1767: Surveying for the Mason–Dixon Line forming part of the borders of Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware and West Virginia (then part of Virginia) is completed.
1809: Along the Natchez Trace about 70 miles southwest of Nashville, Tenn., explorer Meriwether Lewis dies under mysterious circumstances at an inn called Grinder's Stand. After gunshots were heard in the predawn hours, Lewis was found badly injured by multiple gunshot wounds, from which he died shortly after sunrise. Although the official explanation for his death was suicide, others feel the 35-year-old explorer, famous for being part of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, was actually murdered.
1844: Henry Heinz, the American businessman of German descent who founded the H. J. Heinz Company, is born in Pittsburgh, Pa.
1884: Eleanor Roosevelt, the longest serving first lady of the United States from 1933 to 1945 as the wife of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, is born Anna Eleanor Roosevelt in New York City.
1890: The Daughters of the American Revolution begins with the first chapter founded in Washington, D.C.
1910: Former President Theodore Roosevelt becomes the first U.S. president to fly in an airplane. He flies for four minutes with Arch Hoxsey in a plane built by the Wright Brothers at Kinloch Field in St. Louis, Mo.
1925: Author Elmore Leonard, best known for his westerns and crime novels, several of which have been turned into movies and TV shows, is born in New Orleans. Among his most well-known books are "Get Shorty," "Out of Sight," "3:10 to Yuma," "Rum Punch," the basis for Quentin Tarantino's "Jackie Brown," and "Pronto," which introduced the character of U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens, the central figure in the FX drama "Justified."
1932: Country singer Dottie West is born near McMinnville, Tenn. 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?" She dies at age 58 on Sept. 4, 1991, from injuries she suffered in a car accident five days earlier.
1946: Rock singer Daryl Hall, one half of the blue-eyed soul duo Hall & Oates, is born in Pottstown, Pa.
1958: NASA launches the lunar probe Pioneer 1. Due to a programming error, the probe never reached the moon, instead reaching a peak altitude of 70,712 miles. It would re-enter the Earth's atmosphere after 43 hours of flight on Oct. 13, 1958.
1961: Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Steve Young, who led the San Francisco 49ers to three Super Bowl titles, is born in Salt Lake City, Utah. Young was named the Most Valuable Player of the NFL in 1992 and 1994, and the MVP of Super Bowl XXIX in 1995. He played collegiately at Brigham Young University and is also an inductee of the College Football Hall of Fame.
1961: Comedian and actor Chico Marx dies from arteriosclerosis at the age of 74 in Hollywood, Calif. Marx, whose real name was Leonard Marx and who was the oldest of the Marx Brothers comedy team, was known for his adopted persona of a dim-witted albeit crafty con artist, seemingly of rural Italian origin, who sported a curly-haired wig and Tyrolean hat.
1962: Actress Joan Cusack, best known for movies such as "Working Girl," "Married to the Mob," "In & Out," "Addams Family Values," "Runaway Bride" and "Toy Story 2," is born in New York City. Cusack, who is the sister of fellow actor John Cusack, had earned Academy Award nominations for Best Supporting Actress for her roles in "Working Girl" and "In & Out."
1963: French writer, artist and filmmaker Jean Cocteau dies of a heart attack at age 74 in Milly-la-Foret, France. He is best known for his 1929 novel "Les Enfants Terribles" and the films "Blood of a Poet," "Les Parents terribles," "Beauty and the Beast" (1946) and "Orpheus."
1963: Edith Piaf, a French singer and cultural icon who became widely regarded as France's national popular singer, dies of liver cancer at age 47 at her villa in Plascassier (Grasse), on the French Riviera. Among her best-known songs are "La Vie en rose," "Non, je ne regrette rien," "Hymne à l'amour," "Milord" and "La Foule."
1965: Actor Luke Perry, best known for his role of Dylan McKay in "Beverly Hills, 90210," is born in Mansfield, Ohio.
1968: NASA launches Apollo 7, the first successful manned Apollo mission, with astronauts Wally Schirra, Donn F. Eisele and Walter Cunningham aboard. Its 11-day Earth-orbital flight allowed the crew to check life-support, propulsion and control systems, clearing the way for the flight of Apollo 8 to orbit the Moon just two months later.
1968: Actress Jane Krakowski, best known for the TV shows "30 Rock" and "Ally McBeal," is born Jane Krajkowski in Parsippany-Troy Hills, N.J.
1969: Actor Stephen Moyer, best known as vampire Bill Compton in the HBO series "True Blood," is born in Brentwood, Essex, England.
1971: John Lennon releases the song "Imagine" as a single in the United States. It would go on to peak at No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100.
1972: The World Hockey Association, started to compete with the NHL, makes its official debut when the Alberta Oilers defeat the Ottawa Nationals 7-4 at the Ottawa Civic Centre. The league 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.
1975: The sketch comedy/variety show "Saturday Night Live" debuts with George Carlin as the host and Andy Kaufman, Janis Ian and Billy Preston as guests.
1976: President Gerald Ford approves George Washington's posthumous appointment to the grade of General of the Armies of the United States by executive order as authorized by a congressional joint resolution earlier in the year. The ranking ensured that Washington, who retired as a lieutenant general, would never be outranked by another U.S. Army officer.
1976: Actress Emily Deschanel, best known for her role as Dr. Temperance "Bones" Brennan on the TV drama "Bones," is born in Los Angeles.
1977: Actor Matthew Bomer, best known for his role as con artist Neal Caffrey on the USA Network show "White Collar," as well as for roles in such shows as "Chuck" and "Glee" and in movies such as "In Time" and "Magic Mike," is born in Spring, Texas.
1984: Aboard the space shuttle Challenger, astronaut Kathryn D. Sullivan becomes the first American woman to perform a space walk.
1984: Future Hockey Hall of Famer Mario Lemieux makes his NHL debut with the Pittsburgh Penguins against the Boston Bruins, scoring a goal on his first shot on his first NHL shift.
1989: Professional golfer Michelle Wie is born in Honolulu, Hawaii. At the age of 10, she became the youngest player to qualify for a USGA amateur championship. Wie would also become the youngest winner of the U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links and the youngest to qualify for a LPGA Tour event.
1991: Testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee, law professor Anita Hill accuses U.S. Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas of sexually harassing her while she had worked for him at the Department of Education and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Thomas reappears before the panel to denounce the proceedings as a "high-tech lynching." The U.S. Senate would ultimately confirm Thomas by a vote of 52–48 on Oct. 15, 1991.
1991: Comedian and actor Redd Foxx, best known for his starring role on the sitcom "Sanford and Son," dies from a heart attack at the age of 68 in Los Angeles. Foxx, whose real name was John Elroy Sanford, also starred in the short-lived TV shows "Sanford," "The Redd Foxx Show" and "The Royal Family."
1998: Pope John Paul II canonizes the first Jewish-born saint of the modern era: Edith Stein, a Catholic nun killed at Auschwitz.
2000: NASA launches STS-92, the 100th space shuttle mission, using space shuttle Discovery.
2001: The Polaroid Corporation files for federal bankruptcy protection. Almost all the company's assets (including the "Polaroid" name itself, which had become almost synonymous with instant photographs) were eventually sold to a subsidiary of Bank One. They went on to form a new company, which also operates under the name Polaroid Corporation. The "new" Polaroid Corporation would also file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, this time on Dec. 18, 2008.
2002: Former President Jimmy Carter wins the Nobel Peace Prize for his work "to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts, to advance democracy and human rights, and to promote economic and social development" through The Carter Center. Carter formed The Carter Center in 1982 to advance human rights and alleviate unnecessary human suffering. He is the only U.S. president to have received the honor after leaving office.
2002: Michael Moore's documentary "Bowling for Columbine" premieres in theaters. The film, which explores what Moore suggests are the causes for the Columbine High School massacre and other acts of violence with guns in America, would go on to win several awards, including the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature in 2003.
2006: New York Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle dies when the small aircraft he owns crashes into a residential building in New York City. Also killed was certified flight instructor Tyler Stanger. The National Transportation Safety Board would later find that the probable cause of the crash was pilot error, but was unable to determine whether Lidle or Stanger was flying the aircraft at the time of the crash. Lidle, who was 34 when he died, spent eight seasons in the MLB, also pitching for the New York Mets, Tampa Bay Devil Rays, Oakland Athletics, Toronto Blue Jays, Cincinnati Reds and Philadelphia Phillies.