* 506 – Alaric II, eighth king of the Visigoths promulgates The Breviary of Alaric (Breviarium Alaricianum or Lex Romana Visigothorum) a collection of Roman law.
* 962 – Translatio imperii: Pope John XII crowns Otto I, Holy Roman Emperor, the first Holy Roman Emperor in nearly 40 years.
* 1032 – Conrad II, Holy Roman Emperor becomes King of Burgundy.
* 1207 – Terra Mariana, comprising present-day Estonia and Latvia, is established.
* 1461 – Wars of the Roses: The Battle of Mortimer's Cross is fought in Herefordshire, England.
* 1536 – Spaniard Pedro de Mendoza founds Buenos Aires, Argentina.
* 1542 – Portuguese under Christovão da Gama capture a Muslim-occupied hill fort in northern Ethiopia in the Battle of Baçente.
* 1653 – New Amsterdam (later renamed The City of New York) is incorporated.
* 1812 – Russia establishes a fur trading colony at Fort Ross, California.
* 1848 – Mexican-American War: The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo is signed.
* 1848 – California Gold Rush: The first ship with Chinese immigrants arrives in San Francisco, California.
* 1876 – The National League of Professional Baseball Clubs of Major League Baseball is formed.
* 1887 – In Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania the first Groundhog Day is observed.
* 1899 – The Australian Premiers' Conference held in Melbourne decides to locate Australia's capital city, Canberra, between Sydney and Melbourne.
* 1901 – Funeral of Queen Victoria.
* 1913 – Grand Central Terminal is opened in New York City.
* 1920 – The Tartu Peace Treaty is signed between Estonia and Russia.
* 1920 – France occupies Memel.
* 1922 – Ulysses by James Joyce is published.
* 1925 – Serum run to Nome: Dog sleds reach Nome, Alaska with diphtheria serum, inspiring the Iditarod race.
* 1925 – The Charlevoix-Kamouraska earthquake strikes northeastern North America.
* 1934 – The Export-Import Bank of the United States is incorporated.
* 1935 – Leonarde Keeler tests the first polygraph machine.
* 1943 – World War II: The Battle of Stalingrad comes to conclusion as Soviet troops accept the surrender of 91,000 remnants of the Axis forces.
* 1946 – The Hungarian Republic is proclaimed.
* 1957 – Iskander Mirza of Pakistan lays the foundation-stone of the Guddu Barrage.
* 1966 – Pakistan suggests a six-point agenda with Kashmir after the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965.
* 1971 – Idi Amin replaces President Milton Obote as leader of Uganda.
* 1972 – The British embassy in Dublin is destroyed in protest at Bloody Sunday.
* 1974 – The F-16 Fighting Falcon flies for the first time.
* 1976 – The Groundhog Day gale hits the north-eastern United States and south-eastern Canada.
* 1980 – Reports surface that the FBI is targeting allegedly corrupt Congressmen in the Abscam operation.
* 1982 – Hama Massacre: Syria attacks the town of Hama.
* 1987 – After the 1986 People Power Revolution the Philippines enacts a new constitution.
* 1989 – Soviet war in Afghanistan: The last Soviet armoured column leaves Kabul.
* 1990 – Apartheid: F.W. de Klerk allows the African National Congress to function legally and promises to release Nelson Mandela.
* 2004 – Swiss tennis player Roger Federer becomes the No. 1 ranked men's singles player, a position he will hold for a record 237 weeks.