1492 - Christopher Columbus left Palos, Spain with three ships. The voyage led him to what is now known as the Americas. He reached the Bahamas on October 12.
1750 - Christopher Dock completed the first book of teaching methods. It was titled "A Simple and Thoroughly Prepared School Management."
1777 - During the Siege of Fort Stanwix the first U.S. flag was officially flown during battle.
1880 - The American Canoe Association was formed at Lake George, NY.
1900 - Firestone Tire & Rubber Co. was founded.
1914 - Germany declared war on France. The next day World War I began when Britain declared war on Germany.
1922 - WGY radio in Schenectady, NY, presented the first full-length melodrama on radio. The work was "The Wolf", written by Eugene Walter.
1923 - Calvin Coolidge was sworn in as the 30th president of the U.S. after the sudden death of President Harding.
1933 - The Mickey Mouse Watch was introduced for the price of $2.75.
1936 - The U.S. State Department advised Americans to leave Spain due to the Spanish Civil War.
1936 - Jesse Owens won the first of his four Olympic gold medals.
1943 - Gen. George S. Patton verbally abused and slapped a private. Later, Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower ordered him to apologize for the incident.
1949 - The National Basketball Association (NBA) was formed. The league was formed by the merger between the Basketball Association of America and the National Basketball League.
1956 - Bedloe's Island had its name changed to Liberty Island.
1958 - The Nautilus became the first vessel to cross the North Pole underwater. The mission was known as "Operation Sunshine."
1979 - "More American Graffiti" was released.
1979 - Johnny Carson, the "Tonight Show" host, was on the cover of the Burbank, CA, telephone directory.
1981 - U.S. traffic controllers with PATCO, the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization, went on strike. They were fired just as U.S. President Reagan had warned.
1984 - Mary Lou Retton won a gold medal at the Los Angeles Summer Olympics.
1985 - Mail service returned to a nudist colony in Paradise Lake, FL. Residents promised that they'd wear clothes or stay out of sight when the mailperson came to deliver.
1988 - The Iran-Contra hearings ended. No ties were made between U.S. President Reagan and the Nicaraguan Rebels.
1988 - The Soviet Union released Mathias Rust. He had been taken into custody on May 28, 1987 for landing a plane in Moscow's Red Square.
1989 - Hashemi Rafsanjani was sworn in as the president of Iran.
1990 - Thousands of Iraqi troops pushed within a few miles of the border of Saudi Arabia. This heightened world concerns that the invasion of Kuwait could spread.
1992 - The U.S. Senate voted to restrict and eventually end the testing of nuclear weapons.
1992 - Russia and Ukraine agreed to put the Black Sea Fleet under joint command. The agreement was to last for three years.
1995 - Eyad Ismoil was flown from Jordan to the U.S. to face charges that he had driven the van that blew up in New York's World Trade Center.
2004 - In New York, the Statue of Liberty re-opened to the public. The site had been closed since the terrorist attacks on the U.S. on September 11, 2001.
2004 - NASA launched the spacecraft Messenger. The 6 1/2 year journey was planned to arrive at the planet Mercury in March 2011. On April 30, 2015, Messenger crashed into the surface of Mercury after sending back more than 270,000 pictures.
2009 - Bolivia became the first South American country to declare the right of indigenous people to govern themselves.