1502 – Christopher Columbus lands at Guanaja in the Bay Islands off the coast of Honduras during his fourth voyage.
1608 – At Ticonderoga (now Crown Point, New York), Samuel de Champlain shoots and kills two Iroquois chiefs. This was to set the tone for French-Iroquois relations for the next one hundred years.
1619 – In Jamestown, Virginia, the first representative assembly in the Americas, the House of Burgesses, convenes for the first time.
1676 – Nathaniel Bacon issues the "Declaration of the People of Virginia", beginning Bacon's Rebellion against the rule of Governor William Berkeley.
1729 – Foundation of Baltimore, Maryland.
1733 – The first Masonic Grand Lodge in the future United States is constituted in Massachusetts.
1863 – American Indian Wars: Representatives of the United States and tribal leaders including Chief Pocatello (of the Shoshone) sign the Treaty of Box Elder.
1864 – American Civil War: Battle of the Crater: Union forces attempt to break Confederate lines at Petersburg, Virginia by exploding a large bomb under their trenches.
1865 – The steamboat Brother Jonathan sinks off the coast of Crescent City, California, killing 225 passengers, the deadliest shipwreck on the Pacific Coast of the U.S. at the time.
1866 – New Orleans, Louisiana's Democratic government orders police to raid an integrated Republican Party meeting, killing 40 people and injuring 150.
1871 – The Staten Island Ferry Westfield's boiler explodes, killing over 85 people.
1932 – Premiere of Walt Disney's Flowers and Trees, the first cartoon short to use Technicolor and the first Academy Award winning cartoon short.
1945 – World War II: Japanese submarine I-58 sinks the USS Indianapolis, killing 883 seamen.
1956 – A joint resolution of the U.S. Congress is signed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, authorizing In God we trust as the U.S. national motto.
1965 – U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Social Security Act of 1965 into law, establishing Medicare and Medicaid.
1969 – Vietnam War: US President Richard Nixon makes an unscheduled visit to South Vietnam and meets with President Nguyễn Văn Thiệu and U.S. military commanders.
1971 – Apollo program: Apollo 15 Mission: David Scott and James Irwin on the Apollo Lunar Module Falcon land on the Moon with the first Lunar Rover.
1974 – Watergate scandal: U.S. President Richard Nixon releases subpoenaed White House recordings after being ordered to do so by the Supreme Court of the United States.
1975 – Jimmy Hoffa disappears from the parking lot of the Machus Red Fox restaurant in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit, at about 2:30 p.m. He is never seen or heard from again, and will be declared legally dead on this date in 1982.
1990 – George Steinbrenner is forced by Commissioner Fay Vincent to resign as principal partner of New York Yankees for hiring Howie Spira to "get dirt" on Dave Winfield.
1863 – Henry Ford, American engineer and businessman, founded the Ford Motor Company (d. 1947)
1929 – Sid Krofft, Canadian-American puppeteer and producer
1934 – Bud Selig, American businessman
1947 – Arnold Schwarzenegger, Austrian-American bodybuilder, actor, and politician, 38th Governor of California
1956 – Anita Hill, American lawyer and academic
1977 – Misty May-Treanor, American volleyball player and coach
1718 – William Penn, English businessman and philosopher, founded the Province of Pennsylvania (b. 1644)
1875 – George Pickett, American general (b. 1825)
1918 – Joyce Kilmer, American soldier, journalist, and poet (b. 1886)
1985 – Julia Robinson, American mathematician and theorist (b. 1919)
1992 – Joe Shuster, Canadian-American illustrator, co-created Superman (b. 1914)
1998 – Buffalo Bob Smith, American television host (b. 1917)
2013 – Harry F. Byrd, Jr., American lieutenant, publisher, and politician (b. 1914)
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