1540 - Thomas Cromwell is executed at the order of Henry VIII of England on charges of treason. Henry then marries his fifth wife, Catherine Howard.
1741 - Italian composer Antonio Vivaldi passes away.
1750 - German composer Johann Sebastian Bach passes away.
1794 - Maximilien Robespierre is executed by guillotine in Paris during the French Revolution.
1844 - Joseph Bonaparte, the brother of Napoleon I, passes away.
1864 - Battle of Ezra Church, Confederate troops make a third unsuccessful attempt to drive Union forces from Atlanta, Georgia.
1868 - The 14th Amendment to the Constitution is certified, establishing African-American citizenship and guaranteeing due process of law.
1901 - Freddie Fitzsimmons, American baseball pitcher, known for his mastery of the knuckle curve is born.
1914 - Austria-Hungary declares war on Serbia, after the latter rejects the conditions of an ultimatum.
1929 - Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, First Lady of the United States, wife of John F. Kennedy, is born.
1932 - U.S. President Herbert Hoover orders the United States Army to forcibly evict the "Bonus Army" of World War I veterans.
1935 - The first flight of the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress.
1942 - Soviet leader Joseph Stalin issues Order No. 227. Under the order, all those who retreat or otherwise leave their positions without orders to do so are to be immediately executed.
1943 - The British bomb the city of Hamburg causing a firestorm that kills 42,000 German civilians, in Operation Gomorrah.
1945 - A B-25 bomber crashes into the 79th floor of the Empire State Building, killing 14 and injuring 26.
1957 - Heavy rain and a mudslide in Isahaya, western Kyushu, Japan essentially killing 992.
1965 - U.S. President Lyndon B. Jonhson, announces his order to increase the number of troops in South Vietnam from 75,000 to 125,000.
1976 - The Tangshan earthquake flattens the city in the People's Republic of China, killing 242,769 and injuring 164,851.
1996 - The remains of prehistoric man are discovered near Kennewick, Washington. The remains will be known as the Kennewick Man.
2002 - Nine coal miners trapped in the flooded Quecreek Mine in Somerset County, Pennsylvania are rescued after being trapped 77 hours underground.