1999: Pro Football Hall of Fame running back Walter Payton, a nine-time Pro Bowler who once held the NFL records for most career rushing yards, touchdowns, carries, yards from scrimmage, all-purpose yards, and many other categories, dies from cholangiocarcinoma at age 45 in South Barrington, Illinois. Payton had been struggling with the rare liver disease primary sclerosing cholangitis for several months at the time of his death. The Chicago Bears great won two NFL Most Valuable Player Awards and a championship in Super Bowl XX during his 12-year career.
1994: The Nirvana album "MTV Unplugged in New York" is released. The album, which was the first Nirvana album released in the wake of the death of Kurt Cobain, would debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 album chart, selling 310,500 copies in its first week, and win a Grammy in 1996.
1993: The Maastricht Treaty takes effect, formally establishing the European Union and leading to the creation of the single European currency, the euro.
1985: Actor and comedian Phil Silvers dies of natural causes at age 74 in Century City, California. Nicknamed "The King of Chutzpah," Silvers was best known for starring in "The Phil Silvers Show," a 1950s sitcom set on a U.S. Army post in which he played Sergeant Ernest G. Bilko.
1982: Film director King Vidor, who was nominated five times for a Best Director Oscar during a career that included films such as "Hallelujah!," "The Citadel," "The Champ" and "War and Peace," dies of a heart ailment at age 88 at his ranch in Paso Robles, California.
1982: Honda becomes the first Asian automobile company to produce cars in the United States with the automaker's new factory in Marysville, Ohio, rolling out its first Honda Accord.
1979: Former U.S. first lady Mamie Eisenhower, the widowed wife of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, dies at the age of 82 in Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., where she had been hospitalized since suffering a stroke on Sept. 25, 1979.
1975: Rod Stewart and the Faces play their final show together, at the Minneapolis Auditorium in Minnesota. The group's breakup was due to Stewart wanting to further his success with his solo career.
1973: Leon Jaworski is appointed the new Watergate special prosecutor, less than two weeks after the Oct. 20 "Saturday Night Massacre," President Richard Nixon's dismissal of special prosecutor Archibald Cox and the resignations of Attorney General Elliot Richardson and Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus. Jaworski would end up subpoenaing Nixon for tapes of White House conversations and taking the case to the Supreme Court, which ordered Nixon to give Jaworski unedited version of the tapes.
1972: American poet Ezra Pound, whose best-known works include "Ripostes," "Hugh Selwyn Mauberley" and his unfinished 120-section epic "The Cantos," dies in his sleep of an intestinal blockage at the age of 87 in Venice, Italy.
1972: Actress Toni Collette, best known for her roles in the movies "Muriel's Wedding," "The Sixth Sense" and "Little Miss Sunshine," and in the Showtime drama "United States of Tara," is born in Blacktown, New South Wales, Australia.
1972: Actress and model Jenny McCarthy, who parlayed her mid-1990s success as a Playboy model and host of the MTV game show "Singled Out" into a successful movie and TV career, is born in Evergreen Park, Illinois.
1969: The Beatles' "Abbey Road" album goes No. 1 on the Billboard 200 album chart in its third week of release. The album would spend a total of 11 weeks on top of the chart and become the best-selling album of 1969 and the fourth-best of 1970.
1968: The Motion Picture Association of America's voluntary film rating system is officially introduced, originating with the ratings G (General Audiences), M (Mature Audiences), R (Restricted) and X (Adults Only). The M rating would be changed to a "GP" rating in 1969 and then finally "PG" in 1970. The PG-13 rating was added in 1984, with the NC-17 rating replacing the unofficial X rating in 1990.
1967: The prison drama "Cool Hand Luke," starring Paul Newman, George Kennedy and Strother Martin, premieres in theaters. The movie would earn Oscar nominations for Best Actor (Newman), Best Supporting Actor (Kennedy), Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Original Music Score, but only Kennedy would win.
1966: Sandy Koufax becomes the first three-time Cy Young Award winner. He also won the award in 1963 and 1965. The record would be exceeded when Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Steve Carlton won his fourth Cy Young in 1982, and again when Greg Maddux of the Atlanta Braves won his fourth in 1995. The record would also eventually be further exceeded by Randy Johnson (five) and Roger Clemens (seven).
1962: Singer-songwriter Anthony Kiedis, the frontman for the rock band Red Hot Chili Peppers, is born in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
1959: Montreal Canadiens goaltender Jacques Plante wears a protective mask during a regular season game for the first time. Plante donned the mask after breaking his nose three minutes into a game against the New York Rangers. The homemade fiberglass mask, which Plante had previously worn during practices, is seen here in the Hockey Hall of Fame. While he wasn't the first goalie known to wear a mask in a game (Clint Benedict of the Montreal Maroons wore a crude leather version in 1929 to protect a broken nose), Plante's example would introduce the mask as everyday equipment.
1957: The Mackinac Bridge, the world's longest suspension bridge between anchorages at the time, opens to traffic connecting Michigan's upper and lower peninsulas. The opening of the bridge ended decades of the two peninsulas being solely linked by ferries.
1957: Singer-songwriter and actor Lyle Lovett, who has recorded 13 studio albums and won four Grammys in his career, is born in Klein, Texas.
1952: The United States detonates its first hydrogen bomb with the "Ivy Mike" nuclear test on Enewetak, an atoll in the Pacific Ocean.
1950: Pope Pius XII claims papal infallibility when he formally defines the Assumption of Mary as being an article of faith for Roman Catholics.
1950: Puerto Rican nationalists Griselio Torresola (pictured) and Oscar Collazo attempt to assassinate U.S. President Harry S. Truman at Blair House, the official state guest house for the president, which was serving as Truman's home while the White House was being renovated. On the street outside the residence, Torresola mortally wounded White House policeman Leslie Coffelt, who returned fire before dying and killed Torresola. Collazo, as a co-conspirator in a felony that turned into a homicide, would be found guilty of murder and sentenced to death in 1952. Truman, who was taking a nap upstairs in Blair House during the shooting, would later commute his sentence to life in prison.
1947: The racehorse Man o' War, considered one of the greatest Thoroughbred racehorses of all time, dies at age 30 of an apparent heart attack. During his career just after World War I, he won 20 of 21 races and $249,465 in purses.
1946: The New York Knicks play the Toronto Huskies at the Maple Leaf Gardens, in the first Basketball Association of America game. The Knicks won 68–66. The BAA would become the NBA after merging with its rival, the National Basketball League, in 1949.
1942: Larry Flynt, the publisher of the pornographic magazine Hustler and who has fought several prominent legal battles involving the First Amendment, is born in Lakeville, Kentucky.
1938: Seabiscuit (pictured during a workout with jockey George Woolf) defeats War Admiral in an upset victory during a match race at the Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore deemed "the match of the century" in horse racing.
1924: Boston grocery tycoon Charles Adams is awarded an expansion franchise in the National Hockey League, with the Boston Bruins becoming the first American franchise in the NHL.
1918: At least 93 people die when a Brooklyn Rapid Transit Company train derails under the intersection of Malbone Street and Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn, New York, making it the worst rapid transit accident in U.S. history.
1915: Parris Island in Port Royal, South Carolina, is officially designated a U.S. Marine Corps Recruit Depot. Today, the military base provides the initial training for all male recruits living east of the Mississippi River and female recruits from all over the United States.
1897: The Thomas Jefferson Building, the first Library of Congress building, opens its doors to the public. The Library had previously been housed in the Congressional Reading Room in the U.S. Capitol.
1894: The magazine Billboard Advertising, would later become known simply as Billboard, is published for the first time. It started out as a trade paper for the bill posting industry, but soon began to carry news of outdoor amusements, a major consumer of billboard space. Eventually it would become the paper of record for circuses, carnivals, amusement parks, fairs, vaudeville and other live entertainment. The magazine would begin coverage of motion pictures in 1909 and of radio in the 1920s.
1871: Writer Stephen Crane, best known for his 1895 Civil War novel "The Red Badge of Courage," is born in Newark, New Jersey. He died of tuberculosis at age 28 on June 5, 1900.
1870: In the United States, the Weather Bureau (later renamed the National Weather Service) makes its first official meteorological forecast.
1848: In Boston, the first medical school for women, The New England Female Medical College, opens. It would later be merged with the Boston University School of Medicine.
1800: President John Adams becomes the first president of the United States to live in the Executive Mansion (later renamed the White House).
1765: The Stamp Act goes into effect, prompting stiff resistance from American colonists. The act required that many printed materials in the colonies be produced on stamped paper produced in London and carrying an embossed revenue stamp.
1755: Most of Lisbon, Portugal, is destroyed by a massive earthquake and tsunami, killing between 60,000 and 90,000 people.
1604: William Shakespeare's tragedy "Othello" is presented for the first time, at Whitehall Palace in London.
1520: The Strait of Magellan, the passage immediately south of mainland South America connecting the Pacific and the Atlantic Oceans, is first navigated by European explorer Ferdinand Magellan during the first recorded circumnavigation voyage. The strait was originally called Strait of All Saints, with Nov. 1 being All Saints Day, but within seven years it had been renamed in honor of Magellan.
1512: The ceiling of the Vatican's Sistine Chapel, painted by Michelangelo, is exhibited to the public for the first time.