533 - Byzantine general Belisarius makes his formal entry into Carthage, having conquered it from the Vandals.
1582 - Pope Gregory XIII implements the Gregorian Calendar. In Italy, Poland, Portugal, and Spain October 4 of this year is followed directly by October 15, skipping over 10 days. Other countries follow at various later dates.
1764 - While visiting Rome, Edward Gibbon observes a group of barefoot friars singing vespers in the ruined Temple of Jupiter, a sight which inspires him to begin work on a history that will be published as The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
1815 - Napoleon I of France begins his exile on St. Helena in the Atlantic Ocean.
1863 - American Civil War: The first successful submarine, the CSS Hunley sinks during a test, killing Horace Lawson Hunley (its inventor) and a crew of seven.
1878 - The Edison Electric Company begins operation.
1880 - Mexican soldiers kill Victorio, one of the greatest Apache military strategists.
1883 - The Supreme Court of the United States declares part of the Civil Rights Act of 1875 to be unconstitutional since it allowed individuals and corporations to discriminate based on race.
1917 - World War I: At Vincennes outside of Paris, Dutch dancer Mata Hari is executed by firing squad for spying for Germany.
1939 - The New York Municipal Airport (later renamed La Guardia Airport) is dedicated.
1940 - The Great Dictator, a satiric social commentary film by and starring Charlie Chaplin, is released.
1945 - World War II: Former premier of Vichy France, Pierre Laval, is executed by firing squad for treason.
1946 - Nuremberg Trials: Founder of the Gestapo and recently convicted Nazi war criminal, Hermann Göring, poisons himself hours before his scheduled execution.
1951 - Television sicom I Love Lucy premiers starring comedian Lucille Ball and her real-life husband, Desi Arnaz.
1962 - Cuban Missile Crisis: A stand-off ensues between the United States and the Soviet Union over Soviet nuclear weapons in Cuba, putting the entire world under threat of a nuclear war (crisis lasts 13 days from this point).
1965 - Vietnam War: The anti-war student-run National Coordinating Committee to End the War in Vietnam stages the first public burning of a draft card in the United States.
1966 - US President Lyndon B. Johnson signs a bill creating the United States Department of Transportation.
1969 - Vietnam War: Hundreds of thousands of people take part in National Moratorium antiwar demonstrations across the United States.
1970 - 35 construction workers are killed when a section of the new West Gate Bridge in Melbourne collapses into the river below.
1990 - Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to lessen Cold War tensions and open up his nation.
1991 - Following a bitter confirmation hearing that involved allegations of sexual misconduct, the United States Senate votes 52 to 48 to confirm Judge Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court of the United States.
1992 - In Russia, Andrei Chikatilo is found guilty of 52 serial murders.
1997 - The first supersonic land speed record is set by the ThrustSSC team from the United Kingdom.
1997 - The Cassini probe was launched from Cape Canaveral on its way to Saturn.
2001 - NASA's Galileo spacecraft passes within 112 miles of Jupiter's moon Io.
2003 - China launches Shenzhou 5, their first manned space mission.
70 BC - Virgil, Roman poet
1829 - Asaph Hall, astronomer
1844 - Friedrich Nietzsche, German philosopher († 1900)
1858 - John L. Sullivan, boxing champion
1881 - P. G. Wodehouse, British comic novelist († 1975)
1900 - Mervyn LeRoy, film director († 1987)
1908 - John Kenneth Galbraith, Canadian economist
1909 - Robert Trout, reporter (†2000)
1913 - Klaus Barbie, war criminal
1917 - Arthur Schlesinger Jr, political commentator, author
1920 - Mario Puzo, American novelist († 1999)
1920 - Chris Economaki, Indianapolis 500 reporter
1924 - Lee Iacocca, industrialist
1924 - Jose Quintero, stage director
1926 - Evan Hunter (Ed McBain, Curt Cannon), author
1926 - Jean Peters, actress
1930 - FM-2030 born Fereidoun M. Esfandiary, transhumanist philosopher
1931 - Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam, Indian president and scientist
1935 - Bobby Joe Morrow, American athlete
1937 - Barry McGuire, singer
1942 - Penny Marshall, actress, comedienne, film director
1945 - Jim Palmer, baseball star
1946 - Richard Carpenter, singer, pianist, composer (The Carpenters)
1957 - Mira Nair, Indian director
1959 - Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York
1959 - Emeril Lagasse, chef
1959 - Todd Solondz, director
1970 - Eric Benet, singer
1975 - Ginuwine, singer
767 - Constantine II, former Patriarch of Constantinople (executed)
1880 - Victorio, Chiricahua Apache leader
1891 - Gilbert Arthur a Beckett, British writer
1917 - Mata Hari, Dutch exotic dancer and spy
1945 - Pierre Laval, former premier of Vichy French government
1946 - Joachim von Ribbentrop, German foreign minister
1946 - Hermann Göring, German air force commander
1964 - Cole Porter, American composer
2000 - Konrad Emil Bloch, German/American biochemist
Holidays and observances
United States - White Cane Safety Day
October 14 - October 16 - September 15 - November 15 - more historical anniversaries
See Also: January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December