* 1401 – Turko-Mongol emperor Timur sacks Damascus.
* 1603 – James VI of Scotland also becomes James I of England.
* 1603 – Tokugawa Ieyasu is granted the title of shogun from Emperor Go-Yozei, and establishes the Tokugawa Shogunate in Edo, Japan.
* 1707 – The Acts of Union 1707 is signed, officially uniting the Kingdoms of England and Scotland to create the Kingdom of Great Britain.
* 1731 – Naturalization of Hieronimus de Salis Parliamentary Act is passed.
* 1765 – American Revolutionary War: The Kingdom of Great Britain passes the Quartering Act that requires the Thirteen Colonies to house British troops.
* 1829 – Catholic Emancipation: The Parliament of the United Kingdom passes the Roman Catholic Relief Act 1829, allowing Catholics to serve in Parliament.
* 1832 – In Hiram, Ohio a group of men beat, tar and feather Mormon leader Joseph Smith, Jr..
* 1837 – Canada gives African Canadian men the right to vote.
* 1860 – Sakuradamon incident (1860): Assassination of Japanese Chief Minister (Tairō) Ii Naosuke
* 1869 – The last of Titokowaru's forces surrendered to the New Zealand government, ending his uprising.
* 1878 – The British frigate HMS Eurydice sinks, killing more than 300.
* 1882 – Robert Koch announces the discovery of mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacterium responsible for tuberculosis.
* 1896 – A. A. Popov makes the first radio signal transmission in history.
* 1900 – Mayor of New York City Robert Anderson Van Wyck breaks ground for a new underground "Rapid Transit Railroad" that would link Manhattan and Brooklyn.
* 1907 – The first issue of the Georgian Bolshevik newspaper Dro is published.
* 1923 – Greece becomes a republic.
* 1927 – Nanjing Incident: Foreign warships bombard Nanjing, China, in defense of the foreign citizens within the city.
* 1933 – The Enabling Act of 1933 is passed by the German Reichstag, allowing Adolf Hitler to gain plenary power.
* 1934 – U.S. Congress passes the Tydings-McDuffie Act allowing the Philippines to become a self-governing commonwealth.
* 1944 – Ardeatine Massacre: German troops kill 335 Italian civilians in Rome.
* 1944 – World War II: In an event later dramatized in the movie The Great Escape, 76 prisoners begin breaking out of Stalag Luft III.
* 1946 – The British Cabinet Mission, consisting of Lord Pethick-Lawrence, Sir Stafford Cripps and A. V. Alexander, arrives in India to discuss and plan for the transfer of power from the British Raj to Indian leadership.
* 1958 – Rock'N'Roll teen idol Elvis Presley is drafted in the U.S. Army.
* 1959 – The Party of the African Federation is launched by Léopold Sédar Senghor and Modibo Keita.
* 1965 – NASA spacecraft Ranger 9, equipped to convert its signals into a form suitable for showing on domestic television, brings images of the Moon into ordinary homes before crash landing.
* 1972 – The United Kingdom imposes direct rule over Northern Ireland.
* 1973 – Kenyan athlete Kip Keino defeats Jim Ryun at the first-ever professional track meet in Los Angeles, California.
* 1976 – In Argentina, the armed forces overthrow the constitutional government of President Isabel Perón and start a 7-year dictatorial period self-styled the National Reorganization Process. Since 2006, a public holiday known as Day of Remembrance for Truth and Justice is held on this day.
* 1980 – Archbishop Óscar Romero is killed while celebrating Mass in San Salvador.
* 1986 – The Loscoe gas explosion leads to new UK laws on landfill gas migration and gas protection on landfill sites.
* 1989 – Exxon Valdez oil spill: In Prince William Sound in Alaska, the Exxon Valdez spills 240,000 barrels (38,000 m3) of petroleum after running aground.
* 1993 – Discovery of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9.
* 1998 – Jonesboro massacre: Mitchell Johnson and Andrew Golden, aged 11 and 13 respectively, fire upon teachers and students at Westside Middle School in Jonesboro, Arkansas; five people are killed and ten are wounded.
* 1998 – A tornado sweeps through Dantan in India killing 250 people and injuring 3000 others.
* 1999 – Mont Blanc Tunnel fire kills 38 people
* 1999 – Kosovo War: NATO commences air bombardment against Yugoslavia, marking the first time NATO has attacked a sovereign country.
* 2000 – S&P 500 index reaches an intraday high of 1,552.87, a peak that, due to the collapse of the dot-com bubble, it will not reach again for another seven-and-a-half years.
* 2003 – The Arab League votes 21-1 in favor of a resolution demanding the immediate and unconditional removal of U.S. and British soldiers from Iraq.
* 2008 – Bhutan officially becomes a democracy, with its first ever general election.