1537 - Jane Seymour, the third wife of England's King Henry VIII, died after giving birth to Prince Edward. Prince Edward became King Edward VI.
1632 - Scientist Anthony van Leeuwenhoek was born in Delft, Holland. He created the first microscope lenses that were powerful enough to observe single-celled animals.
1648 - The Holy Roman Empire was effectively destroyed by the Peace of Westphalia that brought an end to the Thirty Years War.
1788 - Poet Sarah Joseph Hale was born. She wrote the poem "Mary Had A Little Lamb."
1795 - The country of Poland was divided up between Austria, Prussia, and Russia.
1830 - Belva Lockwood was born. She was the first woman formally nominated for the U.S. Presidency.
1836 - Alonzo D. Phillips received a patent for the phosphorous friction safety match.
1861 - The first transcontinental telegraph message was sent when Justice Stephen J. Field of California transmitted a telegram to U.S. President Lincoln.
1901 - Daredevil Anna Edson Taylor became the first person to go over Niagara Falls in a wooden barrel. She was 63 years old.
1929 - In the U.S., investors dumped more than 13 million shares on the stock market. The day is known as "Black Thursday."
1931 - The upper level of the George Washington Bridge opened for traffic between New York and New Jersey.
1939 - Nylon stockings were sold to the public for the first time in Wilmington, DE.
1940 - In the U.S., the 40-hour workweek went into effect under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938.
1945 - The United Nations (UN) was formally established less than a month after the end of World War II. The Charter was ratified by China, France, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, the United States and by a majority of other signatories.
1945 - Pierre Laval of France and Vidkum Abraham Quisling of Norway were executed. The two men were recognized as the two most prominent collaborators of the Nazis.
1948 - The term "cold war" was used for the first time. It was in a speech by Bernard Baruch before the Senate War Investigating Committee.
1949 - The cornerstone for the U.N. Headquarters was laid in New York City.
1960 - All remaining American-owned property in Cuba was nationalized. The process of nationalizing all U.S. and foreign-owned property in Cuban had begun on August 6, 1960.
1962 - During the Cuban Missile Crisis, U.S. military forces went on the highest alert in the postwar era in preparation for a possible full-scale war with the Soviet Union. The U.S. blockade of Cuba officially began on this day.
1969 - Richard Burton bought his wife Elizabeth Taylor a 69-carat Cartier diamond ring for $1.5 million. Burton presented the ring to Taylor several days later.
1986 - Britain broke off relations with Syria after a Jordanian was convicted in an attempted bombing. The evidence in the trial led to the belief that Syria was involved in the attack on the Israeli jetliner.
1989 - Reverend Jim Bakker was sentenced to 45 years in prison and fined $500,000 for his conviction on 24 counts of fraud. In 1991, his sentence was reduced to eighteen years and he was released on parole after a total five years in prison.
1992 - The Toronto Blue Jays became the first non-U.S. team to win the World Series.
1997 - In Arlington, VA, former NBC sportscaster Marv Albert was spared a jail sentence after a courtroom apology to the woman he'd bitten during a sexual encounter.
1999 - An Israeli court sentenced American teen-ager Samuel Sheinbein to 24 years in prison. The crime was killing an acquaintance in Maryland in 1997.
2001 - The U.S. House of Representatives approved legislation that gave police the power to secretly search homes, tap all of a person's telephone conversation and track people's use of the Internet.
2001 - The U.S. stamp "United We Stand" was dedicated.
2001 - NASA's 2001 Mars Odyssey spacecraft successfully entered orbit around Mars.
2002 - Microsoft Corp. and Walt Disney Co. announced the release of an upgraded MSN Internet service with Disney content.
Disney movies, music and books
2003 - In London, the last commercial supersonic Concorde flight landed.