1776 - A group of Spanish missionaries settled in what is now San Francisco.
1781 - The last major battle of the American Revolutionary War took place in Yorktown. The American forces, led by George Washington, defeated the British troops under Lord Cornwallis.
1855 - Isaac Singer patented the sewing machine motor.
1876 - Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas Watson made their longest telephone call to date. It was a distance of two miles.
1888 - The public was admitted to the Washington Monument for the first time.
1914 - During World War I, German forces captured Antwerp, Belgium.
1940 - St. Paul's Cathedral in London was bombed by the Nazis. The dome was unharmed in the bombing.
1967 - Che Guevara was executed by Bolivian soldiers for attempting to incite a revolution in Bolivia.
1974 - Oskar Schindler died in Frankfurt, Germany. Schindler is credited with saving the lives of about 1,200 Jews during the Holocaust.
1975 - Andrei Sakharov was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. The Soviet scientist is known as the "father of the hydrogen bomb."
1989 - The official Soviet news agency Tass reported an unidentified flying object.
1994 - The U.S. sent troops and warships to the Persian Gulf in response to Saddam Hussein sending thousands of troops and hundreds of tanks toward the Kuwaiti border.