1184 BC – Trojan War: Troy is sacked and burned, according to calculations by Eratosthenes.
173 – Marcomannic Wars: The Roman army in Moravia is encircled by the Quadi, who have broken the peace treaty (171). In a violent thunderstorm emperor Marcus Aurelius defeats and subdues them in the so-called "miracle of the rain".
631 – Emperor Taizong of Tang, the Emperor of China, sends envoys to the Xueyantuo bearing gold and silk in order to seek the release of enslaved Chinese prisoners captured during the transition from Sui to Tang from the northern frontier; this embassy succeeded in freeing 80,000 Chinese men and women who were then returned to China.
786 – A Hasanid Alid uprising in Mecca is crushed by the Abbasids at the Battle of Fakhkh. Idris ibn Abdallah flees to the Maghreb, where he later founds the Idrisid dynasty.
1118 – Roger of Salerno, Prince of Antioch, captures Azaz from the Seljuk Turks.
1157 – Albert I of Brandenburg, also called, The Bear (Ger: Albrecht der Bär), becomes the founder of the Margraviate of Brandenburg, Germany and the first Margrave.
1345 – The megas doux Alexios Apokaukos, chief minister of the Byzantine Empire, is lynched by political prisoners.
1429 – Hundred Years' War: start of the Battle of Jargeau.
1488 – Battle of Sauchieburn: fought between rebel Lords and James III of Scotland, resulting in the death of the King.
1509 – Henry VIII of England marries Catherine of Aragon.
1594 – Philip II recognizes the rights and privileges of the local nobles and chieftains in the Philippines, which paved way to the stabilization of the rule of the Principalía (an elite ruling class of native nobility in Spanish Philippines).
1770 – British explorer Captain James Cook runs aground on the Great Barrier Reef.
1775 – The American Revolutionary War's first naval engagement, the Battle of Machias, results in the capture of a small British naval vessel.
1776 – The Continental Congress appoints Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, and Robert R. Livingston to the Committee of Five to draft a declaration of independence.
1788 – Russian explorer Gerasim Izmailov reaches Alaska.
1805 – A fire consumes large portions of Detroit in the Michigan Territory.
1825 – The first cornerstone is laid for Fort Hamilton in New York City.
1837 – The Broad Street Riot occurs in Boston, fueled by ethnic tensions between Yankees and Irish.
1865 – The Naval Battle of Riachuelo is fought on the rivulet Riachuelo (Argentina), between the Paraguayan Navy on one side and the Brazilian Navy on the other. The Brazilian victory was crucial for the later success of the Triple Alliance (Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina) in the Paraguayan War.
1892 – The Limelight Department, one of the world's first film studios, is officially established in Melbourne, Australia.
1895 – Paris–Bordeaux–Paris is sometimes called the first automobile race in history or the "first motor race".
1898 – Spanish–American War: U.S. war ships set sail for Cuba.
1898 – The Hundred Days' Reform is started by Guangxu Emperor with a plan to change social, political and educational institutions in China, but is suspended by Empress Dowager Cixi after 104 days. The failed reform though led to the abolition of the Imperial examination in 1905.
1901 – The bountaries of the Colony of New Zealand are extended by the UK to include the Cook Islands.
1903 – A group of Serbian officers stormed royal palace and assassinated King Alexander Obrenović and his wife queen Draga.
1907 – George Dennett, aided by Gilbert Jessop, dismisses Northamptonshire for 12 runs, the lowest total in first-class cricket.
1917 – King Alexander assumes the throne of Greece after his father Constantine I abdicates under pressure by allied armies occupying Athens.
1919 – Sir Barton wins the Belmont Stakes, becoming the first horse to win the U.S. Triple Crown.
1920 – During the U.S. Republican National Convention in Chicago, U.S. Republican Party leaders gathered in a room at the Blackstone Hotel to come to a consensus on their candidate for the U.S. presidential election, leading the Associated Press to first coin the political phrase "smoke-filled room".
1935 – Inventor Edwin Armstrong gives the first public demonstration of FM broadcasting in the United States at Alpine, New Jersey.
1936 – The London International Surrealist Exhibition opens.
1937 – Great Purge: The Soviet Union under Joseph Stalin executes eight army leaders.
1938 – Second Sino-Japanese War: The Battle of Wuhan starts.
1942 – World War II: The United States agrees to send Lend-Lease aid to the Soviet Union.
1942 – Free French Forces retreat from Bir Hakeim after having successfully delayed the Axis advance.
1944 – USS Missouri, the last battleship built by the United States Navy and future site of the signing of the Japanese Instrument of Surrender, is commissioned.
1955 – Eighty-three spectators are killed and at least 100 are injured after an Austin-Healey and a Mercedes-Benz collide at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the deadliest ever accident in motorsports.
1956 – Start of Gal Oya riots, the first reported ethnic riots that target minority Sri Lankan Tamils in the Eastern Province. The total number of deaths is reportedly 150.
1962 – Frank Morris, John Anglin and Clarence Anglin allegedly become the only prisoners to escape from the prison on Alcatraz Island.
1963 – American Civil Rights Movement: Governor of Alabama George Wallace defiantly stands at the door of Foster Auditorium at the University of Alabama in an attempt to block two black students, Vivian Malone and James Hood, from attending that school. Later in the day, accompanied by federalized National Guard troops, they are able to register.
1963 – Buddhist monk Thích Quảng Đức burns himself with gasoline in a busy Saigon intersection to protest the lack of religious freedom in South Vietnam.
1963 – John F. Kennedy addresses Americans from the Oval Office proposing the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that would revolutionize American society. Proposing equal access to public facilities, end segregation in education and guarantee federal protection for voting rights.
1964 – World War II veteran Walter Seifert runs amok in an elementary school in Cologne, Germany, killing at least eight children and two teachers and seriously injuring several more with a home-made flamethrower and a lance.
1968 – Lloyd J. Old identified the first cell surface antigens distinguishing cells of different lineages, introducing the concept of cell surface antigens that could differentiate different cell types.
1970 – After being appointed on May 15, Anna Mae Hays and Elizabeth P. Hoisington officially receive their ranks as U.S. Army Generals, becoming the first females to do so.
1971 – The U.S. Government forcibly removes the last holdouts to the Native American Occupation of Alcatraz, ending 19 months of control.
1978 – Altaf Hussain founds the students' political movement All Pakistan Muhajir Students Organisation (APMSO) in Karachi University.
1981 – A Richter scale 6.9 magnitude earthquake at Golbaf, Iran, kills at least 2,000.
1982 – The Sentosa Musical Fountain was officially opened as part of the second phase of construction on the island of Sentosa, Singapore.
1987 – Diane Abbott, Paul Boateng and Bernie Grant are elected as the first black Parliamentarians in Great Britain.
1998 – Compaq Computer pays US$9 billion for Digital Equipment Corporation in the largest high-tech acquisition.
2001 – Timothy McVeigh is executed for his role in the Oklahoma City bombing.
2002 – Antonio Meucci is acknowledged as the first inventor of the telephone by the United States Congress.
2004 – Cassini–Huygens makes its closest flyby of the Saturn moon Phoebe.
2008 – Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper makes a historic official apology to Canada's First Nations in regard to a residential school abuse in which children are isolated from their homes, families and cultures for a century.