1770 – James Bruce discovers what he believes to be the source of the Blue Nile.
1851 – Moby-Dick, a novel by Herman Melville, is published in the United States.
1862 – President Abraham Lincoln approves General Ambrose Burnside’s plan to capture the Confederate capital at Richmond, Virginia, leading to the Battle of Fredericksburg.
1886 – Friedrich Soennecken first developed the hole puncher, a type of office tool capable of punching small holes in paper.
1889 – Pioneering female journalist Elizabeth Cochrane, better known by her pen name Nellie Bly, begins a successful attempt to travel around the world in less than 80 days. She completes the trip in 72 days.
1910 – Aviator Eugene Burton Ely performs the first takeoff from a ship in Hampton Roads, Virginia. He took off from a makeshift deck on the USS Birmingham in a Curtiss pusher.
1957 – The “Apalachin Meeting” in rural Tioga County in upstate New York is raided by law enforcement. Many high level Mafia figures are arrested while trying to flee.
1960 – Ruby Bridges becomes the first black child to attend an all-white elementary school in Louisiana.
1967 – American physicist Theodore Maiman is given a patent for his ruby laser systems, the world’s first laser.
1969 – NASA launches Apollo 12, the second crewed mission to the surface of the Moon.
1979 – President Jimmy Carter issues Executive order 12170, freezing all Iranian assets in the United States in response to the hostage crisis.
1995 – A budget standoff between Democrats and Republicans in the U.S. Congress forces the federal government to temporarily close national parks and museums and to run most government offices with skeleton staffs.
2008 – The first G-20 economic summit opens in Washington, D.C.
Eugene Burton Ely flies his Curtiss pusher biplane from
1805 – Fanny Mendelssohn, German pianist and composer (d. 1847)
2000 – Robert Trout, American journalist known as the “iron man of radio”. On the day President Kennedy was assassinated, Trout spoke with and captured on camera the reactions of those on the streets of Manhattan (b. 1908)