* 241 BC – First Punic War: Battle of the Aegates Islands – The Romans sink the Carthaginian fleet bringing the First Punic War to an end.
* 298 – Roman Emperor Maximian concludes his campaign in North Africa against the Berbers, and makes a triumphal entry into Carthage.
* 1607 – Susenyos defeats the combined armies of Yaqob and Abuna Petros II at the Battle of Gol in Gojjam, making him Emperor of Ethiopia.
* 1629 – Charles I of England dissolves the Parliament, beginning the eleven-year period known as the Personal Rule.
* 1735 – An agreement between Nadir Shah and Russia is signed near Ganja and Russian troops are withdrawn from Baku.
* 1762 – French Huguenot Jean Calas, who had been wrongly convicted of killing his son, dies after being tortured by authorities; the event inspired Voltaire to begin a campaign for religious tolerance and legal reform.
* 1804 – Louisiana Purchase: In St. Louis, Missouri, a formal ceremony is conducted to transfer ownership of the Louisiana Territory from France to the United States.
* 1814 – Napoleon I of France is defeated at the Battle of Laon in France.
* 1816 – Crossing of the Andes: A group of royalist scouts is captured during the Action of Juncalito.
* 1830 – The KNIL also known as the Royal Netherlands East Indies Army is created.
* 1831 – The French Foreign Legion is established by King Louis-Philippe to support his war in Algeria.
* 1848 – The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo is ratified by the United States Senate, ending the Mexican-American War.
* 1861 – El Hadj Umar Tall seizes the city of Ségou, destroying the Bambara Empire of Mali.
* 1864 – American Civil War: The Red River Campaign begins as Union troops reach Alexandria, Louisiana.
* 1876 – Alexander Graham Bell makes the first successful telephone call by saying "Mr. Watson, come here, I want to see you."
* 1891 – Almon Strowger, an undertaker in Topeka, Kansas, patents the Strowger switch, a device which led to the automation of telephone circuit switching.
* 1906 – The Courrières mine disaster, Europe's worst ever, kills 1099 miners in Northern France.
* 1909 – By signing the Anglo-Siamese Treaty of 1909, Thailand relinquishes its sovereignty over the Malay states of Kedah, Kelantan, Perlis and Terengganu, which become British protectorates.
* 1917 – Batangas with the other provinces in the Philippines is formally founded as the Philippines's early encomiendas.
* 1922 – Mahatma Gandhi is arrested in India, tried for sedition, and sentenced to six years in prison, only to be released after nearly two years for an appendicitis operation.
* 1933 – An earthquake in Long Beach, California kills 115 people and causes an estimated $40 million dollars in damage.
* 1944 – Greek Civil War: The Political Committee of National Liberation is established in Greece by the National Liberation Front.
* 1945 – The U.S. Army Air Force firebombs Tokyo, and the resulting firestorm kills more than 100,000 people, mostly civilians.
* 1952 – Fulgencio Batista leads a successful coup in Cuba and appoints himself as the "provisional president".
* 1959 – Tibetan uprising: Fearing an abduction attempt by China, 300,000 Tibetans surround the Dalai Lama's palace to prevent his removal.
* 1966 – Military Prime Minister of South Vietnam Nguyen Cao Ky sacked rival General Nguyen Chanh Thi, precipitating large-scale civil and military dissension in parts of the nation.
* 1968 – Vietnam War: Battle of Lima Site 85, concluding the 11th with largest single ground combat loss of United States Air Force members (12) during that war.
* 1969 – In Memphis, Tennessee, James Earl Ray pleads guilty to assassinating Martin Luther King Jr. He later retracts his plea.
* 1970 – Vietnam War: Captain Ernest Medina is charged by the U.S. Military with My Lai war crimes.
* 1975 – Vietnam War: North Vietnamese troops attack Ban Me Thuot, South Vietnam, on their way to capturing Saigon.
* 1977 – Rings of Uranus: Astronomers discover rings around Uranus.
* 1980 – Madeira School headmistress Jean Harris shoots and kills Scarsdale diet doctor Herman Tarnower
* 1980 – Formation of the Irish Army Ranger Wing
* 1990 – In Haiti, Prosper Avril is ousted 18 months after seizing power in a coup.
* 2000 – The NASDAQ Composite stock market index peaks at 5132.52, signaling the beginning of the end of the dot-com boom.
* 2005 – Tung Chee Hwa resigns from his post as the first Chief Executive of Hong Kong after widespread public dissatisfaction of his tenure.
* 2006 – The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter arrives at Mars.
* 2008 – The New York Times reveals that Governor of New York Eliot Spitzer had patronized a prostitution service.