Atahualpa, the last ruler of the Incas, was murdered as Francisco Pizarro completed his conquest of Peru.
Shays's rebellion, an insurrection of Massachusetts farmers against the state government, began.
The Treaty of Nanking was signed, ending the Opium Wars and ceding the island of Hong Kong to Britain.
Brigham Young died in Salt Lake City, Utah.
The U.S.S.R. tested their first atomic bomb.
Strom Thurmond ended the longest filibuster in U.S. Senate history. He spoke for more than 24 hours against a civil rights bill; the bill passed.
The Beatles played their last major live concert at Candlestick Park, California.
The Supreme Soviet, the parliament of the U.S.S.R., suspended all activities of the Communist Party, bringing an end to the institution.
Hurricane Katrina slammed into the U.S. Gulf Coast, destroying beachfront towns in Mississippi and Louisiana, displacing a million people, and killing more than 1,000.