* 1071 – Bari, the last Byzantine possession in southern Italy, is surrendered to Robert Guiscard.
* 1450 – Battle of Formigny: Toward the end of the Hundred Years' War, the French attack and nearly annihilate English forces, ending English domination in Northern France.
* 1632 – Battle of Rain; Swedes under Gustavus Adolphus defeat the Holy Roman Empire during the Thirty Years' War.
* 1638 – Tokugawa shogunate forces put down the Shimabara Rebellion when they retake Hara Castle from the rebels.
* 1715 – Pocotaligo Massacre triggers the start of the Yamasee War in colonial South Carolina.
* 1738 – Premiere in London, England, Great Britain of Serse, an Italian opera by George Frideric Handel.
* 1755 – Samuel Johnson's A Dictionary of the English Language is published in London.
* 1783 – Preliminary articles of peace ending the American Revolutionary War (or American War of Independence) are ratified.
* 1802 – William Wordsworth and his sister, Dorothy see a "long belt" of daffodils, inspiring the former to pen I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud.
* 1817 – Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet and Laurent Clerc founded the American School for the Deaf, the first American school for deaf students, in Hartford, Connecticut.
* 1865 – Abraham Lincoln dies without regaining consciousness after being shot the previous evening by actor John Wilkes Booth.
* 1892 – The General Electric Company is formed.
* 1896 – Closing ceremony of the Games of the I Olympiad in Athens, Greece.
* 1900 – Philippine–American War: Filipino guerrillas launch a surprise attack on U.S. infantry and begin a four-day siege of Catubig, Philippines.
* 1912 – The British passenger liner, the RMS Titanic, sinks in the North Atlantic at 2:20 a.m., two and a half hours after hitting an iceberg. 1,517 people are killed.
* 1920 – Two security guards are murdered during a robbery in South Braintree, Massachusetts. Anarchists Sacco and Vanzetti would be convicted of and executed for the crime, amid much controversy.
* 1921 – Black Friday: mine owners announce more wage and price cuts, leading to the threat of a strike all across England.
* 1923 – Insulin becomes generally available for use by people with diabetes.
* 1924 – Rand McNally publishes its first road atlas.
* 1927 – The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927, the most destructive river flood in U.S. history, begins.
* 1935 – Roerich Pact signed in Washington, D.C.
* 1936 – First day of the Arab revolt in Palestine.
* 1940 – The Allies begin their attack on the Norwegian town of Narvik which is occupied by Nazi Germany.
* 1941 – In the Belfast Blitz, two-hundred bombers of the German Air Force (Luftwaffe) attack Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom killing one thousand people.
* 1942 – The George Cross is awarded to "to the island fortress of Malta – its people and defenders" by King George VI.
* 1943 – An Allied bomber attack misses the Minerva automobile factory and hits the Belgian town of Mortsel instead, killing 936 civilians.
* 1945 – The Bergen-Belsen concentration camp is liberated.
* 1947 – Jackie Robinson debuts for the Brooklyn Dodgers, breaking baseball's color line.
* 1952 – The maiden flight of the B-52 Stratofortress
* 1955 – McDonald's restaurant dates its founding to the opening of a franchised restaurant by Ray Kroc, in Des Plaines, Illinois
* 1957 – White Rock, British Columbia officially separates from Surrey, British Columbia and is incorporated as a new city.
* 1958 – Walter O'Malley's Los Angeles Dodgers host the first Major League Baseball game played on the West Coast of the United States.
* 1960 – At Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina, Ella Baker leads a conference that results in the creation of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, one of the principal organizations of the African-American Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s.
* 1969 – The EC-121 shootdown incident: North Korea shoots down a United States Navy aircraft over the Sea of Japan, killing all 31 on board.
* 1970 – During the Cambodian Civil War, massacres of the Vietnamese minority results in 800 bodies flowing down the Mekong River into South Vietnam.
* 1979 – A disastrous earthquake (of M 7.1) occurs on Montenegro coast.
* 1986 – The United States launches Operation El Dorado Canyon, its bombing raids against Libyan targets in response to a bombing in West Germany that killed two U.S. servicemen.
* 1989 – Hillsborough disaster: A human crush occurs at Hillsborough Stadium, home of Sheffield Wednesday, in the FA Cup Semi Final, resulting in the deaths of 96 Liverpool fans.
* 1989 – Upon Hu Yaobang's death, the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 begin in the People's Republic of China.
* 1992 – The National Assembly of Vietnam adopts the 1992 Constitution of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.
* 1994 – Representatives of 124 countries and the European Communities sign the Marrakesh Agreements revising the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade and initiating the World Trade Organization (effective January 1, 1995).
* 2002 – An Air China Boeing 767-200, flight CA129 crashes into a hillside during heavy rain and fog near Busan, South Korea, killing 128.