History of the Day for:
- 1305: William Wallace, Scottish patriot and a leader of the struggle against the English, was hanged, disemboweled, beheaded and quartered in London.
- 1609: Galileo unveiled his telescope.
- 1617: London established one-way streets.
- 1775: King George III issued a formal decree proclaiming the American colonies were in a state of open rebellion.
- 1784: Eastern Tennessee settlers declared their area an independent state and named it Franklin; a year later the Continental Congress rejected the action.
- 1833: Britain abolished slavery in its colonies, freeing 700,000 slaves.
- 1850: The first national women's rights convention convened in Worcester, Mass.
- 1914: Japan declared war on Germany; German troops executed over 600 people in the Belgian town of Dinant, then fired and burned the town; British forces retreated at the Battle of Mons.
- 1939: Hitler and Stalin signed a non-aggression pact, leaving the way open for Germany to attack Poland.
- 1942: The Battle of Stalingrad began.
- 1944: King Michael of Romania ordered his forces to cease fire against the Allies and dismissed the pro-Axis premier, Marshal Ion Antonescu; Allied troops captured Marseilles, France.
- 1961: East Germany imposed new curbs on travel between West and East Berlin, sparking a retaliation from Western powers, as they placed tanks and 1,000 troops along the Berlin Wall; Ranger I, the first in a series of successful U.S. lunar probes, was launched from Cape Canaveral, Fla.
- 1970: Actor River Phoenix was born (d: 1993, of drug-induced heart failure).
- 1975: The Communists took over Laos.
- 1990: East and West Germany announced that they would unite on Oct. 3, healing four decades of post-World War II division; Armenia declared independence from Moscow.
- 1996: Osama bin Laden issues message entitled 'A declaration of war against the Americans occupying the land of the two holy places.
- 2000: A Gulf Air Airbus A320 crashes into the Persian Gulf near Manama, Bahrain, killing 143.
- 2006: Natascha Kampusch, who is abducted at the age of 10, managed to escape from her captor Wolfgang Priklopil, after 8 years of captivity.