1720: The Royal Navy captures the pirate Captain “Calico Jack” Rackham off the coast of Jamaica.
1803: The United States Senate ratifies the purchase of Louisiana.
1973: The Sydney Opera House is opened by Elizabeth II.
2011: Members of the National Transitional Council capture and kill former Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi.
1632: Christopher Wren, designer of St Paul’s Cathedral in London.
1854: Arthur Rimbaud, French poet.
1882: Bela Lugosi, Hungarian-American actor best known for portraying Dracula in a number of films.
1885: Jelly Roll Morton, American pianist, composer and bandleader.
1936: Bobby Seale, co-founder of the Black Panther Party.
1966: Allan Donald, South African cricketer.
1971: Snoop Dogg, American rapper, producer and actor.
1977: Ronnie van Zant, lead singer of American rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd, in a plane crash.
1994: Burt Lancaster, American actor.
2014: Oscar de la Renta, Dominican-American fashion designer.
20 October is Heroes Day in Kenya, Vietnamese Women’s Day, and World Osteoporosis Day.