1512 – The ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, painted by Michelangelo, is exhibited to the public for the first time.The Sistine Chapel is a chapel in the Apostolic Palace, the official residence of the Pope, in Vatican City. Originally known as the Cappella Magna, the chapel takes its name from Pope Sixtus IV, who restored it between 1477 and 1480
1520 – The Strait of Magellan, the passage immediately south of mainland South America connecting the Pacific and the Atlantic Oceans, is first discovered and navigated by European explorer Ferdinand Magellan during the first recorded circumnavigation voyage.
1604 – William Shakespeare’s tragedy Othello is performed for the first time, at Whitehall Palace in London.
1611 – Shakespeare’s play The Tempest is performed for the first time, at Whitehall Palace in London.
1683 – The British Crown colony of New York is subdivided into 12 counties.
1755 – Lisbon is totally devastated by a massive earthquake and tsunami, killing between 60,000 and 90,000 people.
1765 – The British Parliament enacts the Stamp Act on the Thirteen Colonies in order to pay for British military operations in North America.
1800 – John Adams becomes the first President of the United States to live in the Executive Mansion (later renamed the White House).
1848 – In Boston, Massachusetts, the first medical school for women, The Boston Female Medical School (which later merged with the Boston University School of Medicine), opens.
1861 – American Civil War: U.S. President Abraham Lincoln appoints George B. McClellan as the commander of the Union Army, replacing General Winfield Scott.
1870 – In the United States, the Weather Bureau (later renamed the National Weather Service) makes its first official meteorological forecast.
1896 – A picture showing the bare breasts of a woman appears in National Geographic magazine for the first time.
1911 – The first dropping of a bomb from an aircraft in combat, during the Italo-Turkish War.
1918 – Malbone Street Wreck: The worst rapid transit accident in U.S. history occurs under the intersection of Malbone Street and Flatbush Avenue, Brooklyn, New York City, with at least 102 deaths.
The Malbone Street Subway train from the Franklin Avenue Shuttle Line was heading south towards Prospect Park Station very fast. When it arrived at the Malbone Street Tunnel that has a S shaped curve at high speed, the accident occurred. The passenger cars were made of wood and broke into pieces. 97 people were killed and 235 injured.
1941 – American photographer Ansel Adams takes a picture of a moonrise over the town of Hernandez, New Mexico that would become one of the most famous images in the history of photography.
1952 – The United States successfully detonates Ivy Mike, the first thermonuclear device, at the Eniwetok atoll. The explosion had a yield of ten megatons TNT equivalent.
1960 – While campaigning for president, John F. Kennedy announces his idea of the Peace Corps.
1973 – Watergate scandal: Leon Jaworski is appointed as the new Watergate Special Prosecutor.
1982 – Honda becomes the first Asian automobile company to produce cars in the United States with the opening of its factory in Marysville, Ohio; a Honda Accord is the first car produced there.
1984 – After the assassination of Indira Gandhi, Prime Minister of India on 31 October 1984, by two of her Sikh bodyguards, anti-Sikh riots erupts.
1838 – 11th Dalai Lama (d. 1856)
1871 – Stephen Crane, American poet and author (d. 1900)
1917 – Clarence E. Miller, American engineer and politician (d. 2011)
1940 – Barry Sadler, American sergeant, singer-songwriter (d. 1989)
1942 – Larry Flynt, American publisher
1955 – Dale Carnegie, American author and educator (b. 1888)
1972 – Ezra Pound, American poet and critic (b. 1885)
1985 – Phil Silvers, American actor and comedian (b. 1911)
2005 – Skitch Henderson, American pianist, composer, and conductor (b. 1918)
2006 – William Styron, American novelist and essayist (b. 1925)
2007 – Paul Tibbets, American general (b. 1915)
2015 – Fred Thompson, American actor, lawyer, and politician (b. 1942)