740 – An earthquake strikes Constantinople and the surrounding countryside, causing destruction to the city’s land walls and buildings.
1774 – The first Continental Congress adjourns in Philadelphia.
1775 – King George III of Great Britain goes before Parliament to declare the American colonies in rebellion, and authorizes a military response to quell the American Revolution.
1776 – Benjamin Franklin departs America for France on a mission to seek French support for the American Revolution.
1825 – The Erie Canal opens: Passage from Albany to Lake Erie.
1936 – The first electric generator at Hoover Dam goes into full operation.
1958 – Pan American Airways makes the first commercial flight of the Boeing 707 from New York City to Paris, France.
1967 – Mohammad Reza Pahlavi crowns himself Emperor of Iran and then crowns his wife Farah Empress of Iran.
2001 – The United States passes the USA PATRIOT Act into law.
2002 – Moscow theater hostage crisis: Approximately 50 Chechen terrorists and 170 hostages die when Russian Spetsnaz storm a theater building in Moscow, which had been occupied by the terrorists during a musical performance three days before.
1609 – William Sprague, English-American settler, co-founded Charlestown, Massachusetts (d. 1675)
1854 – C. W. Post, American businessman, founded Post Foods (d. 1914)
1874 – Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, American philanthropist, founded the Museum of Modern Art (d. 1948)
1916 – François Mitterrand, French lawyer and politician, 21st President of France (d. 1996)
1947 – Hillary Clinton, 67th United States Secretary of State and Democratic nominee of President
1951 – Julian Schnabel, American painter, director, and screenwriter
899 – Alfred the Great, English king (b. 849)
1675 – William Sprague, English-American settler, co-founded Charlestown, Massachusetts (b. 1609)
1930 – Harry Payne Whitney, American businessman and horse breeder (b. 1872)
1972 – Igor Sikorsky, Ukrainian-American engineer and academic, founded Sikorsky Aircraft (b. 1889)