* 660 BC – Traditional date for the foundation of Japan by Emperor Jimmu.
* 55 – Tiberius Claudius Caesar Britannicus, heir to the Roman Emperorship, dies under mysterious circumstances in Rome. This clears the way for Nero to become Emperor.
* 244 – Emperor Gordian III is murdered by mutinous soldiers in Zaitha (Mesopotamia). A mound is raised at Carchemish in his memory.
* 1531 – Henry VIII of England is recognized as supreme head of the Church of England.
* 1659 – The assault on Copenhagen by Swedish forces is beaten back with heavy losses.
* 1752 – Pennsylvania Hospital, the first hospital in the United States, is opened by Benjamin Franklin.
* 1790 – The Religious Society of Friends, also known as Quakers, petitions U.S. Congress for abolition of slavery.
* 1794 – First session of United States Senate open to the public.
* 1808 – Jesse Fell burns anthracite on an open grate as an experiment in heating homes with coal.
* 1812 – Massachusetts governor Elbridge Gerry "gerrymanders" for the first time.
* 1826 – University College London is founded under the name University of London.
* 1826 – Swaminarayan writes the Shikshapatri, an important text within the Swaminarayan faith.
* 1840 – Gaetano Donizetti's opera La Fille du Régiment receives its first performance in Paris.
* 1843 – Giuseppe Verdi's opera I Lombardi receives its first performance in Milan.
* 1855 – Kassa Hailu is crowned Tewodros II, Emperor of Ethiopia, by Abuna Salama III in a ceremony at the church of Derasge Maryam
* 1861 – American Civil War: United States House of Representatives unanimously passes a resolution guaranteeing noninterference with slavery in any state.
* 1873 – King Amadeus I of Spain abdicates.
* 1889 – Meiji Constitution of Japan is adopted; the first Diet of Japan convenes in 1890.
* 1903 – Anton Bruckner's 9th Symphony receives its first performance in Vienna.
* 1906 – Pope Pius X publishes the encyclical Vehementer nos.
* 1916 – Emma Goldman is arrested for lecturing on birth control.
* 1919 – Friedrich Ebert (SPD), is elected President of Germany.
* 1929 – Fascist Italy and the Vatican sign the Lateran Treaty.
* 1937 – A sit-down strike ends when General Motors recognizes the United Auto Workers Union.
* 1938 – BBC Television produces the world's first ever science fiction television program, an adaptation of a section of the Karel Capek play R.U.R., that coined the term "robot".
* 1939 – A Lockheed XP-38 flies from California to New York in 7 hours 2 minutes.
* 1942 – The first gold record is presented to Glenn Miller for "Chattanooga Choo Choo".
* 1942 – World War II: The Battle of Bukit Timah is fought in Singapore.
* 1943 – World War II: General Dwight Eisenhower is selected to command the allied armies in Europe.
* 1953 – President Dwight Eisenhower refuses a clemency appeal for Ethel and Julius Rosenberg.
* 1953 – The Soviet Union breaks off diplomatic relations with Israel.
* 1959 – The Federation of Arab Emirates of the South, which will later become South Yemen, is created as a protectorate of the United Kingdom.
* 1964 – Greeks and Turks begin fighting in Limassol, Cyprus.
* 1964 – The Republic of China (commonly known as Taiwan) breaks off diplomatic relations with France.
* 1968 – Israeli-Jordanian border clashes.
* 1971 – Eighty-seven countries, including the US, UK, and USSR, sign the Seabed Treaty outlawing nuclear weapons on the ocean floor in international waters.
* 1973 – Vietnam War: First release of American prisoners of war from Vietnam takes place.
* 1978 – Censorship: the People's Republic of China lifts a ban on works by Aristotle, William Shakespeare and Charles Dickens.
* 1979 – Islamic revolution of Iran establishes an Islamic theocracy under the leadership of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.
* 1981 – 100,000 US gallons (380 m3) of radioactive coolant leak into the containment building of TVA Sequoyah 1 nuclear plant in Tennessee, contaminating 8 workers.
* 1987 – The Constitution of the Philippines goes into effect.
* 1990 – Nelson Mandela is released from Victor Verster Prison outside Cape Town, South Africa after 27 years as a political prisoner.
* 1997 – Space Shuttle Discovery is launched on a mission to service the Hubble Space Telescope.
* 2008 – Rebel East Timorese soldiers seriously wound President José Ramos-Horta. Rebel leader Alfredo Reinado is killed in the attack.
* 2011 – Egyptian Revolution culminates in the resignation of Hosni Mubarak and the transfer of power to the Supreme Military Council after 18 days of protests.