The Beatles record their first single, Pete Rose sets a new mark for career hits, Kenneth Starr releases his report, and terrorists strike America, all on this day.
1609: Henry Hudson discovers Manhattan Island and the indigenous people living there.
1776: A British-American peace conference on Staten Island fails to stop the American Revolutionary War, which was still in its early stages.
1789: Alexander Hamilton is appointed to be the first secretary of the United States Department of the Treasury.
1792: The French Blue diamond, which will eventually become the Hope Diamond, is stolen along with other French crown jewels when six men break into the house used to store them during the early days of the French Revolution. The diamond disappears and doesn't resurface until the 1810s, by then recut into the Hope Diamond.
1847: Stephen Foster's well-known song, "Oh! Susanna," is first performed by a local quintet at Andrews' Eagle Ice Cream Saloon in Pittsburgh, Pa.
1862: William Sidney Porter, better known by his pen name O. Henry ("The Gift of the Magi"), is born in Greensboro, N.C.
1903: The first race at The Milwaukee Mile in West Allis, Wis., is held. It is the oldest major speedway in the world.
1941: Ground is broken for the construction of The Pentagon in Arlington, Va. The building is seen here under construction in July 1942.
1941: Charles A. Lindbergh sparks charges of anti-Semitism with a speech in which he blamed "the British, the Jewish and the Roosevelt administration" for trying to draw the United States into World War II.
1944: U.S. Army troops enter Germany for the first time during World War II, near Trier.
1952: The first artificial aortic valve is successfully fitted in the heart of a 30-year-old patient. The valve was made by Dr. Charles A. Hufnagel of the Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington, D.C.
1961: Hurricane Carla strikes the Texas coast as a Category 4 hurricane, the second strongest storm ever to hit the state. The storm would cause more than $2 billion in damages, but, due to the evacuation of more than 500,000 residents, the death toll would be limited to 43.
1962: The Beatles record their first single, "Love Me Do" and "P.S. I Love You," at EMI studios in London.
1965: DJ and musician Moby is born in Harlem, N.Y.
1967: "The Carol Burnett Show" premieres. The show, which starred Carol Burnett, Harvey Korman, Vicki Lawrence, Lyle Waggoner and Tim Conway, would go on to win 25 prime time Emmy Awards over its 11 seasons.
1967: Singer and actor Harry Connick Jr. is born in New Orleans.
1971: Soviet politician and leader Nikita Khrushchev dies of a heart attack in a hospital near his home in Moscow at the age of 77.
1972: Animator Max Fleischer, who brought such animated characters as Betty Boop, Popeye and Superman to the movie screen, dies from heart failure at the age of 89 in Los Angeles.
1973: A coup in Chile headed by Gen. Augusto Pinochet (left) topples the democratically elected President Salvador Allende (right). Pinochet exercises dictatorial power until toppled in a referendum in 1988, staying in power until 1990.
1974: "Little House on the Prairie," starring Michael Landon as Charles Ingalls, makes its television debut.
1977: David Bowie and Bing Crosby record a duet version of "The Little Drummer Boy" for Crosby's then-upcoming television special, "Bing Crosby's Merrie Olde Christmas."
1977: Rapper Ludacris is born under the birth name Christopher Brian Bridges in Champaign, Ill.
1985: Pete Rose breaks Ty Cobb's baseball record for most career hits with his 4,192nd hit, a single to left-center field off San Diego Padres pitcher Eric Show. Rose would end up with 4,256 career hits before his final career at-bat, a strikeout against San Diego's Rich Gossage on Aug. 17, 1986.
1987: Actor Lorne Greene, best known for his role of Ben Cartwright on the western "Bonanza," dies of complications from pneumonia at age 72 in Santa Monica, Calif.
1987: Jamaican reggae musician Peter Tosh is murdered at his home during a robbery.
1992: Hurricane Iniki, one of the most damaging hurricanes in United States history, devastates the Hawaiian islands of Kauai and Oahu, causing $1.8 billion in damages and killing six people.
1994: Actress Jessica Tandy ("Driving Miss Daisy," "Cocoon") dies from ovarian cancer at the age of 85 in Easton, Conn. She is pictured here in June 1994 with her husband, fellow actor Hume Cronyn.
1995: Janet Jackson's "Runaway" makes history by becoming the first single by a woman to make its debut in the top 10 of Billboard's Hot 100.
1996: David Bowie's single "Telling Lies" is released exclusively on the Internet. It was the first time a new single by a major selling artist was released exclusively on the Internet.
1997: NASA's Mars Global Surveyor reaches Mars.
1998: Congress releases Kenneth Starr's report, which offered graphic details of President Bill Clinton's alleged sexual misconduct with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky and leveled accusations of perjury and obstruction of justice.
2001: Three hijacked aircraft are deliberately crashed into the twin World Trade Center towers in New York City and the Pentagon in Arlington, Va., in a coordinated attack that became known as "9/11." Another hijacked airliner in the same attack crashes in a field near Shanksville, Pa., after the passengers fought with hijackers for control of the flight. Nearly 3,000 people are killed in the attacks, which are later tied to Osama bin Laden and the al-Qaida terrorist organization.
2002: Former NFL quarterback Johnny Unitas, who won a Super Bowl and two NFL championships in a 18-year career, dies of a heart attack in Timonium, Md., at age 69. Unitas, who's seen here signing an autograph in 1964, was the National Football League's most valuable player in 1959, 1964 and 1967, the first quarterback to throw for 40,000 career yards, the first to throw 30 touchdowns in a season and still holds the record of throwing a touchdown pass in 47 consecutive games.
2003: Actor John Ritter, best known for playing Jack Tripper on the sitcom "Three's Company," falls ill while on the set of his sitcom "8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter." Ritter dies later that evening, at 54 years old, from an aortic dissection caused by a previously undiagnosed congenital heart defect.
2005: Federal Emergency Management Agency Director Michael Brown resigns three days after losing his onsite command of the Hurricane Katrina relief effort. He's perhaps best known for President George W. Bush's praise of him in the wake of the hurricane, saying "Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job."
2009: Michael Jordan is enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Also inducted as part of the 2009 Hall of Fame class were Jordan's 1992 Olympics "Dream Team" teammates David Robinson and John Stockton.
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