1882: Thomas Edison flipped the switch to the first commercial electrical power plant in history, lighting one square mile of lower Manhattan. This is considered by many as the first day of the electrical age.
1888: George Eastman registered the trademark Kodak and received a patent for his camera that used roll film.
1998: Google was founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin, two students at Stanford University.
2006: Steve Irwin, an Australian television personality and naturalist known as the Crocodile Hunter, died when his heart was impaled by a short-tail stingray barb while filming a documentary in Queensland’s Great Barrier Reef.
2014: 19th District Court Judge James Wheelis set the highest bail ever recorded in Lincoln County, Montana, when he set a bail of $10,000,000 (ten million dollars) for Larry Mathew Hanson, 45, after Hanson repeatedly violated a restraining order.
1698: Seeking to Westernize his nobility, Tsar Peter I of Russia imposed a tax on beards for all men except clergy members and peasants.
1877: Oglala Sioux chief Crazy Horse was bayoneted in the back by a U.S. soldier after resisting confinement in a guardhouse at Fort Robinson, Nebraska. He died of the wound.
1960: Boxer Cassius Clay (later Muhammad Ali) was awarded the gold medal for his first place in the light heavyweight boxing competition at the Olympic Games in Rome.
1975: Lynette ‘Squeaky’ Fromme, a cult follower of Charles Manson, pointed a .45-caliber Colt pistol at President Gerald R. Ford in Capitol Park, Sacramento, Calif. The weapon had four bullets in the magazine but none in the chamber. (She was convicted of attempted assassination and served 34 years in prison, released on Aug. 14, 2009.)
1870: Louisa Ann Swain of Laramie, Wyo., became the first woman in the United States to cast a vote in a general election.
1916: The first self-service grocery store, Piggly Wiggly, was opened by Clarence Saunders in Memphis, Tenn.
1909: Eugene Lefebvre crashed a new French-built Wright biplane during a test flight at Juvisy, south of Paris, becoming the first pilot in history to die in a powered, heavier-than-air craft.
1927: Philo Taylor Farnsworth constructed the first fully electronic television system.
1936: The last surviving thylacine (Tasmanian tiger) died alone in its cage at the Hobart Zoo in Tasmania.
1664: The Dutch surrendered New Amsterdam to the British, who renamed it New York. (The fictional story “Rip Van Winkle” by Washington Irving was set during this time.)
1966: The TV series Star Trek premiered.
1988: Yellowstone National Park was closed for the first time in U.S. history due to ongoing fires.
1947: The first actual case of a computer bug occurred when a moth lodged in a relay of a Mark II computer at Harvard University.
1956: Elvis Presley appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show for the first time.
1972: In Kentucky’s Mammoth Cave National Park, a Cave Research Foundation exploration and mapping team discovered a link between the Mammoth and Flint Ridge cave systems, making it the longest known cave passageway in the world (400 surveyed miles).
1946: While riding a train to Darjeeling, Sister Teresa Bojaxhiu of the Loreto Sisters’ Convent claimed to have heard the call of God, directing her “to leave the convent and help the poor while living among them.” She would become known as Mother Teresa.
1983: American tennis linesman Dick Wertheim died from blunt cranial trauma at a match at the 1983 U.S. Open. Stefan Edberg sent an errant serve directly into his groin, causing him to fall and hit his head on the pavement.