1781: Los Angeles, Calif., is founded as El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora La Reina de los Ángeles de Porciúncula (The Village of Our Lady, the Queen of the Angels of Porziuncola) by 44 Spanish settlers. The settlement remained a small ranch town for decades, but by 1820 the population had increased to about 650 residents.
1803: Sarah Childress Polk, the first lady of the United States from 1845 to 1849 as the wife of President James K. Polk, is born Sarah Childress in Murfreesboro, Tenn.
1846: Architect and urban planner Daniel Burnham, who took a leading role in the creation of master plans for the development of a number of cities, including Chicago and downtown Washington, D.C., and designed several famous buildings, including the Flatiron Building in New York City and Union Station in Washington, D.C., is born in Henderson, N.Y.
1862: Following his victory in the Northern Virginia Campaign, Gen. Robert E. Lee moves north with 55,000 men of the Army of Northern Virginia through the Shenandoah Valley in his first invasion of the North. Lee's invasion attempt was eventually repulsed by the Army of the Potomac under Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan, who intercepted Lee's forces and attacked near Sharpsburg, Md. The resulting Battle of Antietam was the bloodiest single-day battle in American history and is widely considered one of the major turning points of the war.
1886: After almost 30 years of fighting, Apache leader Geronimo, with his remaining warriors, surrenders to Gen. Nelson Miles in Skeleton Canyon, Ariz.
1888: George Eastman registers the trademark Kodak and receives a patent for his camera that uses roll film.
1893: English author Beatrix Potter first tells the story of "Peter Rabbit" in a letter to the eldest son of her former governess Annie Carter Moore.
1908: Author Richard Wright, whose work, including "Black Boy" and "Native Son," helped redefine discussions of race relations in America in the mid-20th century, is born in Roxie, Miss.
1923: The maiden flight of the first U.S. rigid airship, the USS Shenandoah, takes place.
1928: Actor Dick York, best known for his role as the first Darrin Stephens on the sitcom "Bewitched," is born in Fort Wayne, Ind. Stephens starred on "Bewitched" starting in 1964, but was forced to give up the role in 1969 because of a debilitating back injury he had suffered a decade earlier. He spent the rest of his life fighting not only back pain but also an addiction to prescription painkillers before dying from complications of emphysema at the age of 63 in 1992.
1939: A Bristol Blenheim is the first British aircraft to cross the German coast following the declaration of World War II.
1941: A German submarine makes the first attack against an American ship, the USS Greer, three months before the United States officially entered World War II. The incident led President Franklin D. Roosevelt to issue what became known as his "shoot-on-sight" order.
1949: Golfer Tom Watson is born in Kansas City, Mo. In the 1970s and 1980s, Watson was one of the leading players in the world, winning eight major championships and heading the PGA Tour money list five times. He was the No. 1 player in the world according to McCormack's World Golf Rankings from 1978 until 1982. His eight major championships included five British Open championships, two Masters titles and one U.S. Open title. He's seen here at the 2008 British Open.
1950: Mort Walker's comic strip "Beetle Bailey" debuts. During the strip's first year, Beetle Bailey quit college and enlisted in the U.S. Army on March 13, 1951, where he has remained ever since.
1951: In the first live coast-to-coast TV broadcast, President Harry S. Truman addresses the nation from the Japanese peace treaty conference in San Francisco.
1957: Arkansas Gov. Orval Faubus calls out the National Guard to prevent black students from enrolling in Central High School in Little Rock.
1957: The Ford Motor Company introduces the Edsel. The car turns out to be so unpopular that it is taken off the market after only two years.
1960: Actor and comedian Damon Wayans ("In Living Color," "My Wife and Kids") is born in New York City.
1962: The Beatles begin recording at EMI's Abbey Road Studios for the first time, recording "Love Me Do."
1964: The Animals give their debut performance at the U.S. Paramount Theater in Brooklyn, N.Y.
1965: Albert Schweitzer, the theologian and physician who received the 1952 Nobel Peace Prize for his philosophy of "Reverence for Life," dies at age 90 in Lambaréné, Gabon.
1967: "Gilligan's Island" airs for the last time. The sitcom ran for 98 episodes over three seasons. Although it earned solid ratings, including ranking in the top 20 its first two seasons, it would grow in popularity during decades of syndication, especially in the 1970s and 1980s.
1970: George Harrison releases "My Sweet Lord" as a single in the United States. It would later be released in the United Kingdom on Jan. 15, 1971. The single, Harrison's first as a solo artist, topped charts worldwide and became the biggest-selling single of 1971 in Great Britain.
1970: The Rolling Stones release their live album "Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out." The album is the first live album to reach No. 1 in the United Kingdom.
1971: Actress Ione Skye, best known for the 1989 movie "Say Anything...," is born Ione Skye Leitch in Hertfordshire, England.
1972: Swimmer Mark Spitz captures his seventh Olympic gold medal as a member of the winning U.S. team in the 400-meter medley relay event at Munich, Germany, becoming the first Olympian to win seven gold medals.
1981: Singer and actress Beyoncé Knowles is born in Houston, Texas. She first found fame as the lead singer of the R&B girl group Destiny's Child before breaking out with her solo debut, 2003's "Dangerously in Love," which won five Grammys and featured the No. 1 hits "Crazy in Love" and "Baby Boy." Her other No. 1 hits include "Irreplaceable" and "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)," and she's also appeared in the movies "Austin Powers in Goldmember," "The Pink Panther," "Dreamgirls," "Cadillac Records" and "Obsessed."
1986: Hall of Fame baseball player Hank Greenberg, one of the premier power hitters of his generation, dies of metastatic kidney cancer at age 75 in Beverly Hills, Calif. Greenberg, who played all but one season of his 13-season MLB career with the Detroit Tigers, was a five-time All-Star, was twice named the American League's Most Valuable Player and won two World Series titles with the Tigers. He still holds the AL record for most RBIs in a single season by a right-handed batter and also became famous as the first Jewish superstar in American professional sports. In 1940, he became the first American League ballplayer drafted. He was released on Dec. 5, 1941, two days before Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, but re-enlisted and ended up serving 45 months, the longest of any major-league player.
1991: Country singer Dottie West dies at the age of 58 from injuries she suffered in a car accident five days earlier. West was the first female country Grammy winner, winning in 1965 for her top-10 hit "Here Comes My Baby Back Again." Some of her other hits included "Would You Hold It Against Me," "Paper Mansions," "Country Sunshine," "Last Time I Saw Him," "A Lesson in Leavin'" and "Are You Happy Baby?"
1993: French actor Hervé Villechaize, best known for playing Mr. Roarke's assistant, Tattoo, on the television series "Fantasy Island" (pictured, with Ricardo Montalban), dies at age 50 in North Hollywood, Calif., from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He also played evil henchman Nick Nack in the 1974 James Bond film "The Man with the Golden Gun" and was an acclaimed painter.
1993: New York Yankees pitcher Jim Abbott, who was born without a right hand, pitches a no-hitter against the Cleveland Indians. Abbott, who retired in 1999 after nine seasons in the major leagues, is seen here in 2008.
1998: Google is founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin, two students at Stanford University.
2001: Tokyo DisneySea opens to the public as part of the Tokyo Disney Resort in Urayasu, Chiba, Japan. The park, which has an overall nautical exploration theme to it, is the most expensive theme park ever built, estimated to have cost more than $4 billion.
2006: Australian wildlife expert and TV personality Steve "The Crocodile Hunter" Irwin dies after being pierced in the chest by a stingray barb while filming an underwater documentary film at the Great Barrier Reef. He was 44 years old. He's seen here in the 2002 movie "The Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course."
2008: Sen. John McCain accepts the Republican presidential nomination at the party's convention in St. Paul, Minn.
Santa Barbara County Animal Shelter is reviewing its procedures after an employee accidentally left a shelter gate open. On Thursday dogs slipped out of the gate and killed a dog in quarantine pending an appeal in a dangerous dog hearing.