1297: The Battle of Stirling Bridge sees the army of Andrew de Moray and William Wallace defeat English infantry and cavalry forces nearly four times their size. How the English were able to grow men and horses that large remains a mystery to this day.
1609: Henry Hudson, while first exploring the river which would later bear his name, disembarks on Manhattan Island (presumably because New Jersey had a distinct smell to it even back then).
1857: Mormon militiamen and Paiute Indians assault an emigrating Arkansan wagon train traveling along the Old Spanish Road, ultimately slaughtering approximately 120 unarmed men, women, and children in the process. Upon notice of the event, Brigham Young was heard to have said "you did WHAT to the women?!"
1921: Rotund silent film legend Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle is arrested for the rape of 26-year-old Hollywood starlet Virginia Rappe, ruining Arbuckle's later career and the mind's eye of countless moviegoing Americans.
1970: The Ford Pinto is introduced. The car sells well in the economy car market for nearly a decade until well-designed imports like the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla rear-ended its sales causing it to explode.
1992: Hurricane Iniki devastates Hawaii, predominantly the islands of Kauai and Oahu (and to a lesser extent the islands of Niihau, Maui, Molokai, Lanai, and Kahoolawe), pissing off Boston newscasters, who can't pronounce even one of those names correctly.
*Facts taken from Wikipedia.