1732: The Royal Opera House opens at Covent Garden, London.
1787: Delaware becomes the first state to ratify the United States Constitution.
1796: John Adams is elected to be the second president of the United States, defeating the Democratic-Republican ticket of Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr with 53.4 percent of the vote.
1808: James Madison is elected U.S. president, capturing 64.7 percent of the popular vote to defeat Federalist candidate Charles Cotesworth Pinckney. Madison had served as secretary of state under incumbent President Thomas Jefferson, and Pinckney had been the unsuccessful Federalist candidate in the election of 1804.
1817: Vice Admiral William Bligh, most known for the historic 1789 mutiny against him aboard the HMS Bounty, dies at the age of 63 in London, England.
1836: Martin Van Buren is elected the eighth president of the United States, earning 170 electoral votes to beat out William Henry Harrison and three other Whig Party candidates, who earned a total of 122 electoral votes.
1842: The New York Philharmonic gives its first concert, in the Apollo Rooms on lower Broadway before an audience of 600.
1863: Richard Sears, the cofounder of department store company Sears, Roebuck and Company, is born in Stewartville, Minn.
1869: American outlaw Jesse James commits his first confirmed bank robbery in Gallatin, Mo.
1902: German-born American cartoonist Thomas Nast, often considered to be the "Father of the American Cartoon," dies of yellow fever at the age of 62 in Guayaquil, Ecuador. Nast, who became famous in the 1870s for lampooning corrupt politician Boss Tweed and the Tammany Hall political machine, is also credited with creating the modern version of Santa Claus and the political symbol of the elephant for the Republican Party.
1910: Musician Louis Prima, who would find fame as a jazz, swing and big band singer-songwriter, is born in New Orleans. Some of Prima's most memorable songs include "Sing Sing Sing" and "Jump, Jive and Wail," and he also voiced the character of King Louie and sang the song "I Wanna Be Like You" in the 1967 Disney movie "The Jungle Book." He died at the age of 67 in August 1978 after spending three years in a coma following a cerebral hemorrhage.
1915: Actor Eli Wallach, best known for his roles in movies such as "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" (pictured), "The Magnificent Seven" and "The Godfather Part III," is born in Brooklyn, N.Y.
1923: Actor Ted Knight, best known for his TV roles on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and "Too Close for Comfort," and for playing Judge Elihu Smails in "Caddyshack," is born Tadeusz Wladyslaw Konopka in Terryville, Conn. Knight, who won two Emmys in six nominations for his "Mary Tyler Moore Show" role, died of colorectal cancer at age 62 in August 1986.
1928: Linguist and political writer Noam Chomsky is born in Philadelphia, Pa.
1932: Actress Ellen Burstyn, who won an Academy Award for Best Actress in 1975 for "Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore," is born Edna Rae Gillooly in Detroit, Mich. Burstyn has also received Oscar nominations for her roles in "The Last Picture Show," "The Exorcist," "Same Time, Next Year," "Resurrection" and "Requiem for a Dream."
1941: The Imperial Japanese Navy mounts a surprise attack on the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The attack, which killed 2,402 Americans, injured another 1,282, and destroyed 188 U.S. aircraft and six ships, led directly to the American entry into World War II, with war being declared on Japan the following day.
1942: Singer-songwriter Harry Chapin, best known for his folk rock songs including "Taxi," "W*O*L*D" and the No. 1 hit "Cat's in the Cradle," is born in Brooklyn, N.Y. He died in a car crash in Jericho, N.Y., at the age of 38 on July 16, 1981.
1946: A fire at the Winecoff Hotel in Atlanta, Ga., kills 119 people, the deadliest hotel fire in U.S. history.
1947: Hall of Fame catcher Johnny Bench, who played for the Cincinnati Reds from 1967 to 1983, is born in Oklahoma City, Okla. Bench, a 14-time All-Star and a two-time National League Most Valuable Player, won World Series championships with the Reds in 1975 and 1976.
1949: Singer-songwriter and actor Tom Waits, whose best known songs include "Ol' '55," "Jersey Girl" and "Downtown Train," is born in Pomona, Calif. Waits has also appeared in movies such as "The Outsiders," "The Cotton Club," "Bram Stoker's Dracula," "Domino" and "The Book of Eli."
1956: Hall of Fame basketball player Larry Bird, who won three NBA championships with the Boston Celtics during a career that ran from 1979 to 1992, is born in West Baden, Ind. Bird, who was also a 12-time NBA All-Star and was named the league's Most Valuable Player three times, also earned an Olympic gold medal with the 1992 Dream Team.
1963: Instant replay makes its debut during the television broadcast of the annual Army-Navy football game. The instant replay machine weighed 1,300 pounds and was used to broadcast only one replay, Rollie Stichweh's winning touchdown for Army. It was replayed at the original speed, with commentator Lindsey Nelson advising viewers "Ladies and gentlemen, Army did not score again!"
1966: Actor C. Thomas Howell, best known for his movie roles in "The Outsiders," "The Hitcher," "Soul Man" and "Red Dawn," is born in Van Nuys, Calif.
1970: Cartoonist and inventor Rube Goldberg dies at the age of 87. Goldberg was best known for a series of popular cartoons depicting complex gadgets that perform simple tasks in indirect, convoluted ways. The machines would become known as "Rube Goldberg machines."
1971: Paul McCartney's new band, Wings, release their first album "Wild Life." The album would reach No. 11 in the United Kingdom and No. 10 in the United States, where it went gold.
1972: Apollo 17, the last Apollo moon mission, is launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The launch was also the first night launch of a U.S. human spaceflight and the final crewed launch of a Saturn V rocket. The crew took the photograph famously known as "The Blue Marble" as they left Earth.
1973: Former NFL wide receiver Terrell Owens, who played 15 seasons in the NFL and holds or shares several league records, is born in Alexander City, Ala. Owens, who last played in 2010, spent the majority of his career with the San Francisco 49ers and also played for the Philadelphia Eagles, Dallas Cowboys, Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals, totalling 1,078 receptions, 15,934 receiving yards and 153 touchdowns in his career. The six-time Pro Bowl selection became nearly as known for his touchdown celebrations and his outspoken public persona as for his play on the field.
1975: American author and playwright Thornton Wilder, who won three Pulitzer Prizes, for the novel "The Bridge of San Luis Rey" and for the plays "Our Town" and "The Skin of Our Teeth," dies at the age of 78 in Hamden, Conn.
1979: "Star Trek: The Motion Picture," a movie adaptation of the short-lived sci-fi television series, premieres in theaters 10 years after the TV series went off the air. It set a box office record for highest weekend gross, making $11.8 million in its first weekend despite mixed reviews from critics. The movie, starring the original cast from the TV show, including William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, James Doohan, Walter Koenig, Nichelle Nichols and George Takei, would spawn a film franchise that continues today.
1979: Singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles, who achieved mainstream success in 2007 with the No. 1 hit single "Love Song," is born in Eureka, Calif.
1979: Actress Jennifer Carpenter, best known for her role in the Showtime series "Dexter," is born in Louisville, Ky. She's also appeared in movies such as "The Exorcism of Emily Rose," "Quarantine" and "Gone."
1982: In Texas, Charles Brooks Jr. becomes the first person to be executed by lethal injection in the United States.
1987: Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev sets foot on American soil for the first time. He had come to the U.S. for a Washington summit with U.S. President Ronald Reagan.
1988: An earthquake measuring 6.9 on the Richter scale hits the northern region of Armenia, killing nearly 25,000, injuring another 15,000 and leaving 400,000 homeless.
1988: Yasser Arafat recognizes the right of Israel to exist by accepting UN Security Council Resolution 242.
1988: Actress Emily Browning, known for movies such as "Ghost Ship," "Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events," "The Uninvited" and "Sucker Punch," is born in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
1989: At the Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas, Sugar Ray Leonard and Roberto Duran complete their trilogy of boxing fights nine years after their first two fights. Leonard, who lost the first fight and won the second, retained his WBC world Super Middleweight title with a 12-round unanimous decision.
1993: Passenger Colin Ferguson murders six people and injures 19 others on the Long Island Rail Road in Nassau County, N.Y. Ferguson would later be sentenced to 315 years and eight months to life in prison.
1995: The Galileo spacecraft arrives at Jupiter after six years of travel via gravitational assist flybys of Venus and Earth, becoming the first spacecraft to orbit Jupiter. The orbiter would spend eight years examining Jupiter and its moons Io and Europa until NASA concluded its mission in September 2003 by sending the orbiter into Jupiter's atmosphere, destroying it to avoid any chance of it contaminating local moons with bacteria from Earth.
1999: The Recording Industry Association of America files a lawsuit against the Napster file-sharing client alleging copyright infringement. The suit would eventually lead to the shutdown of Napster's entire network in July 2001.
2001: The comedy-crime caper "Ocean's Eleven," starring an ensemble cast including George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Don Cheadle, Andy García and Julia Roberts, and directed by Steven Soderbergh, opens in theaters. The movie, a remake of the 1960 Rat Pack film "Ocean's 11," would prove to be a success at the box office, earning more than $450 million worldwide and spawning two sequels.
2002: In Amsterdam, Netherlands, two Van Gogh paintings, "View of the Sea at Scheveningen" and "Congregation Leaving the Reformed Church in Nuenen," are stolen from the Van Gogh Museum. On July 26, 2004, two men would be convicted for the crime and sentenced to at least four years in prison each.
2007: The Hebei Spirit oil spill begins in South Korea after a crane barge being pulled by a tug collides with the anchored crude carrier Hebei Spirit. The spill, the worst in South Korea's history, was about one-third of the size of the Exxon Valdez oil spill.
2007: Baseball home run king Barry Bonds pleads not guilty in federal court in San Francisco to four counts of perjury and one count of obstruction of justice stemming from charges he'd lied to federal investigators about using performance-enhancing drugs. On April 13, 2011, U.S. District Court Judge Susan Illston declared a mistrial on the three perjury charges after the jury was unable to reach a verdict. However, the jury found Bonds guilty on the obstruction of justice charge for giving an evasive answer to a question under oath. He was sentenced to 30 days of house arrest, two years of probation and 250 hours of community service, which was eventually upheld upon appeal in September 2013.
2008: The first regular season NFL game is played in Canada at Rogers Centre in Toronto as the Buffalo Bills defeat the Miami Dolphins 16–3.
2010: Elizabeth Edwards, the estranged wife of former Democratic vice-presidential nominee and U.S. Sen. John Edwards, dies of breast cancer at the age of 61 in Chapel Hill, N.C.
2011: Actor Harry Morgan, best known for his roles as Officer Bill Gannon on "Dragnet" and Col. Sherman T. Potter on "M*A*S*H," dies in his sleep at the age of 96 in Los Angeles.
2011: Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich is sentenced to 14 years in federal prison more than five months after being convicted of corruption for trying to trade the U.S. senate seat once held by President Barack Obama for financial and political gain.