Today is approximately the 221st day of the year with 144 days remaining.
48 BC - Julius Caesar decisively defeats Pompey at Pharsalus and flees to Egypt.
117 AD - Roman Emperor Trajan passes away at the age of 63.
1173 - Construction of the campanile of the cathedral of Pisa, now known as the Leaning Tower of Pisa, begins. It will take almost two centuries to complete.
1809 - American soldier and lawyer, known as a lieutenant colonel in the Texas Army and for his involvement in the Battle of the Alamo, William Barret Travis is born.
1814 - Napoleon annexes Westphalia as part of the First French Empire.
1814 - The Creek Indians sign the Treaty of Fort Jackson, giving up huge parts of Alabama and Georgia.
1854 - Henry David Thoreau publishes his work Walden.
1862 - At Cedar Mountain, Virginia, Confederate General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson narrowly defeats Union forces under General John Pope.
1877 - A small band of Nez Perce Idians clash with the United States Army at the Battle of Big Hole.
1892 - Thomas Edison receives a patent for the two-way telegraph.
1928 - American professional basketball player for the Boston Celtics, Bob Cousy is born.
1936 - Jesse Owens wins his fourth gold medal at the Summer Olympic Games in Berlin, becoming the first American to win four in one Olympiad.
1942 - Indian leader Mahatma Ghandi is arrested in Bombay by British forces, essentially launching the Quit India Movement.
1942 - Allied naval forces protecting their amphibious forces during the initial stages of the Battle of Guadalcanal are surprised and defeated by an Imperial Japanese Navy.
1944 - The United States Forest Service and the Wartime Advertising Council releases posters featuring Smokey The Bear for the first time.
1945 - Nagasaki, Japan is devastated when an atomic bomb, Fat Man, is dropped by the United States B-29 Bockscar. About 74,000 people are killed.
1965 - Singapore is expelled from Malaysia and becomes the first and only country to date to gain independence unwillingly.
1969 - Members of a cult led by Charles Manson, brutally murder pregnant actress Sharon Tate, coffee heiress Abigail Folger, Polish actor Wojciech Frykowski, men's hairstylist Jay Sebring, and recent high-school graduate Steven Parent.
1974 - As a direct result of the Watergate Scandal, Richard Nixon becomes the first President of the United States to resign from office. His Vice President, Gerald Ford becomes Presidnet.
1988 - The Great One, Wayne Gretsky, is traded from the Edmonton Oilers to the Los Angeles Kings in one of the most controversial player transactions in ice hockey history. The event upsets many Canadians so much that some consider him a traitor to his home country.
1995 - American guitarist known for his eclectic style with the Grateful Dead, Jerry Garcia passes away at the age of 63.
1996 - Sir Frank Whittle, British engineer and inventor of the jet engine, passes away at the age of 89.
2001 - U.S. President George W. Bush announces his support for federal funding of limited research on embryonic stem cells.