On Oct. 13, 1775, the United States Navy had its origins as the Continental Congress ordered the construction of a naval fleet.
In 1792, the cornerstone of the executive mansion, later known as the White House, was laid by President George Washington during a ceremony in the District of Columbia.
In 1845, Texas voters ratified a state constitution.
In 1943, Italy declared war on Germany, its one-time Axis partner.
In 1944, during World War II, American troops entered Aachen (AH’-kehn), Germany.
In 1960, John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon held the third televised debate of their presidential campaign (Nixon was in Los Angeles, Kennedy in New York).
In 1972, a Uruguayan chartered flight carrying 45 people crashed in the Andes; survivors resorted to feeding off the remains of some of the dead in order to stay alive until they were rescued more than two months later.
In 1974, longtime television host Ed Sullivan died in New York City at age 73.
In 1999, the Senate rejected the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, with 48 senators voting in favor and 51 against, far short of the 67 needed for ratification.
In 2000, South Korean President Kim Dae-jung was named winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. Longtime American communist Gus Hall died in New York at age 90.
In 2003, the U.N. Security Council approved a resolution expanding the NATO-led peacekeeping force in Afghanistan.
In 2006, The United Nations General Assembly appointed South Korean Foreign Minister Ban Ki-moon the next U.N. secretary-general. Banker Muhammad Yunus of Bangladesh won the Nobel Peace Prize for using microcredit to lift people out of poverty.
In 2010, rescuers in Chile using a missile-like escape capsule pulled 33 men one by one to fresh air and freedom 69 days after they were trapped in a collapsed mine a half-mile underground.