1743 -- Clouds moving in from the northeast from a hurricane moving off the mid-Atlantic coast obscured a lunar eclipse Benjamin Franklin had wanted to observe in Philadelphia. Franklin later learned that the eclipse had not been obscured at Boston, since the storm reached that city later. Franklin realized that the storm was moving to the north or northeast, even though he was experiencing winds coming out of the northeast, and therefore the storm was moving independently of the surface wind. The discovery that storms are coherent systems that move irrespective of the surface wind was a major step forward in meteorology.
1861 -- The Federal Expedition, the largest fleet of American warships assembled up to that time, sailed from Maryland to attack Confederate installations in South Carolina. Upon rounding the North Carolina capes it ran into a hurricane that sank two of the ships. The fleet otherwise survived and five days later captured Port Royal Sound, South Carolina.
1912 -- The Fort Wayne Weather Bureau (now National Weather Service) office closed due to the funeral of Vice President Sherman.