1776 – Nathan Hale, 21 years old, volunteers to spy behind British lines after General George Washington asks for a volunteer for the dangerous mission to gather intelligence before the coming battle of Harlem Heights. He is later captured and hanged by the British on Sept. 22, 1776.
1813 – U.S. Captain Oliver Hazard Perry leads a fleet of nine American ships to victory over a squadron of six British warships at the Battle of Lake Erie during the War of 1812. It is the first unqualified defeat of a British naval squadron in history.
1897 – The world’s first drunk driving arrest is made. A 25-year-old London taxi driver named George Smith is arrested for driving under the influence. He slammed his cab into a building and was fined 25 shillings.
1977 – The guillotine falls silent as Hamida Djandoubi, a Tunisian immigrant convicted of murder, becomes the last person executed by guillotine at a Marseille, France, prison.