* 456 – Magister militum Ricimer defeats Emperor Avitus at Piacenza and becomes master of the Western Roman Empire.
* 1384 – Jadwiga is crowned King of Poland, although she is a woman.
* 1590 – Carlo Gesualdo, composer, Prince of Venosa and Count of Conza, murders his wife, Donna Maria d'Avalos, and her lover Fabrizio Carafa, the Duke of Andria at the Palazzo San Severo in Naples.
* 1780 – Royalton, Vermont and Tunbridge, Vermont are the last major raids of the American Revolutionary War.
* 1781 – George Washington captures Yorktown, Virginia after the Siege of Yorktown.
* 1793 – Marie Antoinette, wife of Louis XVI, is guillotined at the height of the French Revolution.
* 1793 – The Battle of Wattignies ends in a French victory.
* 1813 – The Sixth Coalition attacks Napoleon Bonaparte in the Battle of Leipzig.
* 1834 – Much of the ancient structure of the Palace of Westminster in London is burnt to the ground.
* 1841 – Queen's University is founded in Kingston, Ontario, Canada.
* 1843 – Sir William Rowan Hamilton comes up with the idea of quaternions, a non-commutative extension of complex numbers.
* 1846 – William TG Morton first demonstrated ether anesthesia at the Massachusetts General Hospital in the Ether Dome.
* 1859 – John Brown leads a raid on Harper's Ferry, West Virginia.
* 1869 – The Cardiff Giant, one of the most famous American hoaxes, is "discovered".
* 1869 – Girton College, Cambridge is founded, becoming England's first residential college for women.
* 1875 – Brigham Young University is founded in Provo, Utah.
* 1882 – The Nickel Plate Railroad opens for business.
* 1905 – The Partition of Bengal in India takes place.
* 1906 – The Captain of Köpenick fools the city hall of Köpenick and several soldiers by impersonating a Prussian officer.
* 1916 – Margaret Sanger founds Planned Parenthood by opening the first U.S. birth control clinic.
* 1923 – The Walt Disney Company is founded by Walt Disney and his brother, Roy Disney.
* 1934 – Chinese Communists begin the Long March; it ended a year and four days later, by which time Mao Zedong had regained his title as party chairman.
* 1939 – World War II: First attack on British territory by the German Luftwaffe.
* 1940 – Benjamin O. Davis Sr. is named the first African American general in the United States Army.
* 1940 – Holocaust: The Warsaw Ghetto is established.
* 1945 – The Food and Agriculture Organization is founded in Quebec City, Canada.
* 1946 – Nuremberg Trials: Execution of the convicted Nazi leaders of the Main Trial.
* 1949 – Nikolaos Zachariadis, leader of the Communist Party of Greece, announces a "temporary cease-fire", effectively ending the Greek Civil War.
* 1949 – The diplomatic relations between the Soviet Union and the German Democratic Republic are established.
* 1951 – The first Prime Minister of Pakistan, Liaquat Ali Khan, is assassinated in Rawalpindi.
* 1962 – Cuban Missile Crisis between the United States and Cuba begins.
* 1964 – The People's Republic of China detonates its first nuclear weapon.
* 1964 – Soviet leaders Leonid Brezhnev and Aleksey Kosygin are inaugurated as General Secretary of the CPSU and Premier, respectively.
* 1968 – United States athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos are kicked off the USA's team for participating in the 1968 Olympics Black Power salute.
* 1968 – Kingston, Jamaica is rocked by the Rodney Riots, inspired by the barring of Walter Rodney from the country.
* 1970 – In response to the October Crisis terrorist kidnapping, Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau of Canada invokes the War Measures Act.
* 1973 – Henry Kissinger and Le Duc Tho are awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
* 1975 – The Balibo Five, a group of Australian television journalists based in the town of Balibo in the then Portuguese Timor (now East Timor), are killed by Indonesian troops.
* 1975 – Rahima Banu, a 2-year old girl from the village of Kuralia in Bangladesh, is the last known person to be infected with naturally occurring smallpox.
* 1975 – The Australian Coalition opposition parties using their senate majority, vote to defer the decision to grant supply of funds for the Whitlam Government's annual budget, sparking the 1975 Australian constitutional crisis.
* 1978 – Pope John Paul II is elected after the October 1978 Papal conclave.
* 1978 – Wanda Rutkiewicz is the first Pole and the first European woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest.
* 1984 – Desmond Tutu is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
* 1986 – Reinhold Messner becomes the first person to summit all 14 Eight-thousanders.
* 1986 – Ron Arad, Israeli Weapons System Officer, is captured by Lebanese Shi'ite militia Amal.
* 1987 – Great Storm of 1987: Hurricane force winds hit much of the South of England killing 23 people.
* 1991 – Luby's massacre: George Hennard runs amok in Killeen, Texas, killing 23 and wounding 20 in Luby's Cafeteria.
* 1993 – Anti-Nazi riot breaks out in Welling in Kent, after police stop protesters approaching the British National Party headquarters.
* 1995 – The Million Man March occurs in Washington, D.C.
* 1995 – The Skye Bridge is opened.
* 1996 – Eighty-four people are killed and more than 180 injured as 47,000 football fans attempt to squeeze into the 36,000-seat Estadio Mateo Flores in Guatemala City.
* 1998 – Former Chilean dictator General Augusto Pinochet is arrested in London on a warrant from Spain requesting his extradition on murder charges.
* 2002 – Bibliotheca Alexandrina in the Egyptian city of Alexandria, a commemoration of the Library of Alexandria that was lost in antiquity, is officially inaugurated.
* 2006 – A magnitude 6.7 earthquake rocks Hawaii, causing property damage, injuries, landslides, power outages, and the closure of Honolulu International Airport. See 2006 Hawaii Earthquake.