[America's love affair with the open road resulted in the Lincoln Highway, which passes through 14 states, 128 counties, and more than 500 cities, towns, and villages over its 3389 mile (5454 km) length.]
475 CE - Romulus Augustulus - often considered the last Roman Emperor - was proclaimed.
1517 - Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg - or so the legend has it.
1822 - Mexico's Emperor, Agustín de Iturbide, attempted to dissolve the Mexican Empire.
1864 - Nevada became the 36th US state.
1912 - The first gangster film - D.W. Griffith's The Musketeers of Pig Alley - premiered.
1913 - The Lincoln Highway Association dedicated the Lincoln Highway, the first continuous automobile road across the United States; the highway also became the first national tribute to fallen president Abraham Lincoln, nine years before the opening of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC. The road, which came to be known as 'The Main Street Across America', connects New York City's Times Square to Lincoln Park in San Francisco.
1918 - The short-lived Banat Republic was founded as the Austro-Hungarian Empire was collapsing.
1923 - The first of 160 consecutive days with temperatures above 100 degrees Fahrenheit was recorded at Australia's Marble Bar.
1926 - Magician Harry Houdini died of gangrene and peritonitis that developed after his appendix ruptured.
1940 - The Battle of Britain ended when the United Kingdom prevented a German invasion.
1941 - After 14 years of work, drilling was completed on Mount Rushmore; alas, its creator Gutzon Borglum did not live to see it completed, having died seven months earlier; work was finished by Lincoln Borglum, the sculptor's son.
1959 - Future presidential assassin Lee Harvey Oswald attempted to renounce his American citizenship at the US Embassy in Moscow.
1961 - Joseph Stalin's body was removed from Lenin's Tomb.
1968 - Citing progress with the Paris peace talks, US President Lyndon B. Johnson offered the nation its first October surprise when he announced that he had ordered a complete cessation of 'all air, naval, and artillery bombardment of North Vietnam', effectively ending the Vietnam War; while Johnson's announcement was intended to improve the Democrats' chances electorally and therefore the outcome of the 1968 presidential election, Republican candidate Richard M. Nixon handily defected Democrat Hubert Humphrey and American Independent leader George Wallace anyway.
1973 - Seamus Twomey, J.B. O'Hagan, and Kevin Mallon - three Provisional Irish Republican Army members - escaped from Dublin's Mountjoy Prison aboard a hijacked helicopter that landed in the exercise yard; a band called the Wolfe Tones later wrote a song celebrating the escape called The Helicopter Song.
1975 - Queen released their most famous single, Bohemian Rhapsody.
1984 - Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated by two Sikh security guards - Satwant Singh and Beant Singh - in retaliation for her ordering a military offensive against Amritsar's Harmandir Sahib during Operation Blue Star.
1986 - The 5th Congress of the Communist Party of Sweden opened, during the course of which the party name was changed to the Solidarity Party and a program of non-communist policies was adopted.
2003 - Mahathir bin Mohamad resigned as Prime Minister of Malaysia after 22 years in power.
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