Martin Luther sent his 95 Theses denouncing what he saw as the abuses of the Catholic Church, especially the sale of indulgences, to the Archbishop of Mainz, Germany (by some accounts, Luther also posted the Theses on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg), marking the start of the Protestant Reformation.
Harry Houdini, the famous magician and escape artist, died in Detroit as a result of a ruptured appendix suffered when a college student punched him in the stomach to test Houdini’s ability to sustain such blows.
The Navy destroyer USS Reuben James was torpedoed by a German U-boat off Iceland with the loss of some 100 lives, even though the United States had not yet entered World War II.
Work was completed on the Mount Rushmore National Memorial in South Dakota, begun in 1927.
Earl Lloyd of the Washington Capitols became the first Black player to play in the NBA.
The body of Josef Stalin was removed from Lenin’s Tomb as part of the Soviet Union’s “de-Stalinization” drive.
President Lyndon B. Johnson ordered a halt to all U.S. bombing of North Vietnam, saying he hoped for fruitful peace negotiations.