Robert Fulton’s steamboat, the Clermont, began its trip up the Hudson River to Albany.
Fort Sumter, S.C. was bombarded by Union ships during the Civil War.
Prospectors found gold in Alaska, a discovery that set off the Klondike gold rush.
Indonesian nationalists proclaimed independence from the Netherlands.
18-year-old Peter Fechter was shot and killed by guards at the Berlin Wall, spurring riots.
Hurricane Camille devastated the Gulf Coast, killing 248 people.
The first successful trans-Atlantic balloon flight landed outside of Paris.
Rudolf Hess, Adolf Hitler’s second in command, committed suicide.
U.S. swimmer Michael Phelps won his eighth gold medal, breaking the record set by Mark Spitz in the 1972 Games. Phelps also set the record for the most golds in a single Olympics.