1666: The Great Fire of London breaks out in the early morning hours. The fire burned for three days, destroying 10,000 buildings including St. Paul's Cathedral. Only six people were killed.
1789: The United States Department of the Treasury is founded.
1806: A massive landslide destroys the town of Goldau, Switzerland, killing 457. This painting by Swiss artist Xaver Triner shows the scar of the landslide and the buried town.
1864: Union forces enter Atlanta, Ga., a day after the Confederate defenders fled the sieged city, ending the Atlanta Campaign.
1885: In Rock Springs, Wyo., white miners, who were struggling to unionize so they could strike for better wages and work conditions, riot and attack their Chinese fellow workers. By the time the rioting ended, at least 28 Chinese miners were dead and 15 were injured. Several hundred more Chinese miners were forced out of town. Federal troops were deployed to Rock Springs and they escorted the surviving Chinese miners back to the city a week after the riot.
1901: U.S. Vice President Theodore Roosevelt utters the famous phrase, "Speak softly and carry a big stick" in a speech at the Minnesota State Fair. The speech came four days before the assassination of President William McKinley who died eight days after the attack, thrusting Roosevelt into the presidency.
1910: Henri Rousseau, the French Post-Impressionist painter who came to be recognized as a self-taught genius, dies at age 66 in Paris, France. Rousseau is best known for works such as "The Sleeping Gypsy," "Tiger in a Tropical Storm," "The Hungry Lion Throws Itself on the Antelope" and "Boy on the Rocks." He's seen here in a self portrait from 1903.
1929: Film director Hal Ashby, best known for movies such as "Harold and Maude," "The Last Detail," "Shampoo," "Bound for Glory," "Coming Home" and "Being There," is born in Ogden, Utah. He earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Director for "Coming Home," which was also nominated for seven other Oscars, including Best Picture, winning Best Actor (Jon Voight), Best Actress (Jane Fonda) and Best Original Screenplay. Ashby started out as a film editor, earning an Oscar nomination for Film Editing in 1967 for "The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming" and winning in 1968 for "In the Heat of the Night." He's seen here on the set of "The Last Detail" (left) with Otis Young and Jack Nicholson.
1935: A Category 5 hurricane strikes the Florida Keys on Labor Day, killing more than 400 people. The hurricane later caused additional damage in northwest Florida, Georgia, and the Carolinas. Pictured is a Florida East Coast Railway Overseas Railroad relief train that derailed near Islamorada, Fla., during the hurricane.
1937: French educator and historian Pierre de Coubertin, who founded the International Olympic Committee and is considered the father of the modern Olympic Games, dies of a stroke at age 74 in Geneva, Switzerland.
1945: The Instrument of Surrender of Japan is signed by Japanese Foreign Minister Mamoru Shigemitsu and accepted aboard the battleship USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay, ending combat in the Pacific Theater during World War II.
1946: Singer-songwriter, musician and actor Billy Preston is born in Houston, Texas. Preston first became famous as a session musician, working with artists such as Little Richard, Sam Cooke, Ray Charles and The Beatles, even sharing credit with the Fab Four on the single "Get Back." He later found success as a solo artist in the 1970s with the hit singles "Outa-Space," "Space Race," "Will It Go Round in Circles" and "Nothing from Nothing." Preston was also co-author, with The Beach Boys' Dennis Wilson, of "You Are So Beautiful," recorded by Preston and later a No. 5 hit for Joe Cocker.
1948: Basketball Hall of Fame point guard Nate "Tiny" Archibald, who spent 14 years playing in the NBA, most notably with the Kansas City Kings and Boston Celtics, is born in New York City. The six-time NBA All-Star won an NBA championship with the Celtics in 1981 and led the NBA in scoring and assists in 1973 while playing with the Kings. He also played a season each with the New York Nets and the Milwaukee Bucks.
1948: Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Terry Bradshaw, who played 14 seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers, winning four Super Bowl titles in a six-year period (1975, 1976, 1979 and 1980), is born in Shreveport, La. Bradshaw, who played collegiately at Louisiana Tech and is also an inductee in the College Football Hall of Fame, was the first quarterback to win three and four Super Bowls and led the Steelers to eight AFC Central championships. He earned the NFL MVP award in 1978 and was the MVP of Super Bowls XIII and XIV.
1948: Christa McAuliffe, the teacher who died in the 1986 space shuttle Challenger explosion, is born Sharon Christa Corrigan in Boston, Mass.
1951: Actor Mark Harmon, best known for his TV work on the series "St. Elsewhere," "Chicago Hope" and "NCIS," is born in Burbank, Calif. Harmon has also starred in movies such as "The Deliberate Stranger," "Summer School," "The Presidio" and "Chasing Liberty."
1952: Jimmy Connors, a former world No. 1 tennis player, is born in East St. Louis, Ill. Connors, whose career ran from 1972 to 1996, won eight Grand Slam singles titles (five U.S. Opens, two Wimbledons and one Australian Open) and two Grand Slam doubles titles (at the U.S. Open and Wimbledon). He's seen here in 1978 during a tournament in Rotterdam, Netherlands.
1960: Pro Football Hall of Fame running back Eric Dickerson, who rushed for 13,259 yards and 90 touchdowns in a 12-year NFL career, is born in Sealy, Texas. Dickerson, who played for the Los Angeles Rams, Indianapolis Colts, Los Angeles Raiders and Atlanta Falcons, holds the NFL's single-season rushing record with 2,105 yards, set in 1984, and also led the NFL in rushing in 1983, 1986 and 1988.
1963: Alabama Gov. George Wallace prevents the integration of Tuskegee High School by surrounding the building with state troopers. Eight days later, President John F. Kennedy federalized the Alabama National Guard and called them to the area, forcing Wallace to abandon his attempt to block the desegregation of Alabama public schools.
1963: "CBS Evening News" becomes U.S. network television's first half-hour weeknight news broadcast, when the show is lengthened from 15 to 30 minutes.
1964: Actor Keanu Reeves, best known for movies such as "Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure," "Speed," "Point Break" and "The Matrix," is born in Beirut, Lebanon.
1965: Boxer Lennox Lewis, who became the undisputed world heavyweight champion after defeating Evander Holyfield in November 1999, is born in West Ham, London, England. He retired in 2004 with a career record of 41 wins (32 by knockout), two losses and one draw. As an amateur boxer he won a gold medal representing Canada at the 1988 Summer Olympics.
1966: Actress Salma Hayek, known for movies such as "Desperado," "From Dusk Till Dawn," "Dogma," "Frida" and "Grown Ups," is born in Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz, Mexico. She received nominations for an Academy Award, a BAFTA Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award and a Golden Globe Award for her role as painter Frida Kahlo in 2002's "Frida."
1969: Ho Chi Minh, the Vietnamese communist revolutionary leader who was prime minister and president of North Vietnam, dies of heart failure at age 79 in Hanoi, North Vietnam. He was a key figure in the foundation of North Vietnam in 1945, as well as the People’s Army of Vietnam and the Viet Cong during the Vietnam War.
1973: English philologist, writer, and poet J. R. R. Tolkien, best known as the author of the classic high fantasy works "The Hobbit," "The Lord of the Rings" and "The Silmarillion," dies at age 81 in Bournemouth, England.
1992: An earthquake in Nicaragua kills at least 116 people. The earthquake also left more than 13,500 homeless in Nicaragua and destroyed 1,300 houses and 185 fishing boats along the west coast of country. Some damage was also reported in Costa Rica. Most of the casualties and damage were caused by a tsunami affecting the west coasts of Nicaragua and Costa Rica, reaching heights of up to 26 feet.
1993: Pearl Jam's "Jeremy" video wins four awards, including Video of the Year, at the MTV Video Music Awards. The band responded by not making any more videos until 1998.
1995: The opening of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland is celebrated with a star-studded opening ceremony featuring performances by such stars as Bob Dylan, Chuck Berry, James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Little Richard, Al Green, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, John Mellencamp and Bruce Springsteen.
1998: Swissair Flight 111 from New York City to Geneva, Switzerland, crashes into the Atlantic Ocean near St. Margarets Bay, Nova Scotia, Canada. All 229 people on board were killed. The Transportation Safety Board of Canada's official report stated that flammable material used in the aircraft's structure allowed a fire to spread beyond the control of the crew, resulting in the loss of control and crash of the aircraft. Here the aircraft involved in the accident is seen at Zurich Airport in July 1998.
2001: Actor Troy Donahue, a male sex symbol of the 1950s and 1960s, dies of a heart attack at age 65 in Santa Monica, Calif. Some of his best known movies include "Monster on the Campus," "A Summer Place," "Rome Adventure," "Palm Springs Weekend" and "A Distant Trumpet." He also starred in the TV shows "Surfside 6" (pictured, with Margarita Sierra) and "Hawaiian Eye."
2005: Actor Bob Denver, known for his roles as Gilligan on the TV sitcom "Gilligan's Island" and the beatnik Maynard G. Krebs on the TV series "The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis," dies at age 70 in Winston-Salem, N.C., of complications from treatment he was receiving for cancer.
While the child stars whose careers fade seem to get most of the press, plenty of young actors have managed to stay successful into adulthood, including Anna Paquin, who is celebrating her 32nd birthday on Thursday.