1041 – The son of Empress Zoe of Byzantium succeeds to the throne of the Eastern Roman Empire as Michael V.
1317 – The "Nyköping Banquet" - King Birger of Sweden treacherously seizes his two brothers Duke Valdemar and Duke Eric, who were subsequently starved to death in the dungeon of Nyköping Castle.
1508 – The League of Cambrai is formed by Pope Julius II, Louis XII of France, Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor and Ferdinand II of Aragon as an alliance against Venice.
1510 – Portuguese conquest of Goa: Portuguese naval forces under the command of Afonso de Albuquerque, and local mercenaries working for privateer Timoji, seize Goa from the Bijapur Sultanate, resulting in 451 years of Portuguese colonial rule.
1520 – Martin Luther burns his copy of the papal bull Exsurge Domine outside Wittenberg's Elster Gate.
1541 – Thomas Culpeper and Francis Dereham are executed for having affairs with Catherine Howard, Queen of England and wife of Henry VIII.
1665 – The Royal Netherlands Marine Corps is founded by Michiel de Ruyter
1684 – Isaac Newton's derivation of Kepler's laws from his theory of gravity, contained in the paper De motu corporum in gyrum, is read to the Royal Society by Edmond Halley.
1799 – France adopts the metre as its official unit of length.
1817 – Mississippi becomes the 20th U.S. state.
1861 – American Civil War: The Confederate States of America accept a rival state government's pronouncement that declares Kentucky to be the 13th state of the Confederacy.
1861 – Forces led by Nguyễn Trung Trực, an anti-colonial guerrilla leader in southern Vietnam, sink the French lorcha L'Esperance.
1864 – American Civil War: Sherman's March to the Sea – Major General William Tecumseh Sherman's Union Army troops reach the outer Confederate defenses of Savannah, Georgia.
1868 – The first traffic lights are installed, outside the Palace of Westminster in London. Resembling railway signals, they use semaphore arms and are illuminated at night by red and green gas lamps.
1869 – The Kappa Sigma Fraternity is founded at the University of Virginia.
1884 – Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is published.
1896 – Alfred Jarry's Ubu Roi premieres in Paris. A riot breaks out at the end of the performance.
1898 – Spanish–American War: The Treaty of Paris is signed, officially ending the conflict.
1899 – Delta Sigma Phi fraternity is founded at the City College of New York.
1901 – The first Nobel Prizes are awarded.
1906 – U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt wins the Nobel Peace Prize for his role in the mediation of the Russo-Japanese War, becoming the first American to win a Nobel Prize.
1907 – The worst night of the Brown Dog riots in London, when 1,000 medical students clash with 400 police officers over the existence of a memorial for animals that have been vivisected.
1909 – Selma Lagerlöf becomes the first female writer to win the Nobel Prize in Literature
1927 – The phrase "Grand Ole Opry" is used for the first time on-air.
1932 – Thailand becomes a constitutional monarchy.
1936 – Abdication Crisis: Edward VIII signs the Instrument of Abdication.
1941 – World War II: The Royal Navy capital ships HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Repulse are sunk by Imperial Japanese Navy torpedo bombers near Malaya.
1941 – World War II: Battle of the Philippines – Imperial Japanese forces under the command of General Masaharu Homma land on Luzon.
1948 – The United Nations General Assembly adopts the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
1949 – Chinese Civil War: The People's Liberation Army begins its siege of Chengdu, the last Kuomintang-held city in mainland China, forcing President of the Republic of China Chiang Kai-shek and his government to retreat to Taiwan.
1955 – Mighty Mouse Playhouse premieres on American television.
1963 – Zanzibar gains independence from the United Kingdom as a constitutional monarchy, under Sultan Jamshid bin Abdullah.
1965 – The Grateful Dead's first concert performance under this new name.
1968 – Japan's biggest heist, the still-unsolved "300 million yen robbery", is carried out in Tokyo.
1976 – The United Nations General Assembly adopts the Convention on the Prohibition of Military or Any Other Hostile Use of Environmental Modification Techniques.
1978 – Arab–Israeli conflict: Prime Minister of Israel Menachem Begin and President of Egypt Anwar Sadat are jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
1979 – Kaohsiung Incident: Taiwanese pro-democracy demonstrations are suppressed by the KMT dictatorship, and organizers are arrested.
1983 – Democracy is restored in Argentina with the inauguration of President Raúl Alfonsín.
1989 – Mongolian Revolution: At the country's first open pro-democracy public demonstration, Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj announces the establishment of the Mongolian Democratic Union.
1993 – The last shift leaves Wearmouth Colliery in Sunderland. The closure of the 156-year-old pit marks the end of the old County Durham coalfield, which had been in operation since the Middle Ages.
1994 – Rwandan Genocide: Maurice Baril, military advisor to the U.N. Secretary-General and head of the Military Division of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, recommends that UNAMIR stand down.