1776 – According to American colonial reports, Ezra Lee makes the world's first submarine attack in the Turtle, attempting to attach a time bomb to the hull of HMS Eagle in New York Harbor (no British records of this attack exist).
1778 – American Revolutionary War: France invades Dominica in the British West Indies, before Britain is even aware of France's involvement in the war.
1857 – Mountain Meadows massacre: Mormon settlers slaughter most members of peaceful, emigrant wagon train.
1864 – American Civil War: Atlanta is evacuated on orders of Union General William Tecumseh Sherman.
1876 – In Northfield, Minnesota, Jesse James and the James–Younger Gang attempt to rob the town's bank but are driven off by armed citizens.
1907 – Cunard Line's RMS Lusitania sets sail on her maiden voyage from Liverpool, England, to New York City.
1916 – US federal employees win the right to Workers' compensation by Federal Employers Liability Act (39 Stat. 742; 5 U.S.C. 751)
1921 – In Atlantic City, New Jersey, the first Miss America Pageant, a two-day event, is held.
1927 – The first fully electronic television system is achieved by Philo Farnsworth.
1940 – World War II: The German Luftwaffe begins the Blitz, bombing London and other British cities for over 50 consecutive nights.
1942 – World War II: Australian and US forces inflict a significant defeat upon the Japanese at the Battle of Milne Bay.
1943 – A fire at the Gulf Hotel in Houston, kills 55 people.
1943 – World War II: The German 17th Army begins its evacuation of the Kuban bridgehead (Taman Peninsula) in southern Russia and moves across the Strait of Kerch to the Crimea.
1945 – Japanese forces on Wake Island, which they had held since December of 1941, surrender to U.S. Marines.
1963 – The Pro Football Hall of Fame opens in Canton, Ohio with 17 charter members.
1965 – Vietnam War: In a follow-up to August's Operation Starlight, United States Marines and South Vietnamese forces initiate Operation Piranha on the Batangan Peninsula.
1970 – Bill Shoemaker sets record for most lifetime wins as a jockey (passing Johnny Longden).
1977 – The Torrijos–Carter Treaties between Panama and the United States on the status of the Panama Canal are signed. The United States agrees to transfer control of the canal to Panama at the end of the 20th century.
1979 – The Chrysler Corporation asks the United States government for US$1.5 billion to avoid bankruptcy.
2008 – The US Government takes control of the two largest mortgage financing companies in the US, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
1819 – Thomas A. Hendricks, American lawyer and politician, 21st Vice President of the United States (d. 1885)
1860 – Grandma Moses, American painter (d. 1961)
1867 – J. P. Morgan, Jr., American banker and philanthropist (d. 1943)
1875 – Edward Francis Hutton, American businessman and financier, co-founded E. F. Hutton & Co. (d. 1962)
1885 – Elinor Wylie, American author and poet (d. 1928)
1903 – Margaret Landon, American missionary and author (d. 1993)
1903 – Dorothy Marie Donnelly, American poet and author (d. 1994)
1912 – David Packard, American engineer and businessman, co-founded Hewlett-Packard (d. 1996)
1914 – James Van Allen, American physicist and philosopher (d. 2006)
1923 – Louise Suggs, American golfer, co-founded LPGA (d. 2015)
1924 – Daniel Inouye, American captain and politician, Medal of Honor recipient (d. 2012)
1926 – Samuel Goldwyn, Jr., American director and producer (d. 2015)
1932 – John Paul Getty, Jr., American-English philanthropist and book collector (d. 2003)
1936 – Buddy Holly, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (The Crickets) (d. 1959)
1971 – Briana Scurry, American soccer player and sportscaster
1988 – Kevin Love, American basketball player
1881 – Sidney Lanier, American poet and academic (b. 1842)
1951 – John French Sloan, American painter and etcher (b. 1871)
1969 – Everett Dirksen, American lieutenant and politician (b. 1896)
1991 – Edwin McMillan, American physicist and chemist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1907)
2010 – Barbara Holland, American author (b. 1933)
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