On this date in history:
In 1798, the U.S. Congress empowered President John Adams to recruit an American army of 10,000 volunteers.
In 1892, the Sierra Club was founded by naturalist John Muir.
In 1934, the Dionne sisters, Emilie, Yvonne, Cecile, Marie and Annette, first documented set of quintuplets to survive, were born near Callander, Ontario, and soon became world-famous. Emilie died in 1954, Marie in 1970 and Yvonne in 2001.
In 1961, Amnesty International was founded in London by lawyer Peter Berenson. The organization won the Nobel Peace Prize for its work supporting people imprisoned because of their race, religion or political views.
In 1977, a flash fire swept through a nightclub in Southgate, Ky., -- called the Beverly Hills Supper Club -- killing 162 people and injuring 30.
In 1987, West German Mathias Rust, 19, flew a single-engine plane from Finland through Soviet radar and landed beside the Kremlin in Moscow. Three days later, the Soviet defense minister and his deputy were fired.
In 1991, Ethiopian rebels seized the presidential palace and tightened their control of the capital of Addis Ababa, effectively wresting power from a crumbling Marxist government that ruled their country with an iron hand for 17 years.
In 1998, actor and comedian Phil Hartman, known for his roles on Saturday Night Live and News Radio, was killed by his wife, Brynn Hartman. The Los Angeles County Coroner's Office determined Brynn Hartman had cocaine, alcohol and an anti-depressant drug in her system at the time of the murder-suicide.
In 2000, Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori easily won a runoff election but nationwide demonstrations against him continued. He resigned in September.
In 2002, NASA said the Mars Odyssey found evidence of ice on Mars. "We were hopeful that we could find evidence of ice, but what we have found is much more ice than we ever expected," a scientist said.
In 2008, Nepal's newly elected Constituent Assembly voted to dissolve the 239-year-old monarchy and form a republic, officially ending the reign of King Gyanendra.
In 2014, author-poet-activist Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings) died in Winston-Salem, N.C. U.S. President Barack Obama called Angelou, who was 86, "one of the brightest lights of our time."
In 2017, flooding from a heavy monsoon caused landslides in Sri Lanka, killing up to 224 people.