* 27 BC – Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus is granted the title Augustus by the Roman Senate, marking the beginning of the Roman Empire.
* 550 – Gothic War (535–554): The Ostrogoths, under King Totila, conquer Rome after a long siege, by bribing the Isaurian garrison.
* 929 – Emir Abd-ar-Rahman III established the Caliphate of Cordoba.
* 1120 – The Council of Nablus is held, establishing the earliest surviving written laws of the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem.
* 1362 – A storm tide in the North Sea destroys the German city of Rungholt on the island of Strand.
* 1412 – The Medici family is appointed official banker of the Papacy.
* 1492 – The first grammar of the Spanish language is presented to Queen Isabella I.
* 1547 – Ivan IV of Russia aka Ivan the Terrible becomes Tsar of Russia.
* 1556 – Philip II becomes King of Spain.
* 1572 – Thomas Howard, 4th Duke of Norfolk is tried for treason for his part in the Ridolfi plot to restore Catholicism in England.
* 1581 – The English Parliament outlaws Roman Catholicism.
* 1605 – The first edition of El ingenioso hidalgo Don Quijote de la Mancha (Book One of Don Quixote) by Miguel de Cervantes is published in Madrid.
* 1707 – The Scottish Parliament ratifies the Act of Union, paving the way for the creation of Great Britain.
* 1761 – The British capture Pondicherry, India from the French.
* 1780 – American Revolution: Battle of Cape St. Vincent.
* 1786 – The Commonwealth of Virginia enacted the Statute for Religious Freedom authored by Thomas Jefferson.
* 1809 – Peninsular War: The British defeat the French at the Battle of La Coruña.
* 1847 – John C. Fremont is appointed Governor of the new California Territory.
* 1878 – Russo-Turkish War (1877–1878) – Battle of Philippopolis: Captain Burago with a squadron of Russian Imperial army dragoons liberates Plovdiv from Ottoman rule.
* 1883 – The Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act, establishing the United States Civil Service, is passed.
* 1896 – Defeat of Cymru Fydd at South Wales Liberal Federation AGM, Newport, Monmouthshire.
* 1900 – The United States Senate accepts the Anglo-German treaty of 1899 in which the United Kingdom renounces its claims to the Samoan islands.
* 1909 – Ernest Shackleton's expedition finds the magnetic South Pole.
* 1919 – Temperance movement: The United States ratifies the Eighteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, authorizing Prohibition in the United States one year after ratification.
* 1920 – The League of Nations holds its first council meeting in Paris.
* 1924 – Eleftherios Venizelos becomes Prime Minister of Greece for the fourth time.
* 1938 – The Benny Goodman Orchestra performed the first jazz concert at Carnegie Hall.
* 1939 – The Irish Republican Army (IRA) begins a bombing and sabotage campaign in England.
* 1942 – Crash of TWA Flight 3, killing all 22 aboard, including film star Carole Lombard.
* 1945 – Adolf Hitler moves into his underground bunker, the so-called Führerbunker.
* 1956 – President Gamal Abdal Nasser of Egypt vows to reconquer Palestine.
* 1968 – The Youth International Party is founded.
* 1969 – Czech student Jan Palach commits suicide by self-immolation in Prague, in protest against the Soviets' crushing of the Prague Spring the year before.
* 1969 – Soviet spacecraft Soyuz 4 and Soyuz 5 perform the first-ever docking of manned spacecraft in orbit, the first-ever transfer of crew from one space vehicle to another, and the only time such a transfer was accomplished with a space walk.
* 1970 – Buckminster Fuller receives the Gold Medal award from the American Institute of Architects.
* 1979 – The Shah of Iran flees Iran with his family and relocates to Egypt.
* 1986 – First meeting of the Internet Engineering Task Force.
* 1991 – The United States goes to war with Iraq, beginning the Gulf War (U.S. Time).
* 1992 – El Salvador officials and rebel leaders sign the Chapultepec Peace Accords in Mexico City ending the 12-year Salvadoran civil war that claimed at least 75,000.
* 2001 – Congolese President Laurent-Désiré Kabila is assassinated by one of his own bodyguards.
* 2001 – US President Bill Clinton awards former President Theodore Roosevelt a posthumous Medal of Honor for his service in the Spanish-American War.
* 2002 – The UN Security Council unanimously establishes an arms embargo and the freezing of assets of Osama bin Laden, Al-Qaida, and the remaining members of the Taliban.
* 2003 – The Space Shuttle Columbia takes off for mission STS-107 which would be its final one. Columbia disintegrated 16 days later on re-entry.
* 2006 – Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is sworn in as Liberia's new president. She becomes Africa's first female elected head of state.