- 801 – King Louis the Pious captures Barcelona from the Moors after a siege of several months.
- 1043 – Edward the Confessor is crowned King of England.
- 1559 – The Peace of Cateau-Cambrésis treaty is signed, ending the Italian Wars.
- 1865 – American Civil War: Union forces capture Richmond, Virginia, the capital of the Confederate States of America.
- 1885 – Gottlieb Daimler is granted a German patent for his engine design.
- 1922 – Joseph Stalin becomes the first General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.
- 1942 – World War II: Japanese forces begin an assault on the United States and Filipino troops on the Bataan Peninsula.
- 1946 – Japanese Lt. General Masaharu Homma is executed in the Philippines for leading the Bataan Death March.
- 1948 – Cold War: US President Harry S. Truman signs the Marshall Plan, authorising $5 billion in aid for 16 countries.
- 1948 – In Jeju Province, South Korea, a civil-war-like period of violence and human rights abuses begins, known as the Jeju uprising.
- 1969 – Vietnam War: United States Secretary of Defence Melvin Laird announces that the United States will start to “Vietnamise” the war effort.
- 1973 – Martin Cooper of Motorola makes the first handheld mobile phone call to Joel S. Engel of Bell Labs.
- 1981 – The Osborne 1, the first successful portable computer, is unveiled at the West Coast Computer Faire in San Francisco.
- 1997 – The Thalit massacre begins in Algeria; all but one of the 53 inhabitants of Thalit are killed by guerrillas.
- 1770 – Theodoros Kolokotronis, Greek general (d. 1843).
- 1782 – Alexander Macomb, American general (d. 1841).
- 1798 – Charles Wilkes, American admiral, geographer, and explorer (d.1877).
- 1823 – George Derby, American lieutenant and journalist (d. 1861).
- 1842 – Ulric Dahlgren, American colonel (d. 1864).
- 1887 – Nishizō Tsukahara, Japanese admiral (d. 1966).
- 1888 – Thomas C. Kinkaid, American admiral (d. 1972).
- 1897 – Thrasyvoulos Tsakalotos, Greek general (d. 1989).
- 1905 – Robert Sink, American general (d. 1965).
- 1915 – Piet de Jong, Dutch politician and naval officer, Prime Minister of the Netherlands (1967–1971) (d. 2016).
- 1924 – Roza Shanina, Russian sergeant and sniper (d. 1945).
- 1926 – Gus Grissom, American colonel, pilot, and astronaut (d. 1967).
- 1927 – Wesley A. Brown, American general and engineer (d. 2012).
- 1930 – Lawton Chiles, American soldier, lawyer, and politician, 41st Governor of Florida (d. 1998).
- 1930 – Mario Benjamín Menéndez, Argentinian general and politician (d. 2015).
- 1943 – Hikaru Saeki, Japanese admiral, the first female star officer of the Japan Self-Defence Forces.
- 1606 – Charles Blount, 8th Baron Mountjoy, English general and politician, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland (b. 1563).
- 1792 – George Pocock, English admiral (b. 1706).
- 1846 – William Braine, English soldier and explorer (b. 1814).
- 1946 – Masaharu Homma, Japanese general (b. 1887).
- 1996 – Ron Brown, American captain and politician, 30th United States Secretary of Commerce (b. 1941).
- 1999 – Geoffrey Walsh, Canadian general (b. 1909).