1814 – Francis Scott Key, witnessing the bombardment of Fort McHenry by the British, pens a poem which is later set to music and in 1931 becomes America’s national anthem, The Star-Spangled Banner.
1847 – During the Mexican-American War, U.S. forces under General Winfield Scott capture Mexico City and raise the American flag over the Hall of Montezuma.
1901 – Pres. William McKinley dies after being shot by a deranged anarchist during the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, NY.
1959 – A Soviet rocket crashes into the moon’s surface, becoming the first man-made object sent from earth to reach the lunar surface. The Soviets enjoy a short-lived advantage in the “space race.”
1964 – Writer John Steinbeck, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Grapes of Wrath, is awarded the U.S. Medal of Freedom.