1962: Jamaica becomes an independent dominion within the British Commonwealth. Navy ships docked in the Kingston Harbour pay homage to the new nation with gun salutes at 8:00 am. At 9:30 am Governor General Sir Kenneth Blackburne is sworn in at King's House.
1661: Portuguese and Dutch sign treaty whereby Portugual retains Brazil and the Dutch keep Ceylon -- now Sri Lanka.
1825: Bolivia declares its independence from Peru.
1890: Convicted murderer William Kemmler is the first person executed by electric chair. He is put to death at Auburn State Prison in New York.
1896: The French Parliament votes for the annexation of Madagascar, a protectorate since the year before.
1914: Serbia and Montenegro declare war on Germany.
1926: Warner Borthers Studios premieres the first movie with sound in New York.
1945: The first atomic bomb ever used in a war is dropped by US plane, Enola Gay, on Hiroshima, Japan. The world learns of the horrifying effects of radiation for years to come.
1965: US President Lyndon Johnson signs the Voting Rights Act.
1990: Pakistan's Benazir Bhutto is ousted by the military after 20 months as prime minister; UN Security Council imposes economic embargo on Iraq for invading Kuwait.
1992: The US grants full diplomatic recognition to Slovenia, Croatia, and Bosnia-Herzegovina.
1995: US opens embassy in Hanoi, Vietnam.
2003: Action film star Arnold Schwarzenegger announces that he would run as a Republican candidate to replace California Governor Gray Davis in a recall election.
2008: Army commanders oust Mauritania's freely elected president Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi in a bloodless coup.
2009: Sonia Sotomayor wins confirmation as the first Hispanic justice on the US Supreme Court, a landmark Senate vote that caps a summer-long debate heavy with ethnic politics and hints of high court fights to come.
2011: Insurgents shoot down a US military helicopter during fighting in eastern Afghanistan, killing 30 Americans, most of them belonging to the same elite Navy unit that killed Osama bin Laden, as well as seven Afghan commandos. It was the deadliest single loss for American forces in the decade-old war.
Alfred Lord Tennyson, English poet (1809-1892); Alexander Fleming, British discoverer of penicillin (1881-1945); Lucille Ball, US actress (1911-1989); Robert Mitchum, US actor (1917-1997); Andy Warhol, US artist (1928-1987); Peggy and Patsy Lynn, US country singers (1964-); M Night Shyamalan, US film director (1970-); Charlie Haden, jazz bassist (1937-); Abbey Lincoln, jazz singer/actress (1930-2010).
— Jamaica Observer and AP