1860 – The first successful silver mill in America began operations. The mill was in Virginia City, NV.
1874 – A patent for the sprinkler head was given to Harry S. Parmelee.
1877 – The two moons of Mars were discovered by Asaph Hall, an American astronomer. He named them Phobos and Deimos.
1896 – Harvey Hubbell received a patent for the electric light bulb socket with a pull-chain.
1909 – The American ship Arapahoe became the first to ever use the SOS distress signal off the coast of Cape Hatteras, NC.
1924 – Newsreel pictures were taken of U.S. presidential candidates for the first time.
1934 – Alcatraz, in San Francisco Bay, received federal prisoners for the first time.
1941 – The Atlantic Charter was signed by U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill.
1942 – During World War II, Pierre Laval publicly announced "the hour of liberation for France is the hour when Germany wins the war."
1945 – The Allies informed Japan that they would determine Emperor Hirohito’s future status after Japan’s surrender.
1951 – The first major league baseball game to be televised in color was broadcast. The Brooklyn Dodgers defeated the Boston Braves 8-1.
1954 – Seven years of fighting came to an end in Indochina. A formal peace was in place for the French and the Communist Vietminh.
1962 – Andrian Nikolayev, of the Soviet Union, was launched on a 94-hour flight. He was the third Russian to go into space.
1965 – The U.S. conducted a second launch of "Surveyor-SD 2" for a landing on the Moon surface test.
1971 – Harmon Killebrew of the Minnesota Twins got his 500th and 501st home runs of his major league baseball career.
1975 – The U.S. vetoed the proposed admission of North and South Vietnam to the United Nations. The Security Counsel had already refused to consider South Korea’s application.
1984 – Carl Lewis won his fourth gold medal in the 1984 Summer Olympics.
1984 – U.S. President Ronald Reagan was preparing for his weekly radio broadcast when, during testing of the microphone, the President said of the Soviet Union, "My fellow Americans, I am pleased to tell you that I just signed legislation that would outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes."
1984 – The Cincinnati Reds honored major league All-Star and Hall of Fame catcher Johnny Bench by retiring his uniform (#5).
1988 – Dick Thornburgh was unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate to be the next attorney general. He succeeded Edwin Meese III.
1990 – Egyptian and Moroccan troops joined U.S. forces in Saudia Arabia to help protect from a possible Iraqi attack.
1991 – The space shuttle Atlantis ended its nine-day journey by landing safely.
1992 – In Bloomington, MN, the Mall of America opened. It was the largest shopping mall in the United States.
1994 – The Tenth International Conference on AIDS ended in Japan.
1994 – A U.S. federal jury awarded $286.8 million to about 10,000 commercial fishermen for losses as a result of the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill.
1995 – All U.S. nuclear tests were banned by President Clinton.
1997 – U.S. President Clinton made the first use of the line-item veto approved by Congress, rejecting three items in spending and tax bills.
1998 – British Petroleum became No. 3 among oil companies with the $49 billion purchase of Amoco. It was the largest foreign takeover of a U.S. company.
2002 – US Airways announced that it had filed for bankruptcy.
2002 – Jason Priestly crashed his car during practice for a race in the Infiniti Pro Series. He suffered a spinal fracture, a moderate concussion, a broken nose, facial lacerations and broken bones in both feet.
2003 – Charles Taylor, President of Liberia, flew into exile after ceding power to his vice president, Moses Blah.
2003 – In Kabul, NATO took command of the 5,000-strong peacekeeping force in Afghanistan.