Alexander the Gread defeated Darius III at the Battle of Granicus in 334 BC. Richard, Duke of York, defeated Henry VI at the First Battle of St. Albans in 1445. Nearly 1000 people headed west from Independence, Missouri, in 1843 -- the first group to set out on what became known as the Oregon Trail. The most powerful earthquake ever recorded struck southern Chile in 1960. It measured 9.5 on the moment magnitude scale. Ceylon adopted a new constitution in 1972, becoming a republic and changing its name to Sri Lanka.
Born today: lobster-loving Gérard de Nerval (1808-1855), Richard Wagner (1813-1883), Mary Cassatt (1844-1926), Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930), Hergé (1907-1983), Laurence Olivier (1907-1989), Charles Aznavour (1924), George Best (1946-2005), Bernie Taupin (1950), Jerry Dammers (1955), and Morrissey (1959).