- 794 – Emperor Kanmu relocates the Japanese capital to Heian-kyō (now Kyoto).
- 906 – Ahmad ibn Kayghalagh leads a raid against the Byzantine Empire, taking 4,000–5,000 captives.
- 1383 – The male line of the Portuguese House of Burgundy becomes extinct with the death of King Fernando, leaving only his daughter Beatrice. Rival claimants begin a period of civil war and disorder.
- 1633 – The Ming dynasty defeats the Dutch East India Company.
- 1707 – Four British naval vessels run aground on the Isles of Scilly because of faulty navigation. In response, the first Longitude Act is enacted in 1714.
- 1721 – Russian Empire is proclaimed by Tsar Peter I after the Swedish defeat in the Great Northern War.
- 1777 – American Revolutionary War: American defenders of Fort Mercer on the Delaware River repulse repeated Hessian attacks in the Battle of Red Bank.
- 1784 – Russia founds a colony on Kodiak Island, Alaska.
- 1790 – Northwest Indian War: Native American forces defeat the United States, ending the Harmar Campaign.
- 1797 – André-Jacques Garnerin makes the first recorded parachute jump, from one thousand meters (3,200 feet) above Paris.
- 1836 – Sam Houston is inaugurated as the first President of the Republic of Texas.
- 1859 – Spain declares war on Morocco.
- 1866 – A plebiscite ratifies the annexion of Veneto and Mantua to Italy, which had occurred three days before, on 19 October.
- 1875 – First telegraphic connection in Argentina.
- 1879 – Using a filament of carbonised thread, Thomas Edison tests the first practical electric incandescent light bulb (it lasts 131⁄2 hours before burning out).
- 1884 – The International Meridian Conference designates the Royal Observatory, Greenwich as the world’s prime meridian.
- 1910 – Hawley Harvey Crippen (the first felon to be arrested with the help of radio) is convicted of poisoning his wife.
- 1923 – The royalist Leonardopoulos–Gargalidis coup d’état attempt fails in Greece, discrediting the monarchy and paving the way for the establishment of the Second Hellenic Republic.
- 1941 – World War II: French resistance member Guy Môquet and 29 other hostages are executed by the Germans in retaliation for the death of a German officer.
- 1943 – World War II: In the Second firestorm raid on Germany, the RAF conducts an air raid on the town of Kassel, killing 10,000 and rendering 150,000 homeless.
- 1946 – Over twenty-two hundred engineers and technicians from eastern Germany are forced to relocate to the Soviet Union, along with their families and equipment.
- 1947 – The Kashmir conflict between India and Pakistan begins, having started just after the partition of India.
- 1962 – Cuban Missile Crisis: President Kennedy, after internal counsel from Dwight D. Eisenhower, announces that American reconnaissance planes have discovered Soviet nuclear weapons in Cuba, and that he has ordered a naval “quarantine” of the Communist nation.
- 1964 – An all-party Parliamentary Committee selects the design which will become the new official flag of Canada.
- 1999 – Maurice Papon, an official in the Vichy France government during World War II, is jailed for crimes against humanity.
- 2007 – A raid on Anuradhapura Air Force Base is carried out by 21 Tamil Tiger commandos. All except one die in this attack.
- Eight Sri Lanka Air Force planes are destroyed and 10 damaged.
- 2014 – Michael Zehaf-Bibeau attacks the Parliament of Canada, killing a soldier and injuring three other people.
- 1847 – Koos de la Rey, South African general (d. 1914).
- 1921 – Harald Nugiseks, Estonian sergeant (d. 2014).
- 1936 – John Blashford-Snell, English soldier, author, and explorer.
- 1625 – Kikkawa Hiroie, Japanese daimyō (b. 1561).
- 1853 – Juan Antonio Lavalleja, Uruguayan general and politician, President of Uruguay (b. 1784).
- 1883 – Thomas Mayne Reid, Irish-American soldier and author (b. 1818).
- 1941 – Guy Môquet, French militant (b. 1924).
- 2013 – James Robinson Risner, American general and pilot (b. 1925).
- 2014 – George Francis, English footballer and soldier (b. 1934).
- 2015 – Joshua Wheeler, American sergeant (b. 1975).
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