- 241 BC – First Punic War: Battle of the Aegates: The Romans sink the Carthaginian fleet bringing the First Punic War to an end.
- 298 – Roman Emperor Maximian concludes his campaign in North Africa and makes a triumphal entry into Carthage.
- 947 – The Later Han is founded by Liu Zhiyuan. He declares himself emperor.
- 1607 – Susenyos I defeats the combined armies of Yaqob and Abuna Petros II at the Battle of Gol in Gojjam, making him Emperor of Ethiopia.
- 1629 – Charles I dissolves the Parliament of England, beginning the eleven-year period known as the Personal Rule.
- 1735 – An agreement between Nader Shah and Russia is signed near Ganja, Azerbaijan and Russian troops are withdrawn from occupied territories.
- 1814 – Emperor Napoleon I is defeated at the Battle of Laon in France.
- 1830 – The Royal Netherlands East Indies Army is created.
- 1848 – The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo is ratified by the United States Senate, ending the Mexican-American War.
- 1861 – El Hadj Umar Tall seizes the city of Ségou, destroying the Bamana Empire of Mali.
- 1876 – The first successful test of a telephone is made by Alexander Graham Bell.
- 1909 – By signing the Anglo-Siamese Treaty of 1909, Thailand relinquishes its sovereignty over the Malay states of Kedah, Kelantan, Perlis and Terengganu, which become British protectorates.
- 1922 – Mahatma Gandhi is arrested in India, tried for sedition, and sentenced to six years in prison, only to be released after nearly two years for an appendicitis operation.
- 1944 – Greek Civil War: The Political Committee of National Liberation is established in Greece by the National Liberation Front.
- 1945 – World War II: The US Army Air Force firebombs Tokyo, and the resulting conflagration kills more than 100,000 people, mostly civilians.
- 1949 – Mildred Gillars (“Axis Sally“) is convicted of treason.
- 1952 – Fulgencio Batista leads a successful coup in Cuba.
- 1959 – Tibetan uprising: Fearing an abduction attempt by China, thousands of Tibetans surround the Dalai Lama’s palace to prevent his removal.
- Tibetan Uprising Day (Tibetan independence movement).
- 1966 – Military Prime Minister of South Vietnam Nguyễn Cao Kỳ sacked rival General Nguyễn Chánh Thi, precipitating large-scale civil and military dissension in parts of the nation.
- 1970 – Vietnam War: Captain Ernest Medina is charged by the US military with My Lai war crimes.
- 1975 – Vietnam War: Ho Chi Minh Campaign: North Vietnamese troops attack Ban Mê Thuột in the South on their way to capturing Saigon in the final push for victory over South Vietnam.
- 1990 – In Haiti, Prosper Avril is ousted 18 months after seizing power in a coup.
- 2020 – The World Health Organisation officially announces the COVID-19 outbreak as a pandemic.
- Holocaust Remembrance Day (Bulgaria).
- 1653 – John Benbow, Royal Navy admiral (d. 1702).
- 1873 – Jakob Wassermann, German-Austrian soldier and author (d. 1934).
- 1918 – Günther Rall, German general and pilot (d. 2009).
- 1939 – Irina Press, Ukrainian-Russian hurdler and pentathlete (d. 2004).
- 1957 – Osama bin Laden, Saudi Arabian terrorist, founded al-Qaeda (d. 2011).
- 1961 – Laurel Clark, American captain, physician, and astronaut (d. 2003).
- 1965 – Jillian Richardson, Canadian sprinter.
- 1513 – John de Vere, 13th Earl of Oxford, English commander and politician, Lord High Constable of England (b. 1442).
- 1925 – Myer Prinstein, Polish-American jumper (b. 1878).
- 1948 – Jan Masaryk, Czech soldier and politician (b. 1886).
- 1985 – Konstantin Chernenko, Russian soldier and politician, Head of State of The Soviet Union (b. 1911).