1604: Supernova 1604 becomes the most recent supernova to be observed in the Milky Way. The supernova would eventually become known as Kepler's Supernova or Kepler's Star, after German astronomer Johannes Kepler, one of the first write about it. Observers used only their eyes to study it, because the telescope had not yet been invented. In the first part of the 2000s, astronomers used NASA's three Great Observatories to analyze the supernova remnant in infrared, optical and X-ray light (pictured).
1701: The Collegiate School of Connecticut (later renamed Yale University) is chartered in Old Saybrook, Conn. Pictured is the charter, titled "An Act for Liberty to Erect a Collegiate School," passed by the General Court of the Colony of Connecticut.
1781: The last major battle of the American Revolutionary War begins in Yorktown, Va. The American forces, led by George Washington, would eventually defeat the British troops under Lord Cornwallis.
1888: The Washington Monument officially opens to the general public.
1916: Babe Ruth begins a 29 2/3 scoreless World Series innings streak with 13 shutout innings in a 14-inning complete-game win over the Brooklyn Robins. The streak, which would come to an end in 1918, would stand as a record until 1961, when New York Yankees pitcher Whitey Ford bested it with 32 scoreless World Series innings in a row, a record that still stands today.
1919: The Cincinnati Reds win Game 8 of the World Series to capture the title five games to three over the Chicago White Sox. The win would later be tainted when eight Chicago White Sox players were charged with throwing some of the games. The incident became known as the "Black Sox" scandal.
1936: Generators at Boulder Dam (later renamed to Hoover Dam) begin to generate electricity from the Colorado River and transmit it 266 miles to Los Angeles.
1940: During a nighttime air raid by the German Luftwaffe during World War II, the dome of London's St. Paul's Cathedral is pierced by a Nazi bomb, leaving the high altar in ruin. It was one of the few occasions that the 17th-century cathedral would suffer significant damage during Germany's nearly ceaseless bombing raids on London in the fall of 1940 and the cathedral would survive the war largely intact.
1940: Musician and singer-songwriter John Lennon, who rose to worldwide fame as a founder member of The Beatles, is born in Liverpool, England. He also went on to a solo career that produced such iconic songs as "Give Peace a Chance" and "Imagine" before his murder in December 1980.
1944: Musician John Entwistle, best known as the bassist for the rock band The Who, is born in London, England. He's seen here in 2000 at far left with Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend.
1948: Singer-songwriter Jackson Browne, known for such songs as "The Pretender," "Running On Empty" and "Somebody's Baby," is born in Heidelberg, Germany.
1952: Sharon Osbourne, music manager and wife of rock star Ozzy Osbourne, is born under the birth name Sharon Rachel Levy in London, England.
1953: Actor Tony Shalhoub, best known for playing sleuth Adrian Monk on the TV drama "Monk," is born in Green Bay, Wis. He's also known for the role of Antonio Scarpacci on the TV sitcom "Wings," his first major role, as well as parts in movies such as "Men in Black," "Cars," "Addams Family Values" and "The Siege."
1954: Actor Scott Bakula, best known for playing the time-jumping Sam Beckett on the sci-fi TV show "Quantum Leap," as well as his role on "Star Trek: Enterprise," is born in St. Louis, Mo.
1963: In northeast Italy, more than 2,000 people are killed when a large landslide behind the Vajont Dam causes a giant wave of water to overtop it. This picture shows the village of Longarone below the dam after the wave had passed through.
1965: The Beatles' "Yesterday" single goes No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, where it would stay for the next four weeks.
1967: A day after being captured, Marxist revolutionary Ernesto "Che" Guevara is executed for attempting to incite a revolution in Bolivia. Guevara, seen here in 1960, reportedly told his executioner, Bolivian Sgt. Mario Terán, "I know you've come to kill me. Shoot me you coward! You are only going to kill a man!"
1970: Former professional golfer Annika Sörenstam, who won 72 official LPGA tournaments including 10 majors and 18 other tournaments internationally, and tops the LPGA's career money list with earnings of more than $22 million, is born in Bro, Sweden.
1971: The crime drama "The French Connection," starring Gene Hackman and Roy Scheider and directed by William Friedkin, premieres in theaters. The movie would go on to become the first R-rated movie to win the Academy Award for Best Picture since the introduction of the MPAA film rating system. It also would win Academy Awards for Best Actor (Hackman), Best Director, Best Film Editing and Best Adapted Screenplay and be nominated for Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Scheider), Best Cinematography and Best Sound.
1973: The divorce of Elvis and Priscilla Presley is finalized after nearly six and a half years of marriage.
1974: Oskar Schindler dies in Frankfurt, Germany. Schindler is credited with saving the lives of about 1,200 Jews during the Holocaust by employing them in his enamelware and ammunitions factories. He was also the basis of Steven Spielberg's Oscar-winning film "Schindler's List."
1975: Andrei Sakharov, often called the father of the Soviet hydrogen bomb, becomes the first Soviet citizen to win the Nobel Peace Prize for his work as an outspoken dissident to the Soviet regime. Sakharov, seen here in 1989, was not allowed to leave the Soviet Union to collect it.
1985: On what would have been his 45th birthday, a garden memorial is dedicated to John Lennon by his widow Yoko Ono. The memorial in New York City's Central Park is called Strawberry Fields.
1986: The musical "The Phantom of the Opera" by Andrew Lloyd Webber opens at Her Majesty's Theatre in London's West End. The musical, which would premiere on Broadway in 1988, won the 1986 Olivier Award and the 1988 Tony Award for Best Musical. It is the longest-running Broadway show by a wide margin and the second longest-running West End musical.
1990: David Souter is sworn in as an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.
1992: A 26-pound fragment of the Peekskill meteorite lands in the driveway of the Knapp residence in Peekskill, N.Y., destroying the family's 1980 Chevrolet Malibu. The meteorite was unique in that it was captured on video by at least 16 cameras. Only a handful of meteorite falls have been caught on film and none have been captured from as many angles and localities as Peekskill, allowing scientists to calculate the meteorite's flight path to Earth.
1993: Singer Scotty McCreery, who would go on to win the 10th season of "American Idol" in 2011 and then watch his debut album, "Clear as Day," produce the top 40 country hits "I Love You This Big" and "The Trouble with Girls," is born in Raleigh, N.C.
1997: Dean Smith, head basketball coach at the University of North Carolina, retires as the winningest coach in NCAA Division I men's basketball. His record of 879 wins would eventually be eclipsed by Bob Knight in 2007, Mike Krzyzewski in 2011 and Jim Boeheim in 2012. Krzyzewski is the current leader with 957 career wins going into the 2013-14 season.
1999: The SR-71 Blackbird strategic reconnaissance aircraft flies for the last time. The plane had been permanently retired by the U.S. Air Force in 1998, leaving NASA with the two last flyable Blackbirds until 1999.
2001: Two more anthrax letters in the 2001 attacks are mailed from Trenton, N.J. Unlike the first mailings on Sept. 18, 2001, which targeted the news media, the second letters were addressed to Democratic Sens. Tom Daschle and Patrick Leahy. The letters containing anthrax spores would end up killing five people and infecting 17 others. Federal prosecutors in August 2008 named scientist Bruce Edwards Ivins, who had committed suicide a month earlier, the sole culprit in the crime.
2002: Serial killer Aileen Wuornos, who killed seven men in Florida in 1989 and 1990, is executed via lethal injection at the Florida State Prison in Bradford County, Fla. She was the 10th woman in the United States to be executed since the Supreme Court lifted the ban on capital punishment in 1976, and the second woman ever executed in Florida. Wuornos had claimed that all the killings were committed in self defense, saying that her victims had either raped or attempted to rape her while she was working as a prostitute. Her life got more attention a year after her execution with the release of the movie "Monster," with Charlize Theron winning an Academy Award for Best Actress for portraying Wuornos.
2006: North Korea allegedly tests its first nuclear device.
2006: Google announces it was buying YouTube for $1.65 billion in a stock deal.
2009: President Barack Obama wins the Nobel Peace Prize. In announcing the award, the Norwegian Nobel Committee cited Obama's promotion of nuclear nonproliferation and a "new climate" in international relations fostered by Obama, especially in reaching out to the Muslim world.
2010: A drill reaches an underground chamber with 33 trapped Chilean miners inside 65 days after they had been trapped by a cave-in on Aug. 5, 2010, in the mine near Copiapó, Chile. All 33 miners would be rescued on Oct. 13, 2010, over a period of almost 24 hours.