* 474 – Zeno crowned as co-emperor of the Byzantine Empire.
* 1555 – Bishop of Gloucester John Hooper is burned at the stake.
* 1621 – Gregory XV becomes Pope, the last Pope elected by acclamation.
* 1775 – American Revolutionary War: The British Parliament declares Massachusetts in rebellion.
* 1788 – The Habsburg Empire joins the Russo-Turkish War in the Russian camp.
* 1825 – After no presidential candidate receives a majority of electoral votes in the election of 1824, the United States House of Representatives elects John Quincy Adams President of the United States.
* 1849 – New Roman Republic established
* 1861 – American Civil War: Jefferson Davis is elected the Provisional President of the Confederate States of America by the Confederate convention at Montgomery, Alabama.
* 1870 – President Ulysses S. Grant signs a joint resolution of Congress establishing the U.S. Weather Bureau.
* 1885 – The first Japanese government-approved immigrants arrive in Hawaii.
* 1889 – President Grover Cleveland signs a bill elevating the United States Department of Agriculture to a Cabinet-level agency.
* 1895 – William G. Morgan creates a game called Mintonette, which soon comes to be referred to as volleyball.
* 1900 – The Davis Cup competition is established.
* 1904 – Russo–Japanese War: Battle of Port Arthur concludes.
* 1913 – A group of meteors is visible across much of the eastern seaboard of North and South America, leading astronomers to conclude the source had been a small, short-lived natural satellite of the Earth.
* 1920 – Under the terms of the Spitsbergen Treaty, international diplomacy recognizes Norwegian sovereignty over Arctic archipelago Svalbard, and designates it as demilitarized.
* 1922 – Brazil becomes a member of the Berne Convention copyright treaty.
* 1934 – The Balkan Entente is formed.
* 1942 – World War II: Top United States military leaders hold their first formal meeting to discuss American military strategy in the war.
* 1942 – Year-round Daylight saving time is re-instated in the United States as a wartime measure to help conserve energy resources.
* 1943 – World War II: Allied authorities declare Guadalcanal secure after Imperial Japan evacuates its remaining forces from the island, ending the Battle of Guadalcanal.
* 1945 – World War II: The Battle of the Atlantic – HMS Venturer sinks U-864 off the coast of Fedje, Norway, in a rare instance of submarine-to-submarine combat.
* 1945 – World War II: A force of Allied aircraft unsuccessfully attacked a German destroyer in Førdefjorden, Norway.
* 1950 – Second Red Scare: Senator Joseph McCarthy accuses the United States Department of State of being filled with Communists.
* 1951 – Geochang massacre: Korean War
* 1959 – The R-7 Semyorka, the first intercontinental ballistic missile, becomes operational at Plesetsk, USSR.
* 1964 – The Beatles make their first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, performing before a "record-busting" audience of 73 million viewers.
* 1965 – Vietnam War: The first United States combat troops are sent to South Vietnam.
* 1969 – First test flight of the Boeing 747.
* 1971 – The Sylmar earthquake hits the San Fernando Valley area of California.
* 1971 – Satchel Paige becomes the first Negro League player to be voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
* 1971 – Apollo program: Apollo 14 returns to Earth after the third manned moon landing.
* 1973 – Biju Patnaik of the Pragati Legislature Party is elected leader of the opposition in the state assembly in Orissa, India.
* 1975 – The Soyuz 17 Soviet spacecraft returns to Earth.
* 1991 – Voters in Lithuania vote for independence.
* 1995 – Space Shuttle astronauts Bernard A. Harris, Jr. and Michael Foale become the first African American and first Briton, respectively, to perform spacewalks.
* 1996 – The Provisional Irish Republican Army declares the end to its 18 month ceasefire and explodes a large bomb in London's Canary Wharf.
* 2001 – The American submarine USS Greeneville accidentally strikes and sinks the Ehime-Maru, a Japanese training vessel operated by the Uwajima Fishery High School.