1812 – War of 1812: The American frigate, USS United States, commanded by Stephen Decatur, captures the British frigate HMS Macedonian.
1938 – The Archbishop of Dubuque, Francis J. L. Beckman, denounces swing music as "a degenerated musical system… turned loose to gnaw away at the moral fiber of young people", warning that it leads down a "primrose path to hell". His warning is widely ignored.
1940 – Benjamin O. Davis, Sr. is named the first African American general in the United States Army.
1944 – Heinrich Himmler orders a crackdown on the Edelweiss Pirates, a loosely organized youth culture in Nazi Germany that had assisted army deserters and others to hide from the Third Reich.
1944 – The USS Tang under Richard O'Kane (the top American submarine captain of World War II) is sunk by the ship's own malfunctioning torpedo.
1944 – World War II: Battle of Leyte Gulf: The largest naval battle in history, takes place in and around the Philippines between the Imperial Japanese Navy and the U.S. Third and U.S. Seventh Fleets. Afterward is the first Kamikaze attack of the war.
1962 – Cuban Missile Crisis: Adlai Stevenson shows photos at a meeting of the United Nations Security Council proving that Soviet missiles are installed in Cuba.
1971 – The United Nations seats the People's Republic of China and expels the Republic of China
1983 – Operation Urgent Fury: The United States and its Caribbean allies invade Grenada, six days after Prime Minister Maurice Bishop and several of his supporters are executed in a coup d'état.
1995 – A commuter train slams into a school bus in Fox River Grove, Illinois, killing seven students.
2004 – Cuban President Fidel Castro announces that transactions using the American Dollar will be banned.
1864 – John Francis Dodge, American businessman, co-founded the Dodge Company (d. 1920)
1888 – Richard E. Byrd, American admiral and pilot (d. 1957)
1902 – Henry Steele Commager, American historian and author (d. 1998)
1910 – William Higinbotham, American physicist and video game designer, created Tennis for Two (d. 1994)
1912 – Jack Kent Cooke, Canadian-American businessman and philanthropist (d. 1997)
1912 – Minnie Pearl, American actress and singer (d. 1996)
1924 – Billy Barty, American actor (d. 2000)
1928 – Marion Ross, American actress and singer
1940 – Bob Knight, American basketball player and coach
1944 – James Carville, American lawyer and political consultant
1946 – Yazzie Johnson, Navajo artist
1948 – Dan Gable, American wrestler and coach
1984 – Katy Perry, American singer-songwriter and actress
1806 – Henry Knox, American general and politician, 2nd United States Secretary of War (b. 1750)
1921 – Bat Masterson, American lawman, buffalo hunter, and sport writer (b. 1853)
1993 – Vincent Price, American actor and singer (b. 1911)
1995 – Bobby Riggs, American tennis player (b. 1918)
1999 – Payne Stewart, American golfer (b. 1957)
2002 – Paul Wellstone, American academic and politician (b. 1944)
2015 – Flip Saunders, American basketball player and coach (b. 1955)
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