* 1327 – Teenaged Edward III is crowned King of England, but the country is ruled by his mother Queen Isabella and her lover Roger Mortimer.
* 1411 – The First Peace of Thorn is signed in Thorn, Monastic State of the Teutonic Knights (Prussia).
* 1662 – The Chinese general Koxinga seizes the island of Taiwan after a nine-month siege.
* 1709 – Alexander Selkirk is rescued after being shipwrecked on a desert island, inspiring the book Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe.
* 1713 – The Kalabalik or Tumult in Bendery results from the Ottoman sultan's order that his unwelcome guest, King Charles XII of Sweden, be seized.
* 1790 – In New York City, the Supreme Court of the United States convenes for the first time.
* 1793 – French Revolutionary Wars: France declares war on the United Kingdom and the Netherlands.
* 1796 – The capital of Upper Canada is moved from Newark to York.
* 1814 – Mayon Volcano, in the Philippines, erupts, killing around 1,200 people, the most devastating eruption of the volcano.
* 1835 – Slavery is abolished in Mauritius.
* 1861 – American Civil War: Texas secedes from the United States.
* 1865 – President Abraham Lincoln signs the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
* 1876 – A murder conviction effectively forces the violent Pennsylvanian Irish anti-owner coal miners, the "Molly Maguires", to disband.
* 1884 – The first volume (A to Ant) of the Oxford English Dictionary is published.
* 1893 – Thomas A. Edison finishes construction of the first motion picture studio, the Black Maria in West Orange, New Jersey.
* 1897 – Shinhan Bank, the oldest bank in South Korea, opens in Seoul.
* 1908 – King Carlos I of Portugal and his son, Prince Luis Filipe are killed in Terreiro do Paco, Lisbon.
* 1918 – Russia adopts the Gregorian Calendar.
* 1920 – The Royal Canadian Mounted Police begins operations.
* 1924 – The United Kingdom recognizes the USSR.
* 1942 – World War II: Josef Terboven, Reichskommissar of German-occupied Norway, appoints Vidkun Quisling the Minister President of the National Government.
* 1942 – World War II: U.S. Navy conducts Marshalls-Gilberts raids, the first offensive action by the United States against Japanese forces in the Pacific Theater.
* 1942 – Voice of America, the official external radio and television service of the United States federal government, begins broadcasting with programs aimed at areas controlled by the Axis powers.
* 1946 – Trygve Lie of Norway is picked to be the first United Nations Secretary General.
* 1957 – Felix Wankel's first working prototype DKM 54 of the Wankel engine runs at the NSU research and development department Versuchsabteilung TX in Germany
* 1958 – Egypt and Syria merge to form the United Arab Republic, which lasted until 1961.
* 1960 – Four black students stage the first of the Greensboro sit-ins at a lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina.
* 1965 – The Hamilton River in Labrador, Canada is renamed the Churchill River in honour of Winston Churchill.
* 1968 – Vietnam War: The execution of Viet Cong officer Nguyen Van Lem by South Vietnamese National Police Chief Nguyen Ngoc Loan is videotaped and photographed by Eddie Adams. This image helped build opposition to the Vietnam War.
* 1968 – Canada's three military services, the Royal Canadian Navy, the Canadian Army and the Royal Canadian Air Force, are unified into the Canadian Forces.
* 1968 – The New York Central Railroad and the Pennsylvania Railroad are merged to form the ill-fated Penn Central Transportation.
* 1972 – Kuala Lumpur becomes a city by a royal charter granted by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia.
* 1974 – A fire in the 25-story Joelma Building in Sao Paulo, Brazil kills 189 and injures 293.
* 1974 – Kuala Lumpur is declared a Federal Territory.
* 1978 – Director Roman Polanski skips bail and flees the United States to France after pleading guilty to charges of engaging in sex with a 13-year-old girl.
* 1979 – Convicted bank robber Patty Hearst is released from prison after her sentence is commuted by President Jimmy Carter.
* 1979 – The Ayatollah Khomeini is welcomed back to Tehran, Iran after nearly 15 years of exile.
* 1982 – Senegal and the Gambia form a loose confederation known as Senegambia.
* 1989 – The Western Australian towns of Kalgoorlie and Boulder amalgamate to form the City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder.
* 1991 – A runway collision between USAir Flight 1493 and SkyWest Flight 5569 at Los Angeles International Airport results in the death of 34 persons, and the injury of 30 others.
* 1992 – The Chief Judicial Magistrate of Bhopal court declares Warren Anderson, ex-CEO of Union Carbide, a fugitive under Indian law for failing to appear in the Bhopal Disaster case.
* 1993 – Gary Bettman becomes the NHL's first commissioner
* 1996 – The Communications Decency Act is passed by the U.S. Congress.
* 1998 – Rear Admiral Lillian E. Fishburne became the first female African American to be promoted to rear admiral.
* 2003 – Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrates during reentry into the Earth's atmosphere, killing all seven astronauts aboard.
* 2004 – 251 people are trampled to death and 244 injured in a stampede at the Hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia.
* 2004 – Janet Jackson's breast is exposed during the half-time show of Super Bowl XXXVIII, resulting in US broadcasters adopting a stronger adherence to Federal Communications Commission censorship guidelines.
* 2005 – King Gyanendra of Nepal carries out a coup d'état to capture the democracy, becoming Chairman of the Councils of ministers.
* 2009 – Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir is chosen the first female Prime Minister of Iceland, becoming the first openly gay head of government in the modern world.