- 1986 - Halley's Comet is visible in the night sky as it passes in its 76-year orbit around the sun.
- 1962 - Ranger 3 is launched to study the moon. The space probe later missed the moon by 22,000 miles (35,400 km).
- 1802 - The U.S. Congress passes an act calling for a library to be established within the U.S. Capitol; eventually this becomes the Library of Congress. It's a geek thing.
- 1961 - Wayne Gretzky, Canadian hockey player, coach, and team owner.
- 1918 - Nicolae Ceausescu, Romanian dictator (d. 1989.) I only picked Ceausescu because I remember how much the Romanians enjoyed executing him.
- 1997 - Jeane Dixon, American astrologer (b. 1904.) And she never saw it coming!