312 – Battle of the Milvian Bridge: Constantine I defeats Maxentius, becoming the sole Roman emperor in the West.
456 – The Visigoths brutally sack the Suebi’s capital of Braga (Portugal), and the town’s churches are burnt to the ground.
1492 – Christopher Columbus discovered Cuba on his first voyage to the New World.
1886 – In New York Harbor, President Grover Cleveland dedicates the Statue of Liberty. Originally known as “Liberty Enlightening the World,” the statue was proposed by the French historian Edouard de Laboulaye to commemorate the Franco-American alliance during the American Revolution. Designed by French sculptor Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi, the 151-foot statue framework of gigantic steel supports was designed by Eugene-Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc and Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel, the latter famous for his design of the Eiffel Tower.
1918 – World War I: Czechoslovakia declares independence from Austria-Hungary marking the beginning of an independent Czechoslovak state, after 300 years.
1922 – Italian fascists led by Benito Mussolini march on Rome and take over the Italian government.
1929 – Black Monday, a day in the Wall Street Crash of 1929, which also saw major stock market upheaval.
1948 – Swiss chemist Paul Müller is awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his discovery of the insecticidal properties of DDT.
1956 – Elvis Presley receives a polio vaccination on national TV. This single event is credited with raising immunization levels in the United States from 0.6% to over 80% in just six months. Awareness about the vaccine led to the end of polio in the U.S. Most babies today still receive the injection.
1962 – End of Cuban Missile Crisis: Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev orders the removal of Soviet missiles from Cuba.
1964 – Vietnam War: U.S. officials deny any involvement in bombing North Vietnam.
2005 – Plame affair: Lewis Libby, Vice-president Dick Cheney’s chief of staff, is indicted in the Valerie Plame case. Libby resigns later that day.
1016 – Henry III, Holy Roman Emperor (d. 1056)
1909 – Francis Bacon, Irish painter and illustrator (d. 1992)
1914 – Jonas Salk, American biologist and physician (d. 1995)
312 – Maxentius, Roman emperor (b. 278)
1704 – John Locke, English physician and philosopher (b. 1632)
1877 – Robert Swinhoe, English ornithologist and entomologist (b. 1835)
1987 – André Masson, French soldier and painter (b. 1896)
2014 – Galway Kinnell, American poet and academic (b. 1927)