Today is the 242nd day of the year with 123 days remaining until the new year.
1363 - The beginning of the Battle of Lake Poyang, the forces of two Chinese rebel leaders - Chen Youliang and Zhu Yuanzhang - are pitted against each other in what is one of the largest naval battles in history, during the decade of the ailing, Mongol-led Yuan Dynasty.
1797 - Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, English writer of the novel Frankenstein, is born.
1813 - Creek Red Sticks, kill over 500 settlers (including over 250 armed militia) in Fort Mims, north of Mobile, Alabama.
1836 - The city of Houston is founded by Augustus Chapman Allen and John Kirby Allen, and named in honor of the popular general at the Battle of San Jacinto.
1862 - Confederates under Edmund Kirby Smith rout Union forces under General Horatio Wright, during the Battle of Richmond.
1879 - John Bell Hood, Confederate general during the American Civil War, dies at the age of 48.
1909 - Burgess Shale fossils are discovered by Charles Doolittle Walcott, in the Canadian Rockies of British Columbia.
1914 - The Battle of Tannenberg is fought during the First World War.
1918 - Fanny Kaplan shoots and seriously injures Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin. This, along with the assassination of senior official Moisei Uritsky, prompts the decree for Red Terror.
1918 - American baseball slugger, who played 21 seasons for the Boston Red Sox, Ted Williams is born.
1945 - The city of Hong Kong is liberated from the Japanese by British Armed Forces.
1945 - The Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces, General Douglas MacArthur lands at Atsugi Air Force Base.
1963 - The Hotline between the U.S. and Russia goes into effect. It is most commonly seen in film and other references as the rotary "red telephone," linked the White House via the National Military Command Center with the Kremlin in the Soviet Union.
1967 - Thurgood Marshall is confirmed as the first African-American Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.
1974 - A powerful bomb explodes at the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries headquarters in Marunouchi, Tokyo, Japan. 8 people are killed and 378 are injured. Eight left-wing activists are arrested nearly 9 months later.
1978 - Cliff Lee, American baseball left-handed pitcher is born.
1982 - American tennis star and Grand Slam champion Andy Roddick is born.
1984 - The space shuttle Discovery, takes off on its maiden voyage.