1120 - The Council of Nablus is held, establishing the earliest surviving written laws of the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem.
1362 - A storm tide in the North Sea destroys the German city of Rungholt on the island of Strand.
1412 - The Medici family is appointed official banker of the Papacy.
1492 - The first grammar of the Spanish language, is presented to Queen Isabella I.
1547 - Ivan IV of Russia aka Ivan the Terrible becomes Tsar of Russia.
1556 - Philip II becomes King of Spain.
1572 - Thomas Howard, 4th Duke of Norfolk is tried for treason for his part in the Ridolfi plot to restore Catholicism in England.
1581 - The English Parliament outlaws Roman Catholicism.
1605 - The first edition of El ingenioso hidalgo Don Quijote de la Mancha (Book One of Don Quixote) by Miguel de Cervantes is published in Madrid.
1707 - The Scottish Parliament ratifies the Act of Union, paving the way for the creation of Great Britain.
1761 - The British capture Pondicherry, India from the French.
1777 - Vermont declares its independence from New York.
1780 - American Revolution: Battle of Cape St. Vincent.
1809 - Peninsular War: The British defeat the French at the Battle of La Coruña.
1847 - John C. Fremont is appointed Governor of the new California Territory.
1878 - Russo-Turkish War (1877–1878) – Battle of Plovdiv: Captain Burago with a squadron of Russian Imperial army dragoons liberates Plovdiv from Ottoman rule.
1883 - The Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act, establishing the United States Civil Service, is passed.
1896 - Defeat of Cymru Fydd at South Wales Liberal Federation AGM, Newport, Monmouthshire.
1900 - The United States Senate accepts the Anglo-German treaty of 1899 in which the United Kingdom renounces its claims to the Samoan islands.
1909 - Ernest Shackleton's expedition finds the magnetic South Pole.
1919 - Temperance movement: The United States ratifies the Eighteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, authorizing Prohibition in the United States one year after ratification.
1942 - Crash of TWA Flight 3, killing all 22 aboard, including film star Carole Lombard.
1945 - Adolf Hitler moves into his underground bunker, the so-called Führerbunker.
1956 - President Gamal Abdal Nasser of Egypt vows to reconquer Palestine.
1968 - The Youth International Party is founded.
1969 - Czech student Jan Palach commits suicide by self-immolation in Prague, in protest against the Soviets' crushing of the Prague Spring the year before.
1970 - Buckminster Fuller receives the Gold Medal award from the American Institute of Architects.
1979 - The Shah of Iran flees Iran with his family and relocates to Egypt.
1986 - First meeting of the Internet Engineering Task Force.
1991 - The United States goes to war with Iraq, beginning the Gulf War (U.S. Time).
1992 - El Salvador officials and rebel leaders sign the Chapultepec Peace Accords in Mexico City ending a 12-year civil war that claimed at least 75,000.
2001 - Congolese President Laurent-Désiré Kabila is assassinated by one of his own bodyguards.
2001 - The First surviving wikipedia edit is made: UuU
2001 - US President Bill Clinton awards former President Theodore Roosevelt a posthumous Medal of Honor for his service in the Spanish-American War.
2002 - The UN Security Council unanimously establishes an arms embargo and the freezing of assets of Osama bin Laden, Al-Qaida, and the remaining members of the Taliban.
2003 - The Space Shuttle Columbia takes off for mission STS-107 which would be its final one. Columbia disintegrated 16 days later on re-entry.
2006 - Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf is sworn in as Liberia's new president. She becomes Africa's first female elected head of state.
27 BC - The title Augustus is bestowed upon Gaius Julius Caesar Octavian by the Roman Senate.