Today is the 284th day of the year, with 81 days remaining until the end of the year.
1776 - On Lake Champlain, 15 American gunboats are defeated but give Patriot forces enough time to prepare defense of New York City, during the Battle of Valcour Island.
1809 - Along the Natchez Trace in Tennessee, explorer Meriwether Lewis dies under mysterious circumstances at an inn called Grinder's Stand.
1862 - In the aftermath of the Battle of Antietam, Confederate General J.E.B. Stuart and his men loot Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, during a raid into the north.
1910 - Theodore Roosevelt becomes the first U.S. President to fly in an airplane. He flew for four minutes with Arch Hoxsey at Kinloch Field, St. Louis, Missouri.
1929 - JC Penney opens store #1252 in Milford, Delaware, making it a nationwide company with stores in all 48 states.
1954 - The Viet Minh take control of North Vietnam.
1957 - Massachusetts Institute of Technology scientists calculate Sputnik 1's booster rocket orbit.
1968 - Apollo 7, the first successful manned Apollo mission, with astronauts Wally Schirra, Donn F. Eisele, and Walter Cunningham aboard.
1975 - The NBC sketch comedy/variety show Saturday Night Live debuts with George Carlin as the host, Andy Kaufman, Janis Ian, and Billy Preston.
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 is approved by President Gerald R. Ford.
1984 - Aboard the space shuttle Challenger, Kathryn Sullivan, becomes the first American woman to perform a space walk.
2000 - NASA launches the 100th space shuttle mission, using the Space Shuttle Discovery.