1492 – Ensisheim Meteorite strikes a wheat field near the village of Ensisheim in Alsace, France. Oldest meteorite with a known date of impact.
1837 – Abolitionist newspaper editor Elijah P. Lovejoy was murdered by a mob in Alton, Illinois, while defending his press building.
1872 – Cargo ship Mary Celeste sails from Staten Island for Genoa; mysteriously found abandoned four weeks later.
1916 – Jeannette Rankin won a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, becoming the first woman elected to Congress.
1917 – October Revolution in Russia; Lenin and the Bolsheviks seize power, capture the Winter Palace and overthrow the Provisional Government.
1931 – Chinese People’s Republic proclaimed by Mao Zedong.
1940 – The Tacoma Narrows Bridge connecting the Olympic Peninsula with Tacoma, Washington, broke up in a wind of about 42 miles (67 km) per hour.
1944 – Franklin D. Roosevelt defeated Thomas E. Dewey and was elected to an unprecedented fourth term as president of the United States.
1962 – Eleanor Roosevelt—who was first lady of the United States and one of the world’s most widely admired and powerful women, known as a diplomat and a humanitarian—died in New York City at age 78.
1962 – After losing the governor’s election in California, American politician Richard Nixon gave what he called his “last press conference,” telling reporters that “you won’t have Nixon to kick around any more”; he was elected president six years later.
1989 – American politician Douglas Wilder was elected governor of Virginia, becoming the first African American to win a U.S. gubernatorial election.
1996 – NASA launched Mars Global Surveyor, a robotic spacecraft designed to carry out a long-term study of the planet; contact with the spacecraft was lost in 2006.
2000 – American politician Hillary Clinton was elected to the U.S. Senate, becoming the first first lady to win elective office.
2000 – Controversial US presidential election between George W. Bush and Al Gore is inconclusive; the result, in Bush’s favor, is eventually resolved by the Supreme Court.
2016 – American lawyer and public official Janet Reno, who was the first female attorney general (1993–2001) of the United States, died at age 78.
Sport: 1991 – Magic Johnson announces he has HIV virus & retires from LA Lakers
Music: – 1786 The oldest musical organization in the United States is founded as the Stoughton Musical Society
TV & Film: 1932 – 1st broadcast of “Buck Rogers in the 25th century” on CBS-radio