The White House burns, potato chips are invented, John Lennon's assassin goes to prison, and Pete Rose agrees to a ban from baseball, all on this day.
A.D. 455: Rome is sacked by the Vandals, led by King Genseric. Pope Leo I requested Genseric not destroy the ancient city or murder its citizens. He agreed and the gates of Rome were opened. However, the Vandals looted a great amount of treasure and destroyed objects of cultural significance (hence the modern term vandalism). The event is pointed to by some historians as the "end of the Roman Empire."