Pepsi and UPS are born, Emmett Till is murdered, Martin Luther King Jr. shares his dream, and Prince Charles and Princess Diana divorce, all on this day.
1565: Spanish explorer and admiral Pedro Menéndez de Avilés sights land near what is now St. Augustine, Fla. Calling the territory San Agustín in honor of the feast day of Augustine of Hippo, Menéndez's settlement will become the oldest continuously occupied European-established city in the continental United States.
1749: German writer and scientist Johann Wolfgang von Goethe ("Faust") is born in what is now Frankfurt, Germany.
1828: Author Leo Tolstoy ("War and Peace," "Anna Karenina") is born in Yasnaya Polyana, his family's estate in the Tula region of Russia.
1830: The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad's new Tom Thumb steam locomotive, the first American-built steam locomotive used on a common-carrier railroad, races a horse-drawn car. The locomotive leads the race until a belt slips off a pulley and the engine loses power. However, the demonstration proves successful, showing that the steam locomotive offered superior performance.
1833: The Slavery Abolition Act 1833 receives Royal Assent, abolishing slavery through most the British Empire.
1837: Pharmacists John Lea and William Perrins of Worcester, England, begin the manufacture of Worcester sauce, now more commonly known as Worcestershire sauce.
1845: The first issue of Scientific American magazine is published.
1859: A geomagnetic storm causes the Aurora Borealis to shine so brightly that it is seen clearly over parts of the United States, Europe and even as far away as Japan.
1879: Cetshwayo kaMpande, the last king of the Zulus, is captured by the British. He previously had famously led the Zulu nation to victory against the British in the Battle of Isandlwana as part of the Anglo-Zulu War. After his capture, he is exiled, first to Cape Town, and then to London, returning only in 1883.
1898: Pharmacist Caleb Bradham invents the carbonated soft drink that will later be called "Pepsi-Cola" at his drugstore in New Bern, N.C. The recipe -- a blend of kola nut extract, vanilla, and "rare oils" -- is initially known as "Brad's Drink," but eventually takes on its new name after a combination of the terms "pepsin" and "cola," as Bradham believed that his drink aided digestion much like the pepsin enzyme does, even though it was not used as an ingredient. Bradham would be president of the Pepsi-Cola Company when it was incorporated in 1902.
1907: The American Messenger Company is started by two teenagers, Jim Casey and Claude Ryan, in Seattle, Wash. The company's name would later be changed to United Parcel Service.
1924: The Georgian opposition stages the August Uprising against the Soviet Union. The ultimately unsuccessful uprising proves to be one of the last major rebellions against the early Soviet government, and its defeat marks the final establishment of the Soviet rule in Georgia.
1937: Toyota Motors becomes an independent company. The company's first passenger car, the Model AA, had gone on sale in April 1936, when the company was still a division of Toyoda Automatic Loom Works.
1943: Actor and singer David Soul ("Starsky and Hutch") is born in Chicago.
1943: Baseball manager Lou Piniella, won led the Cincinnati Reds to a World Series title in 1990 and retired in 2010 ranked 14th all-time on the list of MLB managerial wins, is born in Tampa, Fla. Piniella also won two championships as a player with the New York Yankees in 1977 and 1978 and also coached the Yankees, Seattle Mariners, Tampa Bay Devil Rays and Chicago Cubs during his managerial career.
1953: Nippon Television broadcasts Japan's first television show, including its first TV advertisement.
1955: Emmett Till, a 14-year-old African-American boy from Chicago, is murdered while visiting relatives in the Mississippi Delta region after reportedly flirting with a white woman. The woman's husband, Roy Bryant, and his half-brother J.W. Milam are eventually acquitted of Till's kidnapping and murder, but months later, protected against double jeopardy, they admit to killing him in a magazine interview. Till's murder is noted as a pivotal event motivating the African-American Civil Rights Movement.
1957: U.S. Sen. Strom Thurmond (seen here in 1961) begins a filibuster to prevent the Senate from voting on the Civil Rights Act of 1957. He stops speaking 24 hours and 18 minutes later, the longest filibuster ever conducted by a single senator. Cots were brought in from a nearby hotel for the legislators to sleep on while Thurmond discussed increasingly irrelevant and obscure topics, including his grandmother's biscuit recipe.
1957: Actor Daniel Stern ("Home Alone," "City Slickers") is born in Bethesda, Md. He's seen here in 2009's "Whip It."
1963: Martin Luther King, Jr., delivers his iconic "I Have a Dream" speech in front of the Lincoln Memorial during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.
1965: Country singer Shania Twain is born in Windsor, Ontario, Canada.
1968: Rioting takes place between demonstrators and the Chicago Police Department, who were assisted by the Illinois National Guard, during the Democratic National Convention in Chicago.
1969: Actor Jason Priestley ("Beverly Hills, 90210") is born in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.
1969: Actor-comedian-musician Jack Black ("Kung Fu Panda," "School of Rock," "Tropic Thunder") is born in Hermosa Beach, Calif.
1978: Actor Robert Shaw ("Jaws," "Black Sunday") dies of a heart attack at the age of 51 in Ireland.
1981: John W. Hinckley Jr. pleads innocent to charges of attempting to kill President Ronald Reagan. Reagan suffered heavy internal bleeding and a punctured lung in the March 30, 1981, assassination attempt, but recovered quickly. Hinckley is eventually found not guilty by reason of insanity and has remained under institutional psychiatric care since then.
1982: Country singer LeAnn Rimes is born in Jackson, Miss.
1986: Singer Florence Welch, lead singer of the band Florence and the Machine, is born in London, England.
1988: Three aircraft of the Frecce Tricolori demonstration team collide and the wreckage falls into the crowd of 300,000 at an air show in Ramstein, West Germany. The accident leaves 70 dead and 346 seriously injured.
1996: The divorce of Prince Charles and Princess Diana becomes official. Diana receives a lump sum settlement of around 17 million pounds along with a clause standard in royal divorces preventing her from discussing the details.
1996: Democrats nominate President Bill Clinton for a second term at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago.
2005: New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin orders everyone in the city to evacuate ahead of Hurricane Katrina. The city establishes several "refuges of last resort" for citizens who could not leave the city, including the Louisiana Superdome. The hurricane would make landfall in southeast Louisiana a day later.
2010: Fox News commentator and radio host Glenn Beck holds his "Restoring Honor" rally in Washington, D.C. A scientific estimate places the crowd size around 87,000, while media reports varied dramatically from tens of thousands to 500,000.
Sign up for Breaking News, Daily Headlines, Severe Weather Alerts & more!