- 1851 – Slavery is abolished in Colombia, South America.
- 1856 – Lawrence, Kansas is captured and burned by pro-slavery forces.
- 1881 – The American Red Cross is established by Clara Barton in Washington, D.C.
- 1924 – University of Chicago students Richard Loeb and Nathan Leopold, Jr. murder 14-year-old Bobby Franks in a "thrill killing".
- 1927 – Charles Lindbergh touches down at Le Bourget Field in Paris, completing the world's first solo nonstop flight across the Atlantic Ocean.
- 1932 – Bad weather forces Amelia Earhart to land in a pasture in Derry, Northern Ireland, and she thereby becomes the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean.
- 1934 – Oskaloosa, Iowa, becomes the first municipality in the United States to fingerprint all of its citizens.
- 1936 – Sada Abe is arrested after wandering the streets of Tokyo for days with her dead lover's severed genitals in her handbag. Her story soon becomes one of Japan's most notorious scandals.
- 1961 – American civil rights movement: Alabama Governor John Malcolm Patterson declares martial law in an attempt to restore order after race riots break out.
- 1972 – Michelangelo's Pietà in St. Peter's Basilica in Rome is damaged by a vandal, the mentally disturbed Hungarian geologist Laszlo Toth.
- 1979 – White Night riots in San Francisco following the manslaughter conviction of Dan White for the assassinations of George Moscone and Harvey Milk.
- 1992 – After 30 seasons Johnny Carson hosted his penultimate episode and last featuring guests (Robin Williams and Bette Midler) of The Tonight Show.
- 1998 – In Miami, five abortion clinics are hit by a butyric acid attacker.
- 2011 – Radio broadcaster Harold Camping predicted that the world would end on this date.
- 2014 – The National September 11 Museum opens to the public.
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