Events (there's an unintentionally patriotic bent here):
1690 - "Publick Occurrences Both Foreign and Domestick", the first newspaper published in the Americas, published for the first and only time.
1957 - Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, is integrated through the use of United States Army troops
1981 - Sandra Day O'Connor was the 102nd Justice sworn in as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, the first woman to hold the office.
Births (many to choose from):
1930 - Shel Silverstein, American humorist and author (d. 1999)
1952 - Christopher Reeve, American actor and activist (d. 2004)
Deaths (I couldn't find anyone I'd heard of, so I picked the funniest):
2003 - Herb Gardner, American playwright (b. 1934)