1492 - Christopher Columbus, an Italian explorer, sighted Watling Island in the Bahamas. He believed that he had found Asia while attempting to find a Western ocean route to India. The same day he claimed the land for Isabella and Ferdinand of Spain.
1810 - Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig married Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen. The royalty invited the public to attend the event which became an annual celebration that later became known as Oktoberfest.
1915 - British nurse Edith Cavell was executed by a German firing squad for helping Allied soldiers escape from Belgium during World War I.
1972 - During the Vietnam War, a racial brawl broke out aboard the U.S. aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk. Nearly 50 sailors were injured.
1976 - China announced that Hua Guo-feng was named to succeed the late Mao Tse-tung as chairman of the Communist Party.
1984 - An attempt on British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's life was unsuccessful, but did take the lives of five people. The bomb had been planted by the I.R.A.
1994 - Haitian military leader Raoul Cedras was granted political asylum by Panama.
2001 - A car bomb exploded in Madrid, Spain, that injured 17 people. Basque separatists claimed responsibility.
2002 - In Bali, Indonesia, over 180 people were killed and over 300 were injured when a bomb was detonated in a nightclub district.