1041 - Empress Zoe of Byzantium elevates her adoptive son to the throne of the Eastern Roman Empire as Michael V.
1508 - The League of Cambrai is formed by Pope Julius II, Louis XII of France, Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor and Ferdinand II of Aragon as an alliance against Venice.
1520 - Martin Luther burns his copy of the papal bull Exsurge Domine outside Wittenberg's Elster Gate.
1541 - Thomas Culpeper and Francis Dereham are executed for having affairs with Catherine Howard, Queen of England and wife of Henry VIII.
1665 - The Royal Netherlands Marine Corps is founded by Michiel de Ruyter
1684 - Isaac Newton's derivation of Kepler's laws from his theory of gravity, contained in the paper De motu corporum in gyrum, is read to the Royal Society by Edmund Halley.
1817 - Mississippi becomes the 20th U.S. state.
1861 - American Civil War: the Confederate States of America accept a rival state government's pronouncement that declares Kentucky to be the 13th state of the Confederacy.
1864 - American Civil War: Sherman's March to the Sea – Major General William Tecumseh Sherman's Union Army troops reach Savannah, Georgia.
1868 - The first traffic lights are installed outside the Palace of Westminster in London. Resembling railway signals, they use semaphore arms and are illuminated at night by red and green gas lamps.
1898 - Spanish-American War: The Treaty of Paris is signed, officially ending the conflict.
1901 - The first Nobel Prizes are awarded.
1902 - Women are given the right to vote in Tasmania.
1906 - U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt wins the Nobel Peace Prize, becoming the first American to win a Nobel Prize.
1907 - The worst night of the Brown Dog riots in London, when 1,000 medical students clash with 400 police officers over the existence of a memorial for animals who have been vivisected.
1927 - The Grand Ole Opry premieres on radio.
1932 - Thailand adopts a Constitution and becomes a constitutional monarchy.
1935 - The Downtown Athletic Club Trophy, later renamed the Heisman Trophy, is awarded to halfback Jay Berwanger of the University of Chicago.
1936 - Abdication Crisis: Edward VIII signs the Instrument of Abdication.
1941 - World War II: The Royal Navy capital ships HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Repulse are sunk by Imperial Japanese Navy torpedo bombers near Malaya.
1941 - World War II: Battle of the Philippines – Imperial Japanese forces under the command of General Masaharu Homma land on the Philippine mainland.
1948 - The UN General Assembly adopts the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
1949 - Chinese Civil War: The People's Liberation Army begins its siege of Chengdu, the last Kuomintang-held city in mainland China, forcing President of the Republic of China Chiang Kai-shek and his government to retreat to Taiwan.
1955 - The Mighty Mouse Playhouse premiered on television.
1968 - Japan's biggest heist, the still-unsolved "300 million yen robbery", is carried out in Tokyo.
1978 - Arab-Israeli conflict: Prime Minister of Israel Menachem Begin and President of Egypt Anwar Sadat are jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
1981 - The United Nations General Assembly approves Pakistan's proposal for establishing nuclear free-zone in South Asia.
1983 - Democracy is restored in Argentina with the assumption of President Raúl Alfonsín.
1989 - Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj announces the establishment of Mongolia's democratic movement that peacefully changed the second oldest communist country into a democratic society.
1993 - The last shift leaves Wearmouth Colliery in Sunderland. The closure of the 156-year-old pit marks the end of the old County Durham coalfield, which had been in operation since the Middle Ages.
1996 - Rwandan Genocide: Military advisor to the United Nations Secretary-General and head of the Military Division of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations of the United Nations Maurice Baril recommends that the UN multi-national forces in Zaire stand down.