Today is the 285th day of the year, and 80 days are remaining until the end of the year.
1492 - Christopher Columbus' expedition makes landfall in the Caribbean, specifically the Bahamas. The explorer believes he has reached South Asia.
1773 - America's first insane asylum opens for Persons of Insane and Disordered Minds in Virginia.
1810 - The Bavarian royalty invites the citizens of Munich to join the celebration of the marriage of Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria to Princess Therese won Sachsen-Hildburghausen, is the First Oktoberfest.
1892 - The Pledge of Allegiance is first recited by students in many U.S. public schools, as part of a celebration marking the 400th anniversary of Columbus' voyage.
1901 - President Theodore Roosevelt officially renamed the Executive Mansion, the White House instead.
1917 - The First Battle of Passchendaele takes place resulting in the largest single day loss of life in New Zealand history.
1918 - A massive forest fire kills 453 people in Minnesota.
1928 - An iron lung respirator is used for the first time at a Children's Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts.
1933 - The United States Army Disciplinary Barracks on Alcatraz Island, is acquired by the Department of Justice.
1945 - Desmond Doss is the first conscientious objector to receive the U.S. Medal of Honor.
1964 - The Soviet Union launches Voskhod 1 into Earth's orbit as the first spacecraft with a multi-person crew and the first flight without space suits.
1968 - Equatorial Guinea becomes independent from Spain.
1972 - The USS Kitty Hawk, en route to her station in the Gulf of Tonkin, breaks out in a race riot on the decks involving more than 200 sailors. Nearly 50 were injured in this widely-publicized incident.
1970 - President Richard Nixon, announces that the United States will withdraw 40,000 more troops before Christmas.
1994 - NASA loses radio contact with the Magellan spacecraft as the probe descends into the thick atmosphere of Venus. It is presumed that it burned up in the atmosphere.
1999 - The proclaimed 6 billionth living human in the world is born.