History of the Day for:
- 1792: Nicolas Jacques Pelletier, a highwayman, became the first person guillotined in France.
- 1859: Work began on the construction of the Suez Canal under the direction of Ferdinand de Lesseps.
- 1898: The United States formally declared war on Spain.
- 1901: New York became the first state to require automobile license plates.
- 1915: Allied soldiers invaded the Gallipoli Peninsula in an unsuccessful attempt to take the Ottoman Turkish Empire out of the war.
- 1928: Buddy, a German Shepherd, became the first guide dog for the blind.
- 1945: The San Francisco Conference, sponsored by China, Britain, the Soviet Union and the United States, opened to set up a world body to succeed the defunct League of Nations.
- 1959: The St. Lawrence Seaway, linking the Atlantic Ocean and the Great Lakes, opened.
- 1983: Soviet leader Yuri Andropov invited Samantha Smith to visit his country after receiving a letter in which the Manchester, Maine, schoolgirl expressed fears about nuclear war.
- 1988: A judge in Jerusalem sentenced John Demjanjuk to death after he was convicted of being "Ivan the Terrible," a Nazi death camp guard who had killed tens of thousands of people.
- 1990: Violeta Chamorro was sworn in as president of Nicaragua, having defeated Sandinista leader Daniel Ortega.
- 1990: The Hubble Telescope is deployed into orbit from the Space Shuttle Discovery.
- 2003: The Human Genome Project comes to an end 2.5 years before first anticipated.
- 2005: The final piece of the Obelisk of Axum is returned to Ethiopia after being stolen by the invading Italian army in 1937.
- 2005: Bulgaria and Romania sign accession treaties to join the European Union.
- 2005: 107 die in Amagasaki rail crash in Japan.
- 2007: Boris Yeltsin's funeral – the first to be sanctioned by the Russian Orthodox Church for a head of state since the funeral of Emperor Alexander III in 1894.
- 2007: The Dow Jones Industrial Average closes above the 13,000 mark (13,089.89) for the first time ever.