- 1753 – George Washington becomes a Master Mason, the highest degree of Freemasonry.
- 1821 – The weekly newspaper, the “Saturday Evening Post”, is published for the first time.
- 1892 – Abby and Andrew Borden are murdered. The bloody murders of the two Fall River, Massachusetts residents in their own home gained media and public attention in the United States because their daughter Lizzie Borden was accused of the crime.
- 1914 – Britain declares war on Germany. Seen by many as the decision that began the first World War, Britain declared war on Germany after Germany refused to accept its ultimatum of getting out of Belgium.
- 1944 – Anne Frank is captured. One of the most well-known figures of the 20th century and a victim of the Holocaust, 14-year old Frank and her family were captured and arrested by the Germans from their hiding place in Amsterdam.
- 1962 – Apartheid opponent Nelson Mandela was arrested by security police in South Africa. He was then tried and sentenced to five years in prison. In 1964, he was placed on trial for sabotage, high treason and conspiracy to overthrow the government and was sentenced to life in prison. A worldwide campaign to free him began in the 1980s and resulted in his release on February 11, 1990, at age 71 after 27 years in prison. In 1993, Mandela shared the Nobel Peace Prize with South Africa’s President F.W. de Klerk for their peaceful efforts to bring a nonracial democracy to South Africa. In April 1994, black South Africans voted for the first time in an election that brought Mandela the presidency of South Africa.
- 1964 – Three young civil rights workers, James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner, were found murdered and buried in an earthen dam outside Philadelphia, Mississippi. They had disappeared on June 21 after being detained by Neshoba County police on charges of speeding. They were participating in the Mississippi Summer Project organized by the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) to increase black voter registration. When their car was found burned on June 23, President Lyndon Johnson ordered the FBI to search for the men.
- 1983 – In baseball, Dave Winfield, a New York Yankee outfielder, is charged by local police for his act of cruelty to animals”” when he accidentally kills a seagull during warmups in the outfield.”
- 1983 – The Military Stages a Coup in Upper Volta. A military coup in Upper Volta installed Thomas Sankara, a captain in the Upper Volta Army as its president. A year later, he changed the name of Upper Volta to Burkina Faso.
- 1984 – The Republic of Upper Volta is renamed Burkina Faso. The West African country was first created in 1958 as a self-governing French colony. It gained its independence from the French in 1960. Between then and 1983, several coups dotted its political landscape. In 1983, a military coup installed Captain Thomas Sankara as the country’s president. He changed the name of the country to Burkina Faso a year later on the coup’s anniversary.
- 1985 – Rod Carew gets his 3000th hit and pitcher Tom Seaver gets his 300th win.
- 1792 – Percy Shelley (Poet)
- 1900 – Elizabeth (The Queen Mother of Britain)
- 1901 – Jazz trumpet player Louis Armstrong (1901-1971) was born in New Orleans, Louisiana
- 1912 – Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg (1912-1947) was born in Stockholm
- 1955 – Billy Bob Thornton (Actor)
- 1955 – Alberto Gonzales (American politician, 80th United States Attorney General)
- 1961 – Barack Obama (US President)
- 1962 – Roger Clemons (Baseball Player)
- 1971 – Jeff Gordon (Nascar Driver)
- 1978 – Kurt Busch (Nascar Driver)
- 1992 – Dylan and Cole Sprouse (Twin actors)
- 1598 – William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley (English staesman)
- 1792 – John Burgoyne (English general)
- 1875 – Hans Christian Andersen (Danish author, poet)
- 1922 – Enver Pasha (Ottoman military officer)
- 2007 – Raul Hilberg (Austrian/American political scientist, historian)