1780 – American Revolutionary War: Battle of Cape St. Vincent.
1786 – Virginia enacted the Statute for Religious Freedom authored by Thomas Jefferson.
1847 – John C. Frémont is appointed Governor of the new California Territory.
1883 – The Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act, establishing the United States Civil Service, is passed.
1900 – The United States Senate accepts the Anglo-German treaty of 1899 in which the United Kingdom renounces its claims to the Samoan islands.
1919 – Temperance movement: The United States ratifies the Eighteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, authorizing Prohibition in the United States one year after ratification.
1920 – Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Incorporated was founded on the campus of Howard University.
1938 – Benny Goodman, and his band, performed in concert at Carnegie Hall in New York City
1942 – Crash of TWA Flight 3, killing all 22 aboard, including film star Carole Lombard.
1945 – Adolf Hitler moves into his underground bunker, the so-called Führerbunker.
1964 – Hello, Dolly! starring Carol Channing opened on Broadway, beginning a run of 2,844 performances.
1970 – Buckminster Fuller receives the Gold Medal award from the American Institute of Architects.
1979 – The last Iranian Shah flees Iran with his family for good and relocates to Egypt.
2001 – US President Bill Clinton awards former President Theodore Roosevelt a posthumous Medal of Honor for his service in the Spanish–American War.
2002 – The UN Security Council unanimously establishes an arms embargo and the freezing of assets of Osama bin Laden, al-Qaeda, and the remaining members of the Taliban.
2003 – The Space Shuttle Columbia takes off for mission STS-107 which would be its final one. Columbia disintegrated 16 days later on re-entry.
1807 – Charles Henry Davis, American admiral (d. 1877)
1815 – Henry Halleck, American lawyer, general, and scholar (d. 1872)
1821 – John C. Breckinridge, American general and politician, 14th Vice President of the United States (d. 1875)
1882 – Margaret Wilson, American author (d. 1973)
1901 – Frank Zamboni, American businessman, founded the Zamboni Company (d. 1988)
1932 – Dian Fossey, American zoologist and anthropologist (d. 1985)
1933 – Susan Sontag, American author and playwright (d. 2004)
1934 – Marilyn Horne, American soprano and actress
1935 – A. J. Foyt, American race car driver
1948 – John Carpenter, American director, producer, screenwriter, and composer
1949 – Anne F. Beiler, American businesswoman, founded Auntie Anne's
1950 – Debbie Allen, American actress, dancer, and choreographer
1962 – John T. Riedl, American computer scientist and academic (d. 2013)
1979 – Aaliyah, American singer, dancer, and actress (d. 2001)
1856 – Thaddeus William Harris, American entomologist and botanist (b. 1795)
1901 – Hiram Rhodes Revels, American solder, minister, and politician (b. 1822)
1906 – Marshall Field, American businessman and philanthropist, founded Marshall Field's (b. 1834)
1917 – George Dewey, American admiral (b. 1837)
1935 – Fred Barker, American criminal (b. 1901)
1935 – Ma Barker, American criminal (b. 1871)
1942 – Carole Lombard, American actress and singer (b. 1908)
1972 – Ross Bagdasarian, Sr., American singer-songwriter, pianist, producer, and actor, created Alvin and the Chipmunks (b. 1919)
2000 – Will "Dub" Jones, American singer (The Coasters and The Cadets) (b. 1928)
2014 – Russell Johnson, American actor (b. 1924)2
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