. 1797)
1870 – Robert E. Lee, American general (b. 1807)
1971 – Dean Acheson, 51st United States Secretary of State (b. 1893)
1987 – Alf Landon, , 26th Governor of Kansas (b. 1887)
1999 – Wilt Chamberlain, American basketball player and coach (b. 1936)