202 BC – Second Punic War: At the Battle of Zama, Roman legions under Scipio Africanus defeat Hannibal Barca, leader of the army defending Carthage.
439 – The Vandals, led by King Gaiseric, take Carthage in North Africa.
1216 – King John of England dies at Newark-on-Trent and is succeeded by his nine-year-old son Henry.
1512 – Martin Luther becomes a doctor of theology
1781 – At Yorktown, Virginia, representatives of British commander Lord Cornwallis handed over Cornwallis’ sword and formally surrendered to George Washington and the comte de Rochambeau.
1789 – Chief Justice John Jay is sworn in as the first Chief Justice of the United States.
1900 – Max Planck discovers the law of black-body radiation (Planck’s law).
1912 – Italy takes possession of Tripoli, Libya from the Ottoman Empire.
1933 – Germany withdraws from the League of Nations.
1973 – President Richard Nixon rejects an Appeals Court decision that he turn over the Watergate tapes.
1987 – The United States Navy conducts Operation Nimble Archer, an attack on two Iranian oil platforms in the Persian Gulf.
1987 – Black Monday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average falls by 22%, 508 points.
2003 – Mother Teresa is beatified by Pope John Paul II.
2005 – Saddam Hussein goes on trial in Baghdad for crimes against humanity.
1276 – Prince Hisaaki of Japan (d. 1328)
1688 – William Cheselden, English surgeon and anatomist (d. 1752)
1885 – Charles E. Merrill, American banker and philanthropist, co-founded Merrill Lynch Wealth Management (d. 1956)
1931 – John le Carré, English intelligence officer and author
1937 – Peter Max, German-American illustrator
1956 – Grover Norquist, American activist, founded Americans for Tax Reform
1682 – Thomas Browne, English physician and author (b. 1605)
1893 – Lucy Stone, American activist (b. 1818)