1759 – The French were defeated by the British on the Plains of Abraham in the final French and Indian War.
1788 – The Constitutional Convention decided that the first federal election was to be held on Wednesday the following February. On that day George Washington was elected as the first president of the United States. In addition, New York City was named the temporary national capital.
1789 – The United States Government took out its first loan.
1847 – U.S. forces took the hill Chapultepec during the Mexican-American War.
1862 – During the American Civil War General Lee’s Order No. 191 was found by federal soldiers in Maryland.
1898 – Hannibal Williston Goodwin patented celluloid photographic film, which is used to make movies.
1922 – In El Azizia, Libya, the highest shade temperature was recorded at 136.4 degrees Fahrenheit.
1935 – Aviator Howard Hughes, Jr., of Houston, set a new airspeed record of 352 mph with his H-1 airplane (Winged Bullet).
1937 – The first broadcast of “Kitty Keene, Incorporated” was heard on the NBC Red network.
1943 – Chiang Kai-shek became the president of China.
1948 – The School of Performing Arts opened in New York City. It was the first public school to specialize in performing arts.
1948 – Margaret Chase Smith was elected to the U.S. Senate and became the first woman to serve in both houses of the U.S. Congress.
1949 – The Ladies Professional Golf Association of America was formed.
1959 – The Soviet Union’s Luna 2 became the first space probe to reach the moon. It was launched the day before.
1960 – The U.S. Federal Communications Commission banned payola.
1970 – The first New York City Marathon took place. Fireman Gary Muhrucke won the race.
1971 – In New York, National Guardsmen stormed the Attica Correctional Facility and put an end to the four-day revolt. A total of 43 people were killed in the final assault. A committee was organized to investigate the riot on September 30, 1971.
1971 – The World Hockey Association was formed.
1977 – The first diesel automobiles were introduced by General Motors.
1981 – U.S. Secretary of State Alexander M. Haig said the U.S. had physical evidence that Russia and its allies used poisonous biological weapons in Laos, Cambodia and Afghanistan.
1988 – Forecasters reported that Hurricane Gilbert’s barometric pressure measured 26.13. It was the strongest hurricane ever recorded in the Western Hemisphere.
1993 – Israel and Palestine signed their first major agreement. Palestine was granted limited self-government in the Gaza Strip and in Jericho.
1994 – U.S. President Bill Clinton signed a $30 billion crime bill into law.
1998 – The New York Times closed its Web site after hackers added offensive material.
2001 – U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell named Osama bin Laden as the prime suspect in the terror attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001. Limited commercial flights resumed in the U.S. for the first time in two days.