1874 - A patent for the sprinkler head was given to Harry S. Parmelee.
1877 - The two moons of Mars were discovered by Asaph Hall, an American astronomer. He named them Phobos and Deimos.
1896 - Harvey Hubbell received a patent for the electric light bulb socket with a pull-chain.
1909 - The American ship Arapahoe became the first to ever use the SOS distress signal off the coast of Cape Hatteras, NC.
1924 - Newsreel pictures were taken of U.S. presidential candidates for the first time.
1934 - Alcatraz, in San Francisco Bay, received federal prisoners for the first time.
1951 - The first major league baseball game to be televised in color was broadcast. The Brooklyn Dodgers defeated the Boston Braves 8-1.
1965 - The U.S. conducted a second launch of "Surveyor-SD 2" for a landing on the Moon surface test.
1971 - Harmon Killebrew of the Minnesota Twins got his 500th and 501st home runs of his major league baseball career.
1984 - U.S. President Ronald Reagan was preparing for his weekly radio broadcast when, during testing of the microphone, the President said of the Soviet Union, "My fellow Americans, I am pleased to tell you that I just signed legislation that would outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes."
1984 - The Cincinnati Reds honored major league All-Star and Hall of Fame catcher Johnny Bench by retiring his uniform (#5).
1991 - The space shuttle Atlantis ended its nine-day journey by landing safely.
1992 - In Bloomington, MN, the Mall of America opened. It was the largest shopping mall in the United States.
1994 - A U.S. federal jury awarded $286.8 million to about 10,000 commercial fishermen for losses as a result of the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill.
2002 - US Airways announced that it had filed for bankruptcy.