1880 – Thomas Edison observes the Edison effect.
1914 – Copyright: In New York City the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers is established to protect the copyrighted musical compositions of its members.
1920 – The Negro National League is formed.
1935 – A jury in Flemington, New Jersey finds Bruno Hauptmann guilty of the 1932 kidnapping and murder of the Lindbergh baby, the son of Charles Lindbergh.
1945 – World War II: Royal Air Force bombers are dispatched to Dresden, Germany to attack the city with a massive aerial bombardment.
1954 – Frank Selvy becomes the only NCAA Division I basketball player ever to score 100 points in a single game.
1960 – Black college students stage the first of the Nashville sit-ins at three lunch counters in Nashville, Tennessee.
1961 – An allegedly 500,000-year-old rock is discovered near Olancha, California, US, that appears to anachronistically encase a spark plug.
1981 – A series of sewer explosions destroys more than two miles of streets in Louisville, Kentucky.
1990 – German reunification: An agreement is reached on a two-stage plan to reunite Germany.
1991 – Gulf War: Two laser-guided "smart bombs" destroy the Amiriyah shelter in Baghdad. Allied forces said the bunker was being used as a military communications outpost, but over 400 Iraqi civilians inside were killed.
2000 – The last original "Peanuts" comic strip appears in newspapers one day after Charles M. Schulz dies.
2004 – The Harvard–Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics announces the discovery of the universe's largest known diamond, white dwarf star BPM 37093. Astronomers named this star "Lucy" after The Beatles' song "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds".
2011 – For the first time in more than 100 years the Umatilla, an American Indian tribe, are able to hunt and harvest a bison just outside Yellowstone National Park, restoring a centuries-old tradition guaranteed by a treaty signed in 1855.
1885 – Bess Truman, American wife of Harry S. Truman, 35th First Lady of the United States (d. 1982)
1891 – Grant Wood, American painter and academic (d. 1942)
1919 – Eddie Robinson, American football player and coach (d. 2007)
1923 – Chuck Yeager, American general and pilot and test pilot, first to break the sound barrier on Bell-X1 in 1947.
1944 – Jerry Springer, English-American television host, actor, and politician, 56th Mayor of Cincinnati
1728 – Cotton Mather, American minister and author (b. 1663)
2002 – Waylon Jennings, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (b. 1937)
2005 – Dick Weber, American bowler (b. 1929)
2016 Antonin Scalia, Supreme Court Associate Justice (b. 1936)
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