1492 - Christopher Columbus left Palos, Spain with three ships. The voyage would lead him to what is now known as the Americas. He reached the Bahamas on October 12.
1750 - Christopher Dock completed the first book of teaching methods. It was titled "A Simple and Thoroughly Prepared School Management."
1880 - The American Canoe Association was formed at Lake George, NY.
1900 - Firestone Tire & Rubber Co. was founded.
1914 - Germany declared war on France. The next day World War I began when Britain declared war on Germany.
1922 - WGY radio in Schenectady, NY, presented the first full-length melodrama on radio. The work was "The Wolf", written by Eugene Walter.
1923 - Calvin Coolidge was sworn in as the 30th president of the U.S. after the sudden death of President Harding.
1933 - The Mickey Mouse Watch was introduced for the price of $2.75.
1936 - The U.S. State Department advised Americans to leave Spain due to the Spanish Civil War.
1936 - Jesse Owens won the first of his four Olympic gold medals.
1943 - Gen. George S. Patton verbally abused and slapped a private. Later, Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower ordered him to apologize for the incident.
1949 - The National Basketball Association (NBA) was formed. The league was formed by the merger between the Basketball Association of America and the National Basketball League.
1956 - Bedloe's Island had its name changed to Liberty Island.
1958 - The Nautilus became the first vessel to cross the North Pole underwater. The mission was known as "Operation Sunshine."
1979 - "More American Graffiti" was released.
1979 - Johnny Carson, the "Tonight Show" host, was on the cover of the Burbank, CA, telephone directory.
1981 - U.S. traffic controllers with PATCO, the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization, went on strike. They were fired just as U.S. President Reagan had warned.
1984 - Mary Lou Retton won a gold medal at the Los Angeles Summer Olympics.
1985 - Mail service returned to a nudist colony in Paradise Lake, FL. Residents promised that they'd wear clothes or stay out of sight when the mailperson came to deliver.
1988 - The Iran-Contra hearings ended. No ties were made between U.S. President Reagan and the Nicaraguan Rebels.
1988 - The Soviet Union released Mathias Rust. He had been taken into custody on May 28, 1987 for landing a plane in Moscow's Red Square.
1989 - Hashemi Rafsanjani was sworn in as the president of Iran.
1990 - Thousands of Iraqi troops pushed within a few miles of the border of Saudi Arabia. This heightened world concerns that the invasion of Kuwait could spread.
1992 - The U.S. Senate voted to restrict and eventually end the testing of nuclear weapons.
1992 - Russia and Ukraine agreed to put the Black Sea Fleet under joint command. The agreement was to last for three years.
1995 - Eyad Ismoil was flown from Jordan to the U.S. to face charges that he had driven the van that blew up in New York's World Trade Center.
2004 - In New York, the Statue of Liberty re-opened to the public. The site had been closed since the terrorist attacks on the U.S. on September 11, 2001.
2004 - NASA launched the spacecraft Messenger. The 6 1/2 year journey was planned to arrive at the planet Mercury in March 2011.
2009 - Bolivia became the first South American country to declare the right of indigenous people to govern themselves.
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