* 141 BC – Liu Che, posthumously known as Emperor Wu of Han, assumes the throne over the Han Dynasty of China.
* 632 – The Last Sermon (Khutbah, Khutbatul Wada') of Prophet Muhammad.
* 1009 – First known mention of Lithuania, in the annals of the monastery of Quedlinburg.
* 1230 – Bulgarian tsar Ivan Asen II defeats Theodore of Epirus in the Battle of Klokotnitsa.
* 1276 – Augsburg becomes an Imperial Free City.
* 1500 – The fleet of Pedro Alvares Cabral leaves Lisbon for the Indies. The fleet will discover Brazil which lies within boundaries granted to Portugal in the Treaty of Tordesillas.
* 1566 – David Rizzio, private secretary to Mary, Queen of Scots, is murdered in the Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh, Scotland.
* 1765 – After a campaign by the writer Voltaire, judges in Paris posthumously exonerate Jean Calas of murdering his son. Calas had been tortured and executed in 1762 on the charge, though his son may have actually committed suicide.
* 1796 – Napoléon Bonaparte marries his first wife, Joséphine de Beauharnais.
* 1811 – Paraguayan forces defeat Manuel Belgrano at the Battle of Tacuarí.
* 1841 – The U.S. Supreme Court rules that captive Africans who had seized control of the ship carrying them had been taken into slavery illegally.
* 1842 – Giuseppe Verdi's third opera, Nabucco, receives its première performance in Milan; its success establishes Verdi as one of Italy's foremost opera writers.
* 1842 – The first documented discovery of gold in California occurs at Rancho San Francisco, six years before the California Gold Rush.
* 1847 – Mexican-American War: The first large-scale amphibious assault in U.S. history is launched in the Siege of Veracruz.
* 1862 – American Civil War: The USS Monitor and CSS Virginia fight to a draw in the Battle of Hampton Roads, the first battle between two ironclad warships.
* 1896 – Prime Minister Francesco Crispi resigns following the Italian defeat at the Battle of Adowa.
* 1910 – The Westmoreland County Coal Strike, involving 15,000 coal miners represented by the United Mine Workers, begins.
* 1916 – Pancho Villa leads nearly 500 Mexican raiders in an attack against Columbus, New Mexico.
* 1925 – Pink's War: The first Royal Air Force operation conducted independently of the British Army or Royal Navy begins.
* 1933 – Great Depression: President Franklin D. Roosevelt submits the Emergency Banking Act to Congress, the first of his New Deal policies.
* 1944 – World War II: Japanese troops counter-attack American forces on Hill 700 in Bougainville in a battle that would last five days.
* 1944 – The Soviet Air Forces conduct heavy bombing on Tallinn, Estonia, killing up to 800 people, mostly civilians.
* 1945 – The Bombing of Tokyo by the United States Army Air Forces began, one of the most destructive bombing raids in history.
* 1946 – Bolton Wanderers stadium disaster at Burnden Park, Bolton, England, 33 killed and hundreds injured
* 1954 – McCarthyism: CBS television broadcasts the See It Now episode, "A Report on Senator Joseph McCarthy", produced by Fred Friendly.
* 1956 – Soviet military suppresses mass demonstrations in the Georgian SSR, reacting to Nikita Khrushchev's de-Stalinization policy.
* 1957 – A magnitude 8.3 earthquake in the Andreanof Islands, Alaska triggers a Pacific-wide tsunami causing extensive damage to Hawaii and Oahu.
* 1959 – The Barbie doll makes its debut at the American International Toy Fair in New York.
* 1960 – Dr. Belding Hibbard Scribner implants for the first time a shunt he invented into a patient, which allows the patient to receive hemodialysis on a regular basis.
* 1961 – Sputnik 9 successfully launches, carrying a human dummy nicknamed Ivan Ivanovich, and demonstrating that Soviet Union was ready to begin human spaceflight.
* 1967 – Trans World Airlines Flight 553, a Douglas DC-9-15, crashes in a field in Concord Township, Ohio following a mid-air collision with a Beechcraft Baron, killing 26.
* 1976 – Forty-two people die in the 1976 Cavalese cable-car disaster, the worst cable-car accident to date.
* 1977 – The Hanafi Muslim Siege: In a thirty-nine hour standoff, armed Hanafi Muslims seize three Washington, D.C., buildings, killing two and taking 149 hostage.
* 1989 – Financially-troubled Eastern Air Lines filed for bankruptcy.
* 1990 – Dr. Antonia Novello is sworn in as Surgeon General of the United States, becoming the first female and Hispanic American to serve in that position.
* 1991 – Massive demonstrations are held against Slobodan Milošević in Belgrade.
* 1997 – Comet Hale-Bopp: Observers in China, Mongolia and eastern Siberia are treated to a rare double feature as an eclipse permits Hale-Bopp to be seen during the day.
* 2010 – The first same-sex marriages in Washington, D.C., take place.
* 2011 – Space Shuttle Discovery makes its final landing after 39 flights.