The White House burns, potato chips are invented, John Lennon's assassin goes to prison and Pete Rose agrees to a ban from baseball, all on this day.
455: Rome is sacked by the Vandals, led by king Genseric. Pope Leo I requests Genseric not destroy the ancient city or murder its citizens. He agrees and the gates of Rome are opened. However, the Vandals loot a great amount of treasure and destroy objects of cultural significance (hence the modern term vandalism). The event is pointed to by some historians as the "end of the Roman Empire."
1682: William Penn receives the area that is now the state of Delaware, and adds it to his colony of Pennsylvania.
1814: After defeating the Americans at the Battle of Bladensburg during the War of 1812, British troops invade Washington, D.C., and burn down the White House and several other buildings.
1831: Charles Darwin is asked to travel on HMS Beagle. His observations and collections of specimens on the nearly five-year voyage would spur his theory of evolution via natural selection.
1853: According to a traditional story, the first potato chips are prepared by chef George Crum in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
1891: Thomas Edison patents the motion picture camera, or as it's initially called, the "Kinetograph." Pictured is Charles Kayser of the Thomas Edison laboratory sitting in front of an early version of the device.
1909: Workers start pouring concrete for the Panama Canal.
1912: Alaska becomes a United States territory.
1944: Allied troops begin the attack on German forces in Paris during World War II.
1945: Professional wrestling promoter and WWE Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon is born in Pinehurst, N.C.
1949: The North Atlantic Treaty, which created NATO, goes into effect.
1954: President Dwight D. Eisenhower signs the Communist Control Act into law, outlawing the American Communist Party.
1955: Former Republican presidential candidate and Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee is born in Hope, Ark.
1958: Actor Steve Guttenberg ("Police Academy," "Three Men and a Baby," "Cocoon") is born in Brooklyn, N.Y.
1960: Baseball Hall of Famer and former Baltimore Oriole Cal Ripken, Jr., best known for breaking Lou Gehrig's record for consecutive games played, is born in Havre de Grace, Md.
1965: Actress Marlee Matlin ("Children of a Lesser God") is born in Morton Grove, Ill.
1966: The movie "Alfie," starring Michael Caine, debuts in the United States.
1967: Led by Abbie Hoffman (center), the Youth International Party temporarily disrupts trading at the New York Stock Exchange by throwing dollar bills from the viewing gallery, causing trading to cease as brokers scramble to grab them.
1973: Actor and comedian Dave Chappelle ("Chappelle's Show," "Half Baked") is born in Washington, D.C.
1981: Mark David Chapman is sentenced to 20 years to life in prison for murdering John Lennon.
1986: Frontier Airlines shuts down due to continued losses, stranding thousands of people around the Rocky Mountain region. Four days later it would file for bankruptcy.
1988: Actor Rupert Grint, best known for playing Ron Weasley from the "Harry Potter" movies, is born in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, England.
1989: Cincinnati Reds manager Pete Rose agrees to permanent ineligibility from baseball amidst accusations that he gambled on baseball games while playing for and managing the Reds, including claims that he bet on his own team.
1991: Mikhail Gorbachev resigns as head of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.
1992: Hurricane Andrew makes landfall just south of Miami as a Category 5 hurricane. The storm would end up causing $26.5 billion in damage, making it, at the time, the costliest hurricane in United States history.
1999: Christina Aguilera's self-titled debut album is released. The album becomes a worldwide commercial success peaking at No. 1 in the U.S. and Canada, making Aguilera a worldwide star with her breakthrough hit single "Genie in a Bottle."
2006: The International Astronomical Union (IAU) redefines the term "planet" such that Pluto is now considered a "dwarf planet."
2007: The NFL suspends Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick after he pleads guilty to a federal felony dogfighting conspiracy charge.
Sign up for Breaking News, Daily Headlines, Severe Weather Alerts & more!