1138 A massive earthquake struck Aleppo, Syria.
1531 Huldrych Zwingli was killed in battle with the Roman Catholic cantons of Switzerland.
1614 Adriaen Block and 12 Amsterdam merchants petitioned the States General for exclusive trading rights in the New Netherland colony.
1634 The Burchardi flood — “the second Grote Mandrenke” killed around 15,000 men in North Friesland, Denmark and Germany.
1649 Sack of Wexford: After a ten-day siege, English New Model Army troops (under Oliver Cromwell) stormed the town of Wexford, killing over 2,000 Irish Confederate troops and 1,500 civilians.
1776 American Revolution: Battle of Valcour Island – 15 American gunboats were defeated but give Patriot forces enough time to prepare defenses of New York City.
1809 Explorer Meriwether Lewis died under mysterious circumstances at an inn called Grinder’s Stand.
1811 Inventor John Stevens‘ boat, the Juliana, began operation as the first steam-powered ferry (service between New York, New York, and Hoboken, New Jersey).
1844 Henry Heinz, American food manufacturer, was born (d. 1916).
1852 – The University of Sydney, Australia’s oldest university was inaugurated.
1861 The first Cobb & Co coach service ran from Dunedin to the Otago goldfields.
1884 Eleanor Roosevelt, First Lady of the United States and humanitarian, was born (d. 1962)
1890 In Washington, DC, the Daughters of the American Revolution was founded.
1899 Second Boer War began.
1906 San Francisco public school board sparked United States diplomatic crisis with Japan by ordering Japanese students to be taught in racially segregated schools.
1910 Ex-president Theodore Roosevelt became the first U.S. president to fly in an airplane. He flew for four minutes with Arch Hoxsey in a plane built by the Wright Brothers.
1912 – Betty Noyes, singer who dubbed Debbie Reynolds’ singing voice in Singin’ in the Rain, was born (d 1987).
1926 Neville Wran, Premier of New South Wales, was born.
1929 JC Penney opened store #1252 in Milford, Delaware, making it a nationwide company with stores in all 48 U.S. states.
1937 Sir Bobby Charlton, English footballer, was born.
1941 Beginning of the National Liberation War of Macedonia.
1942 World War II: Battle of Cape Esperance – On the northwest coast of Guadalcanal, United States Navy ships intercepted and defeat a Japanese fleet on their way to reinforce troops on the island.
1944 Tuvinian People’s Republic was annexed by the U.S.S.R.
1950 Television: CBS’s mechanical colour system was the first to be licensed for broadcast by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission.
1954 First Indochina War: The Viet Minh took control of North Vietnam.
1957 Dawn French, Welsh comedian,actress and screenwriter, was born.
1958 NASA launched the lunar probe Pioneer 1.
1962 Second Vatican Council: Pope John XXIII convened the first ecumenical council of the Roman Catholic Church in 92 years.
1968 Apollo program: NASA launched Apollo 7, the first successful manned Apollo mission, with astronauts Wally Schirra, Donn F. Eisele and Walter Cunningham aboard.
1969 Prince Constantijn of the Netherlands, was born.
1975 The NBC sketch comedy/variety show Saturday Night Live debuted with George Carlin as the host and Andy Kaufman, Janis Ian and Billy Preston as guests.
1976 George Washington‘s appointment, posthumously, to the grade of General of the Armies of the United States by congressional joint resolution Public Law 94-479 was approved by President Gerald R. Ford.
1982 The Mary Rose, a Tudor carrack which sank on July 19 1545, was salvaged from the sea bed of the Solent.
1984 Astronaut Kathryn D. Sullivan became the first American woman to perform a space walk.
1986 Cold War: U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev met in Reykjavík, Iceland, in an effort to continue discussions about scaling back their intermediate missile arsenals in Europe.
1987 Start of Operation Pawan by Indian Peace Keeping Force in Sri Lanka that killed few thousand ethnic Tamil civilians, several hundred Tamil Tigers and few hundred Indian Army soldiers.
1996 Pala accident: a wood lorry and school bus collided in Jõgeva county, Estonia, killing eight children.
2001 The Polaroid Corporation filed for federal bankruptcy protection.
2002 A bomb attack in a shopping mall in Vantaa, Finland killed seven.
Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia