1245 - Thomas, the first known Bishop of Finland, is granted resignation after having confessed to torture and forgery.
1440 - The Prussian Confederation is formed.
1543 - Battle of Wayna Daga – A combined army of Ethiopian and Portuguese troops defeats a Muslim army led by Ahmed Gragn.
1613 - Mikhail I is elected unanimously as Tsar by a national assembly, beginning the Romanov dynasty of Imperial Russia.
1743 - The premiere of George Frideric Handel's oratorio, "Samson" takes place in London.
1804 - The first self-propelling steam locomotive makes its outing at the Pen-y-Darren Ironworks in Wales.
1842 - John Greenough is granted the first U.S. patent for the sewing machine.
1848 - Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels publish the Communist Manifesto.
1862 - American Civil War: Battle of Valverde fought near Fort Craig in New Mexico Territory.
1874 - The Oakland Daily Tribune publishes its first newspaper.
1878 - The first telephone book is issued in New Haven, Connecticut.
1885 - The newly completed Washington Monument is dedicated.
1913 - Ioannina is incorporated into the Greek state after the Balkan Wars.
1916 - World War I: In France, the Battle of Verdun begins.
1918 - The last Carolina parakeet dies in captivity at the Cincinnati Zoo.
1919 - Kurt Eisner, German socialist, is assassinated. His death results in the establishment of the Bavarian Soviet Republic and parliament and government fleeing Munich, Germany.
1921 - Constituent Assembly of the Democratic Republic of Georgia adopts the country's first constitution.
1925 - The New Yorker publishes its first issue.
1937 - Initial flight of the first successful flying car, Waldo Waterman's Arrowbile.
1937 - The League of Nations bans foreign national "volunteers" in the Spanish Civil War.
1945 - World War II: Japanese Kamikaze planes sink the escort carrier Bismarck Sea and damage the Saratoga.
1947 - In New York City, Edwin Land demonstrates the first "instant camera," the Polaroid Land Camera, to a meeting of the Optical Society of America.
1948 - NASCAR is incorporated.
1952 - The British government, under Winston Churchill, abolishes identity cards in the UK to "set the people free".
1952 - In Dhaka, East Pakistan (present Bangladesh) police open fire on a procession of students that was demanding the establishment of Bengali as the official language, killing four people and starting a country-wide protest which led to the recognition of Bengali as one of the national languages of Pakistan. The day was later declared as "International Mother Language Day" by UNESCO.
1953 - Francis Crick and James D. Watson discover the structure of the DNA molecule.
1958 - The Peace symbol is designed and completed by Gerald Holtom, commissioned by Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, in protest against the Atomic Weapons Research Establishment.
1960 - Cuban leader Fidel Castro nationalizes all businesses in Cuba.
1965 - Malcolm X is assassinated at the Audubon Ballroom in New York City by members of the Nation of Islam.
1970 - Swissair Flight 330: A mid-air bomb explosion and subsequent crash kills 38 passengers and nine crew members near Zürich, Switzerland.
1971 - The Convention on Psychotropic Substances is signed at Vienna.
1972 - President Richard Nixon visits the People's Republic of China to normalize Sino-American relations.
1972 - The Soviet unmanned spaceship Luna 20 lands on the Moon.
1973 - Over the Sinai Desert, Israeli fighter aircraft shoot down Libyan Arab Airlines Flight 114 jet killing 108.
1974 - The last Israeli soldiers leave the west bank of the Suez Canal pursuant to a truce with Egypt.
1975 - Watergate scandal: Former United States Attorney General John N. Mitchell and former White House aides H. R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman are sentenced to prison.
1995 - Steve Fossett lands in Leader, Saskatchewan, Canada becoming the first person to make a solo flight across the Pacific Ocean in a balloon.
2004 - The first European political party organization, the European Greens, is established in Rome.
2007 - Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi resigns from office. His resignation is rejected by the President of Italy, Giorgio Napolitano.