1006 - Supernova SN 1006, the brightest supernova in recorded history, appears in the constellation Lupus.
1315 - Enguerrand de Marigny is hanged on the public gallows at Montfaucon.
1492 - Spain gives Christopher Columbus his commission of exploration.
1513 - Edmund de la Pole, Yorkist pretender to the English throne, is executed on the orders of Henry VIII.
1671 - Petar Zrinski, the Croatian Ban from the Zrinski family, is executed.
1789 - On the balcony of Federal Hall on Wall Street in New York City, George Washington takes the oath of office to become the first elected President of the United States.
1794 - The Battle of Boulou is fought, in which French forces defeated the Spanish under General Union.
1803 - Louisiana Purchase: The United States purchases the Louisiana Territory from France for $15 million, more than doubling the size of the young nation.
1812 - The Territory of Orleans becomes the 18th U.S. state under the name Louisiana.
1838 - Nicaragua declares independence from the Central American Federation.
1863 - Mexican forces attacked the French Foreign Legion in Hacienda Camarón, Mexico.
1871 - The Camp Grant Massacre takes place in Arizona Territory.
1894 - Coxey's Army reaches Washington, D.C. to protest the unemployment caused by the Panic of 1893.
1900 - Hawaii becomes a territory of the United States, with Sanford B. Dole as governor.
1900 - Casey Jones dies in a train wreck in Vaughn, Mississippi, while trying to make up time on the Cannonball Express.
1904 - The Louisiana Purchase Exposition World's Fair opens in St. Louis, Missouri.
1907 - Honolulu, Hawaii becomes an independent city.
1920 - Peru becomes a signatory to the Buenos Aires copyright treaty.
1925 - Automaker Dodge Brothers, Inc is sold to Dillon, Read & Company for $146 million plus $50 million for charity.
1927 - The Federal Industrial Institute for Women, opens in Alderson, West Virginia, as the first women's federal prison in the United States.
1927 - Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford become the first celebrities to leave their footprints in concrete at Grauman's Chinese Theater in Hollywood.
1937 - The Philippines holds a plebiscite for Filipino women on whether they should be extended the right to suffrage; over 90% would vote in the affirmative.
1938 - The animated cartoon short Porky's Hare Hunt debuts in movie theaters, introducing Happy Rabbit.
1938 - The first televised FA Cup Final takes place between Huddersfield Town and Preston North End.
1939 - World's Fair: NBC inaugurates its regularly scheduled television service in New York City, broadcasting President Franklin D. Roosevelt's opening day ceremonial address.
1943 - World War II: Operation Mincemeat: The submarine HMS;Seraph surfaces in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Spain to deposit a dead man planted with false invasion plans and dressed as a British military intelligence officer.
1945 - World War II: Fuehrerbunker: Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun commit suicide after being married for one day. Soviet soldiers raise the Victory Banner over the Reichstag building.
1947 - In Nevada, the Boulder Dam is renamed Hoover Dam a second time.
1948 - In Bogotá, Colombia, the Organization of American States is established.
1953 - In Warner Robins, Georgia, an F4 tornado kills 18 people.
1956 - Former Vice President and Senator Alben Barkley dies during a speech in Virginia. He collapses after proclaiming "I would rather be a servant in the house of the lord than sit in the seats of the mighty."
1967 - The Aldene Connection opened in Roselle Park, NJ, shutting down the CNJ's Jersey City waterfront terminal and transferring commuters to Newark Penn Station.
1973 - Watergate Scandal: U.S. President Richard Nixon announces that top White House aids H.R. Haldeman, John Ehrlichman and others have resigned.
1975 - Fall of Saigon: Communist forces gain control of Saigon. The Vietnam War formally ends with the unconditional surrender of South Vietnamese president Duong Van Minh.
1980 - Accession of Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands.
1988 - Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II officially opens World Expo '88 in Brisbane, Australia.
1993 - CERN announces World Wide Web protocols will be free.
1993 - Virgin Radio broadcasts for the first time in the United Kingdom.
1995 - U.S. President Bill Clinton became the first President to visit Northern Ireland.
1999 - Cambodia joins the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) bringing the number of members to 10.
2001 - The Mitchell Report on the Arab-Israeli conflict is published.
2002 - A referendum in Pakistan overwhelmingly approves the Presidency of Pervez Musharraf for another five years.
2004 - U.S. media release graphic photos of American soldiers abusing and sexually humiliating Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison.
2008 - Two skeletal remains found near Ekaterinburg, Russia are confirmed by Russian scientists to be the remains of Alexei Nikolaevich, Tsarevich of Russia and one of his sisters.
2009 - Chrysler automobile company files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
2009 - Failed attack on the Dutch Royal Family results in 7 deaths and 17 injured.
2009 - The United Kingdom formally ends combat operations in Iraq.