2011: Apple Inc. announces the release of its much-anticipated iPhone 4S. The phone retained the exterior design of its predecessor, the iPhone 4, but added a voice recognition system known as Siri, a cloud storage service named iCloud and other improved hardware specifications and software updates.
2004: American astronaut Gordon Cooper, one of the seven original astronauts in Project Mercury, the first manned space program of the United States, dies of heart failure at age 77 in Ventura, California. Cooper piloted the longest and final Mercury spaceflight in 1963. He was the first American to sleep in space during that 34-hour mission and was the last American to be launched alone to conduct an entirely solo orbital mission. In 1965, he also flew as command pilot of Gemini 5.
2004: SpaceShipOne wins the Ansari X Prize for private spaceflight, by being the first private craft to fly into space months earlier. The stubby, short-winged craft was carried to 47,000 feet on a jet-powered mother ship dubbed "White Knight" and then ignited its rocket, carrying it to a height of 328,491 feet, past the boundary of space.
2002: John Walker Lindh, the so-called "American Taliban," is sentenced to 20 years in prison by a federal judge in Alexandria, Virginia. Lindh was an American citizen who was captured as an enemy combatant during the United States' 2001 invasion of Afghanistan.
2002: Richard Reid pleads guilty in a federal court to eight criminal counts in connection to trying to blow up a trans-Atlantic flight with explosives hidden in his shoes. The Englishman, who became known as the "Shoe Bomber," was eventually sentenced to three life terms plus 110 years in prison without parole.
2001: Rickey Henderson of the San Diego Padres hits a home run to score his 2,246th career run and break Ty Cobb's major-league record. Before retiring in 2003, he would add 49 more runs for a career total of 2,295, a record he still holds today.
1993: During Russia's Constitutional Crisis, tanks bombard the Moscow government building housing the Russian parliament, while demonstrators against President Boris Yeltsin rally outside. Vice President Alexander Rutskoy, who had assumed the powers of acting president after Yeltsin's earlier decree to dissolve parliament was declared unconstitutional, and his supporters, including parliament chairman Ruslan Khasbulatov, were arrested and charged with organization of mass disturbances.
1989: English comedian and actor Graham Chapman, best known as one of the members of the comedy group Monty Python, dies at age 48 in Maidstone, Kent, England, after suffering from tonsil cancer and secondary spinal cancer. He's seen here in a group photo with the rest of the Monty Python group, in the back left with a pipe in his mouth.
1989: Secretariat, the racehorse that in 1973 became the first U.S. Triple Crown champion in 25 years and is considered to be one of the greatest Thoroughbreds of all time, is euthanized at the age of 19 after a month of treatment fails to cure laminitis, a painful and often incurable hoof condition.
1983: Richard Noble sets a new land speed record of 633.468 mph, driving Thrust2 at the Black Rock Desert of Nevada. In 1997, Thrust2's record would be broken by Noble's follow up car, ThrustSSC, driven by Royal Air Force fighter pilot Wing Commander Andy Green.
1976: The U.S. Supreme Court lifts the 1972 ban on the death penalty for convicted murderers. A 1972 ruling by the court had voided states' death penalty statutes because they could result in arbitrary sentencing, making them "cruel and unusual" punishment. After states passed new laws to deal with the issue, through bifurcated trials featuring separate deliberations for the guilt and penalty phases as well as other changes, the Supreme Court ruled that the new laws weren't unconstitutional.
1976: Barbara Walters becomes the first female nightly network news anchor, working with Harry Reasoner on "ABC Evening News."
1976: Actress Alicia Silverstone, best known for her roles in "Clueless," "The Crush" and "Batman & Robin," is born in San Francisco, California.
1970: Singer-songwriter Janis Joplin is found dead of a heroin overdose in a Hollywood hotel at the age of 27. She had just finished recording her second solo album, "Pearl," which went to No. 1 upon its posthumous release in 1971 and featured her biggest hit single, a cover of Kris Kristofferson's "Me and Bobby McGee."
1967: Actor Liev Schreiber, best known for the "Scream" movie franchise, "The Sum of All Fears," "X-Men Origins: Wolverine," "Salt" and the TV series "Ray Donovan," is born in San Francisco, California.
1965: Becoming the first pope to ever visit the United States and the Western hemisphere, Pope Paul VI arrives in New York. The pope met with President Lyndon B. Johnson, addressed the United Nations General Assembly, celebrated Mass at Yankee Stadium, and visited the New York World's Fair while in New York City.
1963: Hurricane Flora kills 6,000 in Cuba and Haiti. Flash floods from the hurricane washed out large sections of several towns, while mudslides buried some entire towns, resulting in many of the deaths.
1962: The World War II movie "The Longest Day," featuring a large ensemble cast including Kenneth More, Richard Todd, Richard Burton, Robert Mitchum, Sean Connery, Henry Fonda, Red Buttons, Peter Lawford and John Wayne, premieres in the United States. The movie, about World War II's D-Day on June 6, 1944, would be nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Picture, but win only Best Cinematography and Best Special Effects.
1962: Singer-songwriter Jon Secada, who has won two Grammy Awards and sold 20 million albums since his English-language debut album in 1992, is born in Havana, Cuba. Some of his hit songs include "Just Another Day," "Angel" and "If You Go."
1957: Russia's Sputnik I, the first artificial satellite to orbit the Earth, is launched. The satellite would set off the Cold War-era "Space Race" between America and Russia.
1957: Jimmy Hoffa is elected president of the Teamsters at the union's convention in Miami Beach, Florida.
1957: The sitcom "Leave it to Beaver," starring Jerry Mathers as the title character, Theodore "The Beaver" Cleaver, premieres on television. The show, which also starred Barbara Billingsley and Hugh Beaumont as Beaver's parents, June and Ward Cleaver, and Tony Dow as Beaver's brother Wally, would run for six seasons and eventually attain iconic status.
1957: Russell Simmons, the business magnate who co-founded the pioneering hip-hop label Def Jam, is born in Queens, New York. He also created the clothing fashion lines Phat Farm, Argyleculture and American Classics.
1956: Actor Christoph Waltz, best known for his award-winning roles in Quentin Tarantino's "Inglourious Basterds" and "Django Unchained," is born in Vienna, Austria. Waltz won an Academy Award, a BAFTA Award and a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor for both movies. He's also appeared in movies such as "The Green Hornet," "Water for Elephants" and "Carnage."
1955: The Brooklyn Dodgers capture their only World Series title, beating the New York Yankees in seven games. The Dodgers would move to Los Angeles following the 1957 season.
1946: Actress Susan Sarandon, who won a Best Actress Oscar for 1995's "Dead Man Walking" and is also known for such movies as "Atlantic City," "Bull Durham," "Thelma & Louise" and "The Client," is born in New York City.
1944: Hall of Fame baseball manager Tony La Russa is born in Tampa, Florida. La Russa managed teams to six league championships and three World Series titles, most recently in 2011 with the St. Louis Cardinals, and ranks third in all-time major league wins by a manager. He retired in 2011 after 33 seasons as a major-league manager and has since worked in the MLB front office and as the chief baseball officer for the Arizona Diamondbacks.
1941: Norman Rockwell's fictional World War II private, Willie Gillis, debuts on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post. Gillis, a fictional everyman whose career was tracked on the cover of the Post from induction through discharge without being depicted in battle, contributed to the success of the wartime bond sales efforts.
1941: Author Anne Rice, best known for her popular series of novels, "The Vampire Chronicles," including 1976's "Interview with the Vampire," revolving around the central character of the vampire Lestat, is born in New Orleans, Louisiana.
1937: Author Jackie Collins, whose 28 novels have sold more than 400 million copies, is born in London, England.
1933: The men's magazine Esquire is published for the first time.
1931: The comic strip "Dick Tracy" makes its debut in the Detroit Daily Mirror. The strip was created by Chester Gould, who would write and draw the strip until 1977, when others took over production of the still-running strip.
1927: Sculptor Gutzon Borglum begins work on Mount Rushmore. Between then and Oct. 31, 1941, Borglum and 400 workers sculpted the colossal 60-feet-tall carvings of U.S. Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln. When Borglum died from an embolism in March 1941, his son, Lincoln Borglum, took over the project through its completion.
1923: Actor Charlton Heston, who would become known for his heroic roles in films such as "The Ten Commandments," "Ben-Hur" (for which he won a Best Actor Oscar), "El Cid" and "Planet of the Apes," is born north of Chicago. Heston, who died from pneumonia at age 84 in April 2008, was also known for his political activism, including his involvement in the Civil Rights movement and a five-term stint as president of the National Rifle Association from 1998 to 2003.
1918: An explosion kills more than 100 and destroys the T.A. Gillespie Company Shell Loading Plant in Sayreville, New Jersey. Fires and explosions continued for three days, forcing massive evacuations and spreading ordnance over a wide area, pieces of which have been found as late as 2007.
1904: Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, the French sculptor who designed the Statue of Liberty, dies of tuberculosis in Paris at the age of 70.
1895: The first U.S. Open Men's Golf Championship administered by the United States Golf Association is played on the nine-hole course at the Newport Country Club in Newport, Rhode Island. Horace Rawlins, a 21-year-old English assistant at the host club, won the 36-hole, one-day tournament. Rawlins would also finish second at the 1896 U.S. Open.
1895: Comedian Buster Keaton, who would become known for his silent films featuring physical comedy, is born in Piqua, Kansas. Some of his best-known films include "The General," "Our Hospitality," "Sherlock, Jr." and "The Navigator."
1883: The Orient Express, a long-distance train service connecting Paris, France, to Constantinople, Turkey, runs for the first time.
1880: Author Damon Runyon, best known for his short stories celebrating the world of Broadway in New York City that grew out of the Prohibition era, is born in Manhattan, Kansas. Two of his stories, "The Idyll of Miss Sarah Brown" and "Blood Pressure," were used as the basis for the musical "Guys and Dolls."
1822: Rutherford B. Hayes, who would go on to become the 19th president of the United States, is born in Delaware, Ohio.
1669: Painter Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn, generally considered one of the greatest painters and printmakers in European art history and the most important in Dutch history, dies in Amsterdam at the age of 63. He's seen here in his 1659 self-portrait.
1582: Pope Gregory XIII implements the Gregorian Calendar. In Italy, Poland, Portugal and Spain, Oct. 4 of this year was followed directly by Oct. 15.
1535: The first complete English-language Bible (the Coverdale Bible) is printed, with translations by William Tyndale and Miles Coverdale.