1403 - Battle of Shrewsbury: King Henry IV of England defeats rebels to the north of the county town of Shropshire, England.
1545 - The first landing of French troops onto the coast of the Isle of Wight during the French invasion of the Isle of Wight occurs.
1568 - Eighty Years' War: Battle of Jemmingen – Fernando Álvarez de Toledo, Duke of Alva defeats Louis of Nassau.
1718 - The Treaty of Passarowitz between the Ottoman Empire, Austria and the Republic of Venice is signed.
1774 - Russo-Turkish War, 1768-1774: Russia and the Ottoman Empire sign the Treaty of Kuchuk-Kainarji ending the war.
1831 - Inauguration of Léopold I of Belgium, first king of the Belgians.
1861 - American Civil War: First Battle of Bull Run – at Manassas Junction, Virginia, the first major battle of the war begins. The Confederate won.
1865 - In the market square of Springfield, Missouri, Wild Bill Hickok shoots and kills Davis Tutt in what is regarded as the first true western showdown.
1873 - At Adair, Iowa, Jesse James and the James-Younger gang pull off the first successful train robbery in the American West.
1877 - After rioting by Baltimore and Ohio Railroad workers and the deaths of nine rail workers at the hands of the Maryland militia, workers in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania stage a sympathy strike that is met with an assault by the state militia.
1918 - U-156 shells Nauset Beach, in Orleans, Massachusetts. This is the first time that the United States is shelled since the War of 1812.
1919 - The dirigible Wingfoot Air Express crashes into the Illinois Trust and Savings Building in Chicago, killing 12 people.
1925 - Scopes Trial: In Dayton, Tennessee, high school biology teacher John T. Scopes is found guilty of teaching evolution in class and fined $100.
1944 - World War II: Battle of Guam – American troops land on Guam starting the battle. It would end on August 10.
1949 - The United States Senate ratifies the North Atlantic Treaty.
1954 - First Indochina War: The Geneva Conference partitions Vietnam into North Vietnam and South Vietnam.
1960 - Sirimavo Bandaranaike is elected prime minister of Sri Lanka and becomes the first woman prime minister in the world.
1961 - Mercury program: Mercury-Redstone 4 Mission – Gus Grissom piloting Liberty Bell 7 becomes the second American to go into space (in a suborbital mission).
1964 - Singapore Race Riot – every year since then, Racial Harmony Day is celebrated on this day.
1969 - Neil Armstrong and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin become the first men to walk on the Moon, during the Apollo 11 mission.
1970 - After 11 years of construction, the Aswan High Dam in Egypt is completed.
1972 - Bloody Friday bombing by the Provisional Irish Republican Army around Belfast, Northern Ireland – 22 bomb explosions, 9 people killed and 130 people seriously injured.
1973 - In the Lillehammer affair in Norway, Israeli Mossad agents kill a waiter whom they mistakenly thought was involved in 1972's Munich Olympics Massacre.
1976 - Christopher Ewart-Biggs British ambassador to the Republic of Ireland is assassinated by the Provisional IRA.
1977 - The start of a four day long Libyan-Egyptian War takes place.
1983 - The world's lowest temperature is recorded at Vostok Station, Antarctica at −89.2°C (−129°F).
1994 - Tony Blair is declared the winner of the leadership election of the British Labour Party, paving the way for him to become Prime Minister in 1997.
1995 - Third Taiwan Strait Crisis: The People's Liberation Army begins firing missiles into the waters north of Taiwan.
1997 - The fully restored USS Constitution (aka "Old Ironsides") celebrates her 200th birthday by setting sail for the first time in 116 years.
2002 - Telecom giant WorldCom files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the largest such filing in United States history.
2004 - The United Kingdom government publishes Delivering Security in a Changing World, a paper detailing wide-ranging reform of the country's armed forces.
2005 - Four terrorist bombings, occurring exactly two weeks after the similar July 7 bombings, target London's public transportation system. All four bombs fail to detonate and all four suspected suicide bombers are captured and later convicted and imprisoned for long terms.
2007 - Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the final book in the bestselling Harry Potter series is released.
2008 - Bosnian-Serb war criminal Radovan Karadžić is arrested in Serbia and is indicted by the UN's ICTY tribunal.
285 - Diocletian appoints Maximian as Caesar, co-ruler.