- 1890 – Wyoming became the 44th state.
- 1913 – Death Valley, in eastern California experiences the highest temperature ever recorded on Earth. Measurements showed that the temperature had reached a whopping 134°F or 56.7°C!
- 1940 – Battle of Britain. The German air force or Luftwaffe launched an air campaign against England. It was one of the first battles during the Second World War fought entirely between air forces and it ended a few months later with a British victory.
- 1943 – The Allied invasion of Italy began with an attack on the island of Sicily. The British entry into Syracuse was the first Allied success in Europe. General Dwight D. Eisenhower labeled the invasion “the first page in the liberation of the European Continent.”
- 1962 – Telstar, the world’s first communications satellite, is launched into orbit.
- 1967 – New Zealand adopts new currency. The New Zealand pound was replaced by the New Zealand dollar. The denominations of the new currency followed a decimal system.
- 1973 – The Bahamas gained their independence after 250 years as a British Crown Colony.
- 1978 – World News Tonight premieres on ABC
- 1985 – Greenpeace ship, Rainbow Warrior, sinks. The ship was in harbor in New Zealand when it was bombed and sunk, killing Fernando Pereira, a photographer who was aboard the ship. It was found out later that French government operatives were responsible for the incident.
- 1991 – Boris Yeltsin took the oath of office, becoming the first popularly elected president in Russia’s thousand-year history.
- 1999 – The U.S. women’s soccer team win the World Cup.
- 1509 – John Calvin (Religious reformer)
- 1834 – American artist James Whistler (1834-1903) was born in Lowell, Mass
- 1856 – Nikola Tesla (Electricity scientist)
- 1871 – French author Marcel Proust (1871-1922) was born near Paris
- 1920 – David Brinkley (TV Reporter)
- 1922 – Jake LaMotta (Boxer)
- 1943 – Arthur Ashe (Tennis player)
- 1949 – Sunil Gavaskar (Indian cricketer)
- 1980 – Jessica Simpson (Singer)
- 138 – Hadrian (Roman emperor)
- 649 – Emperor Taizong of Tang
- 1584 – William the Silent (German son of William I, Count of Nassau-Dillenburg)
- 1920 – John Fisher, 1st Baron Fisher (Sri Lankan/English Admiral)
- 2015 – Omar Sharif (Egyptian actor)