1789 - New Jersey became the first state to ratify the Bill of Rights.
1818 - Simon Bolivar formally declared Venezuela independent of Spain.
1873 - Budapest was formed when the rival cities of Buda and Pest were united to form the capital of Hungary.
1901 - The second Hay-Pauncefoot Treaty provided for construction of the Panama Canal by the U.S.
1910 - Francisco I. Madero led a revolution that broke out in Mexico.
1929 - The radio program "The Rise of the Goldbergs," later known as "The Goldbergs," made its debut on the NBC Blue Network.
1943 - During World War II, U.S. Marines began their landing on Tarawa and Makin atolls in the Gilbert Islands.
1945 - 24 Nazi leaders went before an international war crimes tribunal in Nuremberg, Germany.
1947 - Britain's Princess Elizabeth married Philip Mountbatten, Duke of Edinburgh in Westminster Abbey.
1959 - Britain, Norway, Portugal, Switzerland, Austria, Denmark and Sweden met to create the European Free Trade Association.
1962 - The Cuban Missile Crisis ended. The Soviet Union removed its missiles and bombers from Cuba and the U.S. ended its blockade of the island.
1962 - Mickey Mantle was named the American League Most Valuable Player for the third time.
1967 - The Census Clock at the Department of Commerce in Washington, DC, went past 200 million.
1969 - The Nixon administration announced a halt to residential use of the pesticide DDT as part of a total phase out of the substance.
1970 - The majority in U.N. General Assembly voted to give China a seat, but two-thirds majority required for admission was not met.
1977 - Egyptian President Anwar Sadat became the first Arab leader to address Israel's parliament.
1983 - An estimated 100 million people watched the controversial ABC-TV movie "The Day After." The movie depicted the outbreak of nuclear war.
1986 - Dr. Halfdan Maher, the director of the World Health Organization, announced the first coordinated global effort to fight the disease AIDS.
1987 - Police investigating the fire at King's Cross, London's busiest subway station, said that arson was unlikely to be the cause of the event that took 31 lives.
1988 - Egypt and China announced that they would recognize the Palestinian state proclaimed by the Palestine National Council.
1989 - Over 200,000 people rallied peacefully in Prague, Czechoslovakia, demanding democratic reforms.
1990 - Saddam Hussein ordered another 250,000 Iraqi troops into the country of Kuwait.
1990 - The space shuttle Atlantis landed at Cape Canaveral, FL, after completing a secret military mission.
1992 - A fire seriously damaged the northwest side of Windsor Castle in England.
1993 - The U.S. Senate passed the Brady Bill and legislation implementing NAFTA.
1994 - The Angolan government and rebels signed a treaty in Zambia to end 19 years of war.
1995 - Princess Diana admitted being unfaithful to Prince Charles in an interview that was broadcast on BBC Television.
1998 - Afghanistan's Taliban militia offered Osama bin Laden safe haven. Osama bin Laden had been accused of orchestrating two U.S. embassy bombings in Africa and later terrorist attacks on New York City and the Pentagon.
1998 - Forty-six states agreed to a $206 billion settlement of health claims against the tobacco industry. The industry also agreed to give up billboard advertising of cigarettes.
2001 - The U.S. Justice Department headquarters building was renamed the Robert F. Kennedy building by President George W. Bush. The event was held on what would have been Kennedy's 76th birthday.