The Stamp Act Congress convened in New York to draw up colonial grievances against England.
Poet-writer Edgar Allan Poe died at age 40.
The Republic of East Germany was formed.
The Motion Picture Association of America adopted its film-rating system, ranging from “G” for general audiences to “X” for adults only.
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Cats,” the longest running show in Broadway history, opened.
The Italian cruise ship Achille Lauro was hijacked by Palestinian gunmen in the Mediterranean.
Matthew Shepard, a gay student at the University of Wyoming, was beaten, robbed, and left tied to a fence. He died five days later.
U.S. and British forces launched bombing campaign against Taliban government and al-Qaeda terrorist camps in Afghanistan.
California governor Gray Davis was recalled and former bodybuilder and actor Arnold Schwarzenegger was elected in his place.