- 1821 – Spain ceded Florida to the United States.
- 1945 – The Potsdam Conference begins. The heads of the US, the UK, and USSR met in Potsdam to discuss the terms of the German and Japanese surrenders, and to make post-war plans.
- 1955 – Disneyland opens its doors for the first time. The popular theme park (“The Happiest Place on Earth”) was opened by Walt Disney in Anaheim, California.
- 1961 – Baseball hall-of-famer Ty Cobb died at age 74.
- 1976 – Indonesia annexes East Timor and declares it its 27th province. This was the culmination of an 8-month long Indonesian invasion and occupation of the Southeast Asian country that began just after East Timor declared its independence from Portugal in November, 1975.
- 1989 – The Stealth Bomber makes its debut. The Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit made its first public flight from Palmdale, California.
- 1990 – The Minnesota Twins become the first team in Major League Baseball to turn two triple plays in a single game.
- 1996 – TWA Flight 800 departed Kennedy International Airport in New York bound for Paris but exploded in mid-air 12 minutes after takeoff, apparently the result of a mechanical failure. The Boeing 747 jet crashed into the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Long Island about 8:45 p.m. All 212 passengers and 17 crew members on board were killed.
- 1998 – The Rome Statute establishing the International Criminal Court (ICC) is adopted. The ICC is the first international judicial body that has the power to try individuals for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.
- 1859 – Puerto Rican patriot Luis Munoz-Rivera (1859-1916) was born in Barranquitas, Puerto Rico
- 1889 – Erle Stanley Gardner (Author)
- 1899 – James Cagney (American actor)
- 1917 – Phyllis Diller (Comedianne)
- 1939 – Ali Khamenei (Iranian politician, 2nd Supreme Leader of Iran)
- 1947 – Camilla (Duchess of Cornwell)
- 1952 – David Hasselhoff (Actor)
- 1954 – Angela Merkel (German politician, Chancellor of Germany)
- 1960 – Mark Burnett (TV Producer)
- 1790 – Adam Smith (Scottish philosopher, economist)
- 1912 – Henri Poincaré (French mathematician, physicist, engineer)
- 1959 – Billie Holiday (American singer-songwriter, actress)
- 1967 – John Coltrane (American saxophonist, composer)
- 2009 – Walter Cronkite (American journalist)