It is the 54th day of the year, with only 311 days remaining until the new year.
303 - Roman Emperor Diocletian orders the destruction of the Christian church in Nicomedia, beginning eight years of Diocletianic Persecution.
1455 - Traditional date for the publication of the Gutenberg Bible, The first Western book printed with movable type.
1685 - George Frideric Handel, German/British Baroque composer is born.
1778 - Baron von Steuben arrives at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania to help train the Continental Army.
1836 - The Battle of the Alamo begins in San Antonio, Texas.
1847 - At the Battle of Buena Vista, during the Mexican-American War, 5,000 American troops defeat 15,000 Mexicans.
1848 - John Quincy Adams, the 6th President of the United States, passes away at the age of 80.
1861 - President-elect Abraham Lincoln arrives secretly in Washington, D.C., after the thwarting of an alleged assassination plot in Baltimore, Maryland.
1868 - W. E. B. Du Bois, an early American civil rights leader is born.
1883 - Alabama becomes the first U.S. state to enact an antitrust act.
1896 - The Tootsie Roll is invented.
1903 - Cuba leases Guantanomo Bay to the United States.
1905 - Chicago attorney Paul Harris and three other business men meet for lunch to form the Rotary Club, the world's first service club.
1918 - First victory of Red Army over the Kaiser's German troops near Narva and Pskov. In honor of this victory, the date is celebrated from 1923 onward as Red Army Day, it is renamed Defender of the Fatherland Day after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, and is colloquially known as "Men's Day."
1927 - German theoretical physicist Werner Heisenberg writes a letter to fellow physicist Wolfgang Pauli, in which he describes uncertainty principle for the first time.
1941 - Plutonium is first produced and isolated by Dr. Glenn T. Seaborg.
1942 - Japanese submarines fire artillery shells at the California coastline near Santa Barbara.
1945 - During the Battle of Iwo Jima, a group of United States Marines and a commonly forgotten U.S. Navy Corpsman, reach the top of Mount Suribachi on the island and are photographed raising the American flag.
1954 - The first mass inoculation of children against polio with the Salk vaccine begins in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
1983 - The United States Environmental Protection Agency announces its intent to buy out and evacuate the dioxin-contaminated community of Times Beach, Missouri.
1991 - Ground troops cross the Saudi Arabian border and enter Iraq, thus beginning the ground phase of the Gulf War.
1999 - Carlos Hathcock, United States Marine Corp Gunnery Sergeant sniper, with a service record of 93 confirmed kills. He is also known for his accomplishment of shooting a North Vietnamese sniper through the enemy's own scope, hitting him in the eye and killing him.