1501: Michelangelo begins work on his statue of David. He would work on the massive 17-foot-tall biblical hero for more than two years.
1541: After three years of exile, John Calvin returns to Geneva to reform the Protestant church under a body of doctrine known as Calvinism.
1848: Vermont railroad worker Phineas Gage survives a 3-foot-plus iron rod being driven through his head. The reported effects on his behavior and personality stimulated thinking about the nature of the brain and its functions.
1851: U.S. Army physician and bacteriologist Walter Reed is born in Belroi, Va. In 1900, Reed led the team that postulated and confirmed the theory that yellow fever is transmitted by a particular mosquito species, widely considered a milestone in biomedicine. The names of several facilities honor Reed's memory, including Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
1857: Milton S. Hershey, who founded The Hershey Chocolate Company and the "company town" of Hershey, Pa., is born in Derry Township, Pa.
1860: Gen. John J. Pershing, who led the American Expeditionary Forces in World War I, is born in Laclede, Mo.
1881: American soldier, industrialist and politician Ambrose Burnside dies at age 57 in Bristol, R.I., due to a heart issue. Burnside was a Union Army general in the American Civil War and served Rhode Island as a governor and U.S. senator. He is perhaps most famous for his distinctive style of facial hair, which became known as sideburns, derived from his last name.
1898: Hannibal Goodwin patents celluloid photographic film. His film would be used in Thomas Edison's Kinetoscope, an early machine for viewing animation.
1899: Henry Bliss steps off a streetcar near Central Park in New York City and is hit by an electric-powered taxicab, which crushes his head and chest. Bliss would die from his injuries the next morning, making him the first person in the United States to be killed in an automobile accident.
1903: Actress Claudette Colbert, a Best Actress Oscar-winner for 1934's "It Happened One Night," is born in Saint-Mandé, France.
1911: Bill Monroe, the singer-songwriter and musician who helped create the style of music known as bluegrass, is born near Rosine, Ky. Bluegrass music takes its name from his band, the Blue Grass Boys, named for Monroe's home state of Kentucky.
1916: Author Roald Dahl, best known for such children's books as "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," "James and the Giant Peach" and "Fantastic Mr. Fox," is born in Llandaff, Cardiff, Wales.
1922: The world's highest shade temperature, 136.4 degrees Fahrenheit, is recorded at the African village of Al Aziziyah, about 25 miles south of Tripoli, Libya.
1922: Blues singer and pianist Charles Brown, a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member whose hits included "Driftin' Blues," "Black Night," "Merry Christmas Baby" and "Please Come Home for Christmas," is born Tony Russell Brown in Texas City, Texas.
1925: Singer-songwriter Mel Tormé, best known as a singer of jazz standards whose voice earned the nickname "The Velvet Fog," is born in Chicago, Ill. Tormé, who was also known for being an actor in radio, film, and television, composed the music for the classic holiday song "The Christmas Song" and co-wrote the lyrics with Bob Wells.
1937: Animator and filmmaker Don Bluth, best known for directing such animated movies as "The Secret of NIMH," "An American Tail," "The Land Before Time" and "All Dogs Go to Heaven," is born in El Paso, Texas. Bluth got his start with The Walt Disney Company and went on to co-found Sullivan Bluth Studios and Fox Animation Studios.
1939: Actor Richard Kiel, best known for his role as the steel-toothed villain Jaws in the James Bond movies "The Spy Who Loved Me" and "Moonraker," is born in Detroit, Mich. Kiel has also had roles in the movies such as "The Longest Yard," "Silver Streak" and "Happy Gilmore."
1944: Actress Jacqueline Bisset, known for movies such as "Casino Royale," "Bullitt," "Airport," "The Deep" and "Class," and the TV series "Nip/Tuck," is born in Weybridge, Surrey, England.
1944: Singer-songwriter and musician Peter Cetera, best known for being an original member of the rock band Chicago, before launching a successful solo career, is born in Chicago, Ill. Cetera has scored several Top-40 hits as a solo artist, including "Glory of Love" and "The Next Time I Fall," which both went to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
1948: Margaret Chase Smith is elected a U.S. senator for Maine, becoming the first woman to serve in both the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate.
1948: Singer and actress Nell Carter, best known for her Broadway work and for starring on the '80s sitcom "Gimme a Break!," is born in Birmingham, Ala.
1951: Actress Jean Smart, best known for her work on the TV series "Designing Women," "24" and "Samantha Who?," is born in Seattle, Wash.
1956: IBM introduces the RAMAC 305, the first "super computer" with a hard disk drive. The computer weighed more than a ton, required a forklift to move it and stored 5MB of data.
1959: The Soviet probe Luna 2 crashes onto the Moon, becoming the first man-made object to reach it.
1961: Rock musician and singer Dave Mustaine, the first lead guitarist for Metallica and a founding member and lead singer of Megadeath, is born in La Mesa, Calif.
1965: The Beatles' song "Yesterday" is released as a single in the United States, backed with a B-side of "Act Naturally." The song, which the band refused to allow release as a single in the U.K. because it was essentially a solo Paul McCartney song, would top the Billboard Hot 100 chart for four weeks, beginning on Oct. 9, 1965.
1967: Sprinter Michael Johnson, who won four Olympic gold medals and eight World Championships gold medals, is born in Dallas, Texas. Johnson, who holds the world and Olympic records in the 400-meters, is generally considered one of the greatest long sprinters in the history of track and field.
1969: Actor and filmmaker Tyler Perry is born under the birth name Emmitt Perry Jr. in New Orleans.
1970: The first New York City Marathon takes place, with 127 competitors running several loops around the Park Drive of Central Park. Only about 100 spectators watched as fireman Gary Muhrcke won the race in 2:31:38. A total of only 55 runners crossed the finish line.
1971: New York State Police and National Guardsmen storm the Attica Correctional Facility and put an end to a four-day inmate revolt. At least 39 people were killed in the final assault, including 10 correctional officers and civilian employees. Another officer and four inmates were killed earlier during the riot.
1971: The World Hockey Association is formed, giving the NHL its first major competition since the collapse of the Western Hockey League in 1926. The WHA, which would begin play in October 1972, would last for seven seasons before ceasing operations in 1979, with four teams, the Edmonton Oilers, New England Whalers, Quebec Nordiques and Winnipeg Jets, merging with the NHL for the 1979–80 season.
1974: The TV show "Rockford Files," starring James Garner (right), debuts. The show would last for six seasons and spawn eight TV movies.
1977: Singer Fiona Apple, who made her recording debut at age 19 with 1996's "Tidal," is born under the birth name Fiona Apple McAfee Maggart in Manhattan.
1980: Actor Ben Savage, best known for his role as lead character Cory Matthews on the TV sitcom "Boy Meets World," is born in Chicago, Ill. He's seen here on the left with William Daniels, as Mr. Feeny, in a scene from "Boy Meets World."
1990: The television drama "Law & Order" premieres. The show would last 20 seasons and spawn four spin-offs before ending in May 2010, making it the longest-running crime drama on American primetime television. After "The Simpsons," both "Law & Order" and "Gunsmoke" are tied for the second longest-running scripted primetime series with ongoing characters.
1993: Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat historically shake hands at the White House following the signing the Oslo Accords granting limited Palestinian autonomy.
1993: "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" premieres on NBC, taking over the time slot once owned by David Letterman before he left for CBS after being passed over in favor of Jay Leno for "The Tonight Show" following Johnny Carson's retirement. O'Brien would host the show for 16 years before leaving to succeed Leno as "Tonight Show" host, a job he would hold for only seven months.
1994: The Ulysses probe, a joint venture of NASA and the European Space Agency that was designed to study the sun, passes the sun's south pole.
1994: The Notorious B.I.G.'s debut album "Ready to Die" is released, making the Brooklyn rapper (whose real name was Christopher George Latore Wallace) a central figure in the East Coast hip-hop scene. The partly autobiographical album would end up being the rapper's only studio album released during his lifetime, as he was murdered days prior to the release of his second album, 1997's "Life After Death."
1996: Rapper Tupac Shakur dies at the University Medical Center of Southern Nevada six days after being shot four times on the Las Vegas Strip after leaving the Mike Tyson-Bruce Seldon boxing match at the MGM Grand.
1997: Elton John's re-written and re-recorded version of his song "Candle in the Wind," recorded as a tribute to the late Diana, Princess of Wales, is released in the United Kingdom. The single entered the UK charts at No. 1, becoming John's fourth UK No. 1 single, and would go on to become the best-selling single in UK chart history.
1998: Politician and former Alabama Gov. George Wallace, who unsuccessfully ran for president four times and was known for his segregationist attitudes, dies of septic shock from a bacterial infection in Jackson Hospital in Montgomery, Ala., at the age of 79. A 1972 assassination attempt had left Wallace paralyzed, and he had used a wheelchair for the remainder of his life.
1998: "Frasier," starring Kelsey Grammer and David Hyde Pierce, wins a record fifth consecutive Emmy as TV's best comedy series.
2001: Secretary of State Colin Powell names Osama bin Laden as the prime suspect in the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks on the United States. Limited commercial flights are also resumed in the United States for the first time in two days.
2008: Hurricane Ike makes landfall on the Texas Gulf Coast, causing heavy damage to Galveston Island, Houston and surrounding areas. Ike would be the second-costliest hurricane ever to make landfall in the United States, with its $29.5 billion in property damage trailing only Hurricane Katrina, and the costliest hurricane in Texas history. The storm also would end up claiming the lives of 82 people in the United States.
2010: Rafael Nadal of Spain wins his first U.S. Open title to complete a career Grand Slam, beating Novak Djokovic 6-4, 5-7, 6-4, 6-2.