1753 – George Washington became a Master Mason.
1914 – Britain declared war on Germany in World War I. The U.S. proclaimed its neutrality.
1921 – The first radio broadcast of a tennis match occurred. It was in Pittsburgh, PA.
1934 – Mel Ott became the first major league baseball player to score six runs in a single game.
1944 – Nazi police raided a house in Amsterdam and arrested eight people. Anne Frank, a teenager at the time, was one of the people arrested. Her diary would be published after her death.
1954 – The uranium rush began in Saskatchewan, Canada.
1956 – William Herz became the first person to race a motorcycle over 200 miles per hour. He was clocked at 210 mph.
1957 – Florence Chadwick set a world record by swimming the English Channel in 6 hours and 7 minutes.
1957 – Juan Fangio won his final auto race and captured the world auto driving championship. It was his the fifth consecutive year to win.
1972 – Arthur Bremer was found guilty of shooting George Wallace, the governor of Alabama. Bremer was sentenced to 63 years in prison.
1977 – U.S. President Carterr signed the measure that established the Department of Energy.
1984 – Carl Lewis won a gold medal in the Los Angeles Olympics.
1984 – Upper Volta, an African republic, changed its name to Burkina Faso.
1986 – The United States Football League called off its 1986 season. This was after winning only token damages in its antitrust lawsuit against the National Football League.
1989 – Iranian President Hashemi Rafsanjani offered to assist end the hostage crisis in Lebanon.
1990 – The European Community imposed an embargo on oil from Iraq and Kuwait. This was done to protest the Iraqi invasion of the oil-rich Kuwait.
1991 – The Oceanos, a Greek luxury liner, sank off of South Africa’s southeast coast. All of the 402 passengers and 179 crewmembers survived.
1994 – Yugoslavia withdrew its support for Bosnian Serbs. The border between Yugoslavia and Serb-held Bosnia was sealed.
1996 – Josia Thugwane won a gold medal after finishing first in the marathon. He became the first black South African to win a gold medal.
2009 – North Korean leader Kim Jong-il pardoned two American journalists, who had been arrested and imprisoned for illegal entry earlier in the year.