1519 – Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan left Spain to find a route to the Spice Islands of Indonesia. Magellan was killed during the trip, but one of his ships eventually made the journey.
1870 – The Papal States came under the control of Italian troops, leading to the unification of Italy.
1881 – Chester A. Arthur became the 21st president of the U.S. President James A. Garfield had died the day before.
1884 – The Equal Rights Party was formed in San Francisco, CA.
1946 – The first Cannes Film Festival premiered. The original premier was delayed in 1939 due to World War II.
1946 – WNBT-TV in New York became the first station to promote a motion picture. Scenes from “The Jolson Story” were shown.
1953 – Jimmy Stewart debuted on the radio western “The Six Shooter” on NBC.
1962 – James Meredith, a black student, was blocked from enrolling at the University of Mississippi by Governor Ross R. Barnett. Meredith was later admitted.
1963 – U.S. President John F. Kennedy proposed a joint U.S.-Soviet expedition to the moon in a speech to the U.N. General Assembly.
1967 – The ocean liner Queen Elizabeth 2 (QE2) was launched. It went out of service on November 27, 2008.
1977 – The first of the “boat people” arrived in San Francisco from Southeast Asia under a new U.S. resettlement program.
1988 – The United Nations opened it 43rd General Assembly.
1989 – F.W. de Klerk was sworn in as president of South Africa.
1991 – U.N. weapons inspectors left for Iraq in a renewed search for Iraqi weapons of mass destruction.
1992 – French voters approved the Maastricht Treaty.
1995 – AT&T announced that it would be splitting into three companies. The three companies were AT&T, Lucent Technologies, and NCR Corp.
1995 – The U.S. House of Representatives voted to drop the national speed limit. This allowed the states to decide their own speed limits.