- 1777 – During the American Revolutionary War, British General John Burgoyne and his entire army of 5,700 men surrendered to American General Horatio Gates after the Battle of Saratoga, the first big American victory.
- 1814 – London Beer Flood. Vats of beer at the Meux and Company Brewery burst, flooding city streets with 610,000 liters of beer. The almost 15 feet tall wave of porter killed 8 people, some of whom were gathered for a funeral.
- 1860 – The first British Open Golf Championship
- 1861 – Cullin-la-Ringo Massacre. In what is thought to be the largest massacre of white settlers by Australian aborigines, the killings occurred after a group of settlers from Victoria led by politician Horatio Wills, set up a camp at Cullin-la-Ringo, which is located in present-day Central Queensland. 19 people were killed during the massacre.
- 1931 – Gangster Al Capone is convicted of income tax evasion.
- 1933 – Scientist Albert Einstein flees Nazi Germany and moves to the US.
- 1937 – Donald Duck’s three nephews, Huey, Dewey and Louie, first appear in a comic strip.
- 1944 – The Battle of Leyte Gulf, the largest naval battle in history, took place off the Philippine Islands, during World War II in the Pacific. The battle involved 216 U.S. warships and 64 Japanese ships and resulted in the destruction of the Japanese Navy including the Japanese Battleship Musashi, one of the largest ever built.
- 1956 – Bobby Fischer Wins the Game of the Century. The chess match between 13-year old Fischer and Donald Byrne took place at the Marshall Chess Club in New York City.
- 1973 – OPEC Declares Oil Embargo. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries or OPEC led by Arab countries declared an oil embargo on any country that supported Israel during the Yom Kippur War, which was fought between Israel and a coalition of Arab states. The embargo led to a massive oil shortage and had long-lasting economic effects in the United States and Europe. The embargo was lifted in March 1974.
- 1979 – Mother Teresa is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize
- 1989 – Loma Prieta Earthquake Rocks California. Santa Cruz County was the most affected by the 6.9 magnitude earthquake. About 60 people died as a result of falling buildings and landslides. It was the first major earthquake on the San Andreas fault since the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.
- 1817 – Syed Ahmad Khan (Indian educator, politician
- 1912 – Pope John Paul I (1912-1978) was born in Forno di Canale, Italy (as Albino Luciani) (He was elected the 263rd Pope of the Roman Catholic Church on September 28, 1978, but died in Rome just 34 days later.
- 1918 – Rita Hayworth (Actress)
- 1938 – Evil Knievel (Daredevil)
- 1958 – Alan Jackson (Country Singer)
- 1963 – Norm McDonald (Comedian)
- 1969 – Ernie Els (Golfer)
- 1972 – Eminem (Rapper)
- 1979 – Kimi Räikkönen (Finnish race car driver)
- 1849 – Frédéric Chopin (Polish pianist, composer)
- 1868 – Laura Secord (Canadian war heroine)
- 1937 – J (Bruce Ismay (English businessman)
- 1965 – Bart King (American cricketer)
- 1967 – Puyi (Emperor of China)