1542 – Navigator Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo of Portugal arrives at what is now San Diego, United States.
1779 – American Revolution: Samuel Huntington is elected President of the Continental Congress, succeeding John Jay.
1781 – American forces backed by a French fleet begin the siege of Yorktown, Virginia, during the American Revolutionary War.
1787 – The newly completed United States Constitution is voted on by the U.S. Congress to be sent to the state legislatures for approval.
1892 – The first night game for American football takes place in a contest between Wyoming Seminary and Mansfield State Normal.
1901 – Philippine–American War: Filipino guerrillas kill more than forty American soldiers while losing 28 of their own, in a surprise attack in the town of Balangiga on Samar Island.
1912 – Corporal Frank S. Scott of the United States Army becomes the first enlisted man to die in an airplane crash. He and pilot Lt. Lewis C. Rockwell are killed in the crash of an Army Wright Model B at College Park, Maryland.
1919 – Race riots begin in Omaha, Nebraska, US.
1928 – Sir Alexander Fleming notices a bacteria-killing mold growing in his laboratory, discovering what later became known as penicillin.
1939 – Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union agree on a division of Poland after their invasion during World War II.
1939 – Warsaw surrenders to Nazi Germany during World War II.
1951 – CBS makes the first color televisions available for sale to the general public, but the product is discontinued less than a month later.
2008 – SpaceX launches the first private spacecraft, the Falcon 1 into orbit.
1809 – Alvan Wentworth Chapman, American physician and botanist (d. 1899)
1887 – Avery Brundage, American businessman, 5th President of the International Olympic Committee (d. 1975)
1901 – William S. Paley, American broadcaster, founded CBS (d. 1990)
1901 – Ed Sullivan, American television host (d. 1974)
1909 – Al Capp, American author and illustrator (d. 1979)
1925 – Seymour Cray, American computer scientist, founded the CRAY Computer Company (d. 1996)
1943 – George W. S. Trow, American novelist, playwright, and critic (d. 2006)
1987 – Hilary Duff, American singer-songwriter and actress
1891 – Herman Melville, American author and poet (b. 1819)
1953 – Edwin Hubble, American astronomer and scholar (b. 1889)
1956 – William Boeing, American businessman, founded the Boeing Company (b. 1881)
1964 – Harpo Marx, American comedian, actor, and singer (b. 1888)
1991 – Miles Davis, American trumpet player, composer, and bandleader (Miles Davis Quintet) (b. 1926)
1993 – Peter De Vries, American editor and novelist (b. 1910)
2007 – Wally Parks, American businessman, founded the National Hot Rod Association (b. 1913)
2014 – Joseph H. Alexander, American colonel and historian (b. 1938)
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