In 1859, Frenchman Jean Francois Gravelet, known professionally as the Great Blondin, became the first daredevil to walk across Niagara Falls on a tightrope.
In 1870, Ada Kepley became the first woman to graduate from an accredited law school in the United States, Union College of Law in Chicago.
In 1905, the theory of relativity was introduced by Albert Einstein in On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies.
In 1908, a spectacular explosion occurred over central Siberia, probably caused by a meteorite. The fireball could be seen hundreds of miles away.
In 1923, jazz pioneer Sidney Bechet made his first recording. It included Wild Cat Blues and Kansas City Blues.
In 1934, German leader Adolf Hitler ordered a bloody purge of his own political party. Hundreds of Nazis he feared might become political enemies were assassinated.
In 1936, Margaret Mitchell's Civil War novel Gone With the Wind was published.
In 1950, U.S. troops were moved from Japan to help defend South Korea against the invading North Koreans.
In 1982, the extended deadline for ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment expired, three states short of the 38 needed for passage.
In 1971, three Soviet Cosmonauts, crewmembers of the world's first space station, were killed when their spacecraft depressurized during re-entry.