1632 – Scientist Anthony van Leeuwenhoek was born in Delft, Holland. He created the first microscope lenses that were powerful enough to observe single-celled animals.
1648 – The Holy Roman Empire was effectively destroyed by the Peace of Westphalia that brought an end to the Thirty Years War.
1795 – The country of Poland was divided up between Austria, Prussia, and Russia.
1836 – Alonzo D. Phillips received a patent for the phosphorous friction safety match.
1861 – The first transcontinental telegraph message was sent when Justice Stephen J. Field of California transmitted a telegram to U.S. President Lincoln.
1901 – Daredevil Anna Edson Taylor became the first person to go over Niagara Falls in a wooden barrel. She was 63 years old.
1929 – In the U.S., investors dumped more than 13 million shares on the stock market. The day is known as “Black Tuesday.”
1931 – The upper level of the George Washington Bridge opened for traffic between New York and New Jersey.
1939 – Nylon stockings were sold to the public for the first time in Wilmington, DE.
1940 – In the U.S., the 40-hour workweek went into effect under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938.
1945 – The United Nations (UN) was formally established less than a month after the end of World War II. The Charter was ratified by China, France, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, the United States and by a majority of other signatories.
1948 – The term “cold war” was used for the first time. It was in a speech by Bernard Baruch before the Senate War Investigating Committee.
1949 – The cornerstone for the U.N. Headquarters was laid in New York City.
1960 – All remaining American-owned property in Cuba was nationalized. The process of nationalizing all U.S. and foreign-owned property in Cuban had begun on August 6, 1960.
1962 – During the Cuban Missile Crisis, U.S. military forces went on the highest alert in the postwar era in preparation for a possible full-scale war with the Soviet Union. The U.S. blockade of Cuba officially began on this day.
1969 – Richard Burton bought his wife Elizabeth Taylor a 69-carat Cartier diamond ring for $1.5 million. Burton presented the ring to Taylor several days later.
1986 – Britain broke off relations with Syria after a Jordanian was convicted in an attempted bombing. The evidence in the trial led to the belief that Syria was involved in the attack on the Israeli jetliner.
1992 – The Toronto Blue Jays became the first non-U.S. team to win the World Series.
2001 – The U.S. House of Representatives approved legislation that gave police the power to secretly search homes, tap all of a person’s telephone conversation and track people’s use of the Internet.
2001 – The U.S. stamp “United We Stand” was dedicated.
2001 – NASA’s 2001 Mars Odyssey spacecraft successfully entered orbit around Mars.
2002 – Microsoft Corp. and Walt Disney Co. announced the release of an upgraded MSN Internet service with Disney content.
Disney movies, music and books
2003 – In London, the last commercial supersonic Concorde flight landed.