Two US military planes complete the first flights around the world. (1924) The 27,000-mile (about 43,452-kilometer) flight took 175 days. The flights were not non-stop. Overall, the flights broke four world records.
The flu epidemic hit Philadelphia, gaining speed in its spread around the world. (1918) The flu virus gained momentum in a huge outbreak, spreading from the Liberty Loan parade to the rest of the city. The epidemic likely began in the Midwest in the United States before spreading to Europe with soldiers sent to fight in World War I. The virus then spread worldwide through ship ports, ultimately causing more than 30 million deaths — more deaths than all those that occurred in the war.
The US Navy abolished flogging. (1850) Under pressure of 271 petitions submitted from US citizens, US Senator John P. Hale managed to get a law passed to abolish flogging. The US Navy and many of its officers resisted the legislation, calling it "misguided."
Adolf Hitler's life was allegedly spared. (1918) During World War I, Private Henry Tandey of the British military came upon a German soldier — Lance Corporal Adolf Hitler — who had been wounded. Tandey aimed his gun at the man, but was unable to shoot him and let him live. There is no concrete evidence that this happened, but anecdotal evidence seemed to support the report. In one account, Hitler later saw a painting of Tandey carrying a wounded soldier and said, "That’s the man who nearly shot me."
The "Siege of Yorktown" occurred during the American Revolutionary War. (1781) The battle resulted in a victory for American and French military forces over the British Army. It was not only the final land battle of the war, but also the turning point — the British surrender in Yorktown prompted the negotiations that brought an end to the war.
France emancipated its Jewish population — the first country in the world to do so. (1791) Other countries followed, some much later. Greece offered emancipation in 1830, Canada in 1832 and the United Kingdom in 1858. The US emancipated its Jewish population in 1868, shortly before Germany in 1871.
The mold that would later be called penicillin was discovered. (1928) Scottish biologist Sir Alexander Fleming discovered a mold that killed bacteria and named it Penicillium notatum. In 1945, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his discovery.
The ITT Corporation building in New York City was bombed for alleged involvement in the Chilean coup d'etat. (1973) Protesters bombed the company's headquarters, believing the company helped the Chilean military overthrow President Salvador Allende. In 2000, the US CIA declassified documents that indicated ITT offered financial assistance to the coup d'etat.
The world's first private spaceship went into orbit. (2008) The Falcon 1 was launched by SpaceX, a company founded by Elon Musk, the owner of PayPal.
Ted Williams hit more than 0.400 in a season, the last Major League Baseball player in history to do so. (1941) Williams hit 0.406 that season, playing his last game on this day. Leaving with a literal band, he hit a home run in his last at-bat.