In 1909, the steamship SS Arapahoe became the first ship in North America to issue an S.O.S. distress signal, off North Carolina's Cape Hatteras.
In 1949, President Harry S. Truman nominated General Omar N. Bradley to become the first chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
In 1952, Hussein bin Talal was proclaimed King of Jordan, beginning a reign lasting nearly 47 years.
In 1954, a formal peace took hold in Indochina, ending more than seven years of fighting between the French and Communist Viet Minh.
In 1956, abstract painter Jackson Pollock, 44, died in an automobile accident on Long Island, New York.
In 1964, the Beatles movie "A Hard Day's Night" had its U.S. premiere in New York.
In 1975, the United States vetoed the proposed admission of North and South Vietnam to the United Nations, following the Security Council's refusal to consider South Korea's application.
In 1984, at the Los Angeles Olympics, American runner Mary Decker fell after colliding with South African-born British competitor Zola Budd in the 3,000-meter final; Budd finished seventh.
In 1992, the Mall of America, the nation's largest shopping-entertainment center, opened in Bloomington, Minnesota.
In 1997, President Bill Clinton made the first use of the historic line-item veto, rejecting three items in spending and tax bills. (However, the U.S. Supreme Court later struck down the veto as unconstitutional.)
In 2003, Charles Taylor resigned as Liberia's president and went into exile in Nigeria.
In 2014, Academy Award-winning actor and comedian Robin Williams, 63, died in Tiburon, California, a suicide.
Thought for Today: "Keep your dreams, for in them lies joy denied to men grown wise." — Edgar A. Guest, American author, journalist and poet (1881-1959).