1392 - Nanboku-chō – Emperor Go-Kameyama abdicates in favor of rival claimant Go-Komatsu.
1431 - Henry VI of England is crowned King of France at Notre Dame in Paris.
1497 - Vasco da Gama rounds the Cape of Good Hope, the point where Bartolomeu Dias had previously turned back to Portugal.
1575 - The 1575 Valdivia earthquake takes place.
1598 - Seven Year War: Battle of Noryang Point – The final battle of the Seven Year War is fought between the Korean and Japanese navies, resulting in a decisive Korean victory.
1653 - English Interregnum: The Protectorate – Oliver Cromwell becomes Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland.
1689 - Convention Parliament: The Declaration of Right is embodied in the Bill of Rights.
1707 - Last recorded eruption of Mount Fuji in Japan.
1761 - Seven Years' War: After four-month siege, the Russians under Pyotr Rumyantsev take the Prussian fortress of Kolobrzeg.
1773 - American Revolution: Boston Tea Party – Members of the Sons of Liberty disguised as Mohawks dump crates of tea into Boston harbor as a protest against the Tea Act.
1811 - The first two in a series of severe earthquakes occur in the vicinity of New Madrid, Missouri. These three so-called Mega-quakes are believed to be an ongoing cataclysmic danger that could reprise the 1811-12 series of 2,000 quakes that affected the lands of what would be eight of today's heartland states of the United States.
1826 - Benjamin W. Edwards rides into Mexican controlled Nacogdoches, Texas and declares himself ruler of the Republic of Fredonia.
1838 - Battle of Blood River: Voortrekkers led by Andries Pretorius combat Zulu impis, led by Dambuza (Nzobo) and Ndlela kaSompisi in what is today KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
1850 - History of New Zealand: The Charlotte-Jane and the Randolph bring the first of the Canterbury Pilgrims to Lyttelton, New Zealand.
1863 - American Civil War: Joseph E. Johnston replaces Braxton Bragg as commander of the Army of Tennessee.
1864 - American Civil War: Franklin-Nashville Campaign – Battle of Nashville – Major General George H. Thomas's Union forces defeat Lieutenant General John Bell Hood's Confederate Army of Tennessee.
1893 - Antonín Dvořák's Symphony No. 9 in E minor, Op. 95, "From The New World" is given its world première at Carnegie Hall.
1907 - The Great White Fleet begins its circumnavigation of the world
1914 - World War I: German battleships under Franz von Hipper bombard the English ports of Hartlepool and Scarborough.
1920 - The Haiyuan earthquake, magnitude 8.5, rocks the Gansu province in China, killing an estimated 200,000.
1922 - President of Poland Gabriel Narutowicz is assassinated by Eligiusz Niewiadomski at the Zachęta Gallery in Warsaw.
1925 - Alpha Phi Omega national service fraternity is founded at Lafayette College.
1937 - Theodore Cole and Ralph Roe attempt to escape from the American federal prison on Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay; neither is ever seen again.
1938 - Adolf Hitler institutes the Cross of Honor of the German Mother
1941 - World War II: Japanese occupy Miri, Sarawak
1942 - Holocaust: Porajmos – Heinrich Himmler orders that Roma candidates for extermination be deported to Auschwitz.
1944 - World War II: The Battle of the Bulge begins with the surprise offensive of three German armies through the Ardennes forest.
1946 - Léon Blum becomes Prime Minister of France.
1947 - William Shockley, John Bardeen and Walter Brattain build the first practical point-contact transistor.
1949 - Svenska Aeroplan Aktiebolaget, later knows as SAAB, is founded in Sweden.
1950 - President Harry S. Truman declares a state of emergency, after Chinese troops enter the fight with communist North Korea in the Korean War.
1957 - Sir Feroz Khan Noon replaces Ibrahim Ismail Chundrigar as Prime Minister of Pakistan.
1960 - 1960 New York air disaster: While approaching New York's Idlewild Airport, a United Airlines Douglas DC-8 collides with a TWA Lockheed Super Constellation in a blinding snowstorm over Staten Island, killing 134.
1965 - Vietnam War: General William Westmoreland sends U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara a request for 243,000 more men by the end of 1966.
1971 - Bangladesh War of Independence and Indo-Pakistani War of 1971: The surrender of the Pakistan army brings an end to both conflicts.
1971 - Independence Day of the State of Bahrain from British Protectorate Status
1972 - Vietnam War: Henry Kissinger announces that North Vietnam has left private peace negotiations, in Paris.
1978 - Cleveland, Ohio becomes the first post-Depression era city to default on its loans, owing $14,000,000 to local banks.
1979 - Libya joins four other OPEC nations in raising crude oil prices, having an immediate dramatic effect on the United States.
1982 - The Federal Reserve announces that the operating capacity of factories has gone down to 67.8%.
1985 - Mafia: In New York City, Paul Castellano and Thomas Bilotti are shot dead on the orders of John Gotti, who assumes leadership of the Gambino family.
1986 - Revolt in Kazakhstan against Communist party, known as Zheltoksan, which becomes the first sign of ethnic strife during Gorbachev's tenure
1989 - Protests break out in Timişoara in response to an attempt by the government to evict dissident Hungarian pastor László Tőkés.
1989 - Walter LeRoy Moody begins his terrorist bombing streak when he sends Judge Robert Smith Vance a bomb in the mail, instantly killing him near his house in Birmingham, Alabama.
1991 - United Nations General Assembly: UN General Assembly Resolution 4686 revokes UN General Assembly Resolution 3379 after Israel makes revocation of resolution 3379 a condition of its participation in the Madrid Peace Conference of 1991.
1991 - Independence of The Republic of Kazakhstan.
1998 - Iraq disarmament crisis: Operation Desert Fox – The United States and United Kingdom bomb targets in Iraq.
2007 - Ron Paul raises a record amount of money online in a single day "money bomb": over six million dollars in 24 hours.