- 240 – Shapur I becomes co-emperor of the Sasanian Empire with his father Ardashir I.
- 467 – Anthemius is elevated to Emperor of the Western Roman Empire.
- 1012 – Duke Oldřich of Bohemia deposes and blinds his brother Jaromír who flees to Poland.
- 1204 – The Crusaders of the Fourth Crusade breach the walls of Constantinople and enter the city, which they completely occupy the following day.
- 1606 – The Union Flag is adopted as the flag of English and Scottish ships.
- 1776 – American Revolution: With the Halifax Resolves, the North Carolina Provincial Congress authorises its Congressional delegation to vote for independence from Britain.
- 1807 – The Froberg mutiny ends when the remaining mutineers blow up the magazine of Fort Ricasoli.
- 1820 – Alexander Ypsilantis is declared leader of Filiki Eteria, a secret organisation to overthrow Ottoman rule over Greece.
- 1831 – Soldiers marching on the Broughton Suspension Bridge in Manchester, England, cause it to collapse.
- 1861 – American Civil War: Battle of Fort Sumter. The war begins with Confederate forces firing on Fort Sumter, in the harbour of Charleston, South Carolina.
- 1862 – American Civil War: The Andrews Raid (the Great Locomotive Chase) occurs, starting from Big Shanty, Georgia (now Kennesaw).
- 1864 – American Civil War: The Battle of Fort Pillow: Confederate forces kill most of the African American soldiers that surrendered at Fort Pillow, Tennessee.
- 1865 – American Civil War: Mobile, Alabama, falls to the Union Army.
- 1877 – The United Kingdom annexes the Transvaal.
- 1910 – SMS Zrínyi, one of the last pre-dreadnought battleships built by the Austro-Hungarian Navy, is launched.
- 1917 – World War I: Canadian forces successfully complete the taking of Vimy Ridge from the Germans.
- 1927 – Shanghai massacre of 1927: Chiang Kai-shek orders the Communist Party of China members executed in Shanghai, ending the First United Front.
- 1928 – The Bremen, a German Junkers W 33 type aircraft, takes off for the first successful transatlantic aeroplane flight from east to west.
- 1934 – The U.S. Auto-Lite strike begins, culminating in a five-day melee between Ohio National Guard troops and 6,000 strikers and picketers.
- 1937 – Sir Frank Whittle ground-tests the first jet engine designed to power an aircraft, at Rugby, England.
- 1945 – U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt dies in office; Vice President Harry S. Truman becomes President upon Roosevelt’s death.
- 1945 – World War II: The U.S. Ninth Army under General William H. Simpson crosses the Elbe River astride Magdeburg, and reached Tangermünde – only 50 miles from Berlin.
- 1961 – Cold War: Space Race: The Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin becomes the first human to travel into outer space and perform the first manned orbital flight, Vostok 1.
- 1963 – The Soviet nuclear-powered submarine K-33 collides with the Finnish merchant vessel M/S Finnclipper in the Danish straits.
- 1970 – Soviet submarine K-8, carrying four nuclear torpedoes, sinks in the Bay of Biscay four days after a fire on board.
- 1980 – The Americo-Liberian government of Liberia is violently deposed.
- 2013 – Two suicide bombers kill three Chadian soldiers and injure dozens of civilians at a market in Kidal, Mali.
- 1792 – John Lambton, 1st Earl of Durham, English soldier and politician, Lord Privy Seal (d. 1840).
- 1851 – José Gautier Benítez, Puerto Rican soldier and poet (d. 1880).
- 1868 – Akiyama Saneyuki, Japanese admiral (d. 1918).
- 1871 – Ioannis Metaxas, Greek general and politician, 130th Prime Minister of Greece (d. 1941).
- 1894 – Francisco Craveiro Lopes, Portuguese field marshal and politician, 13th President of Portugal (d. 1964).
- 1907 – Felix de Weldon, Austrian-American sculptor, designed the Marine Corps War Memorial (d. 2003).
- 1908 – Robert Lee Scott, Jr., American pilot and general (d. 2006).
- 1937 – Igor Volk, Ukrainian-Russian colonel, pilot, and astronaut.
- 1946 – George Robertson, Baron Robertson of Port Ellen, Scottish politician and diplomat, 10th Secretary General of NATO.
- 45 BC – Gnaeus Pompeius, Roman general and politician (b. 75 BC).
- 1687 – Ambrose Dixon, English-American soldier (b. 1619).
- 1795 – Johann Kaspar Basselet von La Rosée, Bavarian general (b. 1710).
- 1879 – Richard Taylor, American general (b. 1826).
- 1933 – Adelbert Ames, American general and politician, 30th Governor of Mississippi (b. 1835).
- 1943 – Viktor Puskar, Estonian colonel (b. 1889).
- 1984 – Edwin T. Layton, American admiral and cryptanalyst (b. 1903).
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