2008- Black Monday in worldwide stock markets. FTSE 100 had its biggest ever one-day points fall, European stocks closed with their worst result since 9/11, and Asian stocks drop as much as 15%.
1789- 1st American novel, WH Brown’s “Power of Sympathy” is published
1542- English Parliament passes bill of attainder against Queen Katherine Howard
1677- 1st medical publication in America (pamphlet on smallpox), published in Boston
1846- 1st edition of Charles Dickens’ newspaper “The Daily News”
1903- Harry Houdini escapes from Halvemaansteeg police station in Amsterdam
1908- “Sullivan Ordinance” is passed in NYC, making it illegal for a woman to smoke in public places. It was vetoed 2 weeks later by mayor George B. McClellan Jr.
1921- British crime writer Agatha Christie publishes her first novel “The Mysterious Affair at Styles” introducing the character Hercule Poirot
1927- 1st national opera broadcast from a US opera house (Faust, Chicago)
1938- Dutch government starts obligatory unemployment insurance
1962- Snow falls in San Francisco
1977- US President Jimmy Carter pardons almost all Vietnam War draft evaders
My source and more facts at On This Day