- 211 – Following the death of Rome’s Emperor Septimius Severus at Eboracum (modern York, England) while preparing to lead a campaign against the Caledonians, the empire is left in the control of his two quarrelling sons, Caracalla and Geta, whom he had instructed to make peace.
- 960 – The coronation of Zhao Kuangyin as Emperor Taizu of Song, initiating the Song dynasty period of China that would last more than three centuries.
- 1454 – Thirteen Years’ War: The Secret Council of the Prussian Confederation sends a formal act of disobedience to the Grand Master of the Teutonic Knights, sparking the Thirteen Years’ War.
- 1703 – In Edo (now Tokyo), all but one of the Forty-seven Ronin commit seppuku (ritual suicide) as recompense for avenging their master’s death.
- 1758 – The city of Macapá in Brazil is founded by Sebastião Veiga Cabral.
- 1789 – George Washington is unanimously elected as the first President of the United States by the US Electoral College.
- 1810 – Napoleonic Wars: Britain seizes Guadeloupe.
- 1820 – The Chilean Navy under the command of Lord Cochrane completes the two-day long Capture of Valdivia with just 300 men and two ships.
- 1861 – American Civil War: In Montgomery, Alabama, delegates from six breakaway US states meet and form the Confederate States of America.
- 1899 – The Philippine-American War begins with the Battle of Manila.
- 1932 – Second Sino-Japanese War: Harbin, Manchuria, falls to Japan.
- 1938 – Adolf Hitler appoints himself as head of the Armed Forces High Command.
- 1941 – World War II: The United Service Organisation (USO) is created to entertain American troops.
- 1945 – World War II: Santo Tomas Internment Camp is liberated from Japanese authority.
- 1945 – World War II: The Yalta Conference between the “Big Three” (Churchill, Roosevelt, and Stalin) opens at the Livadia Palace in the Crimea.
- 1945 – World War II: The British Indian Army and Imperial Japanese Army begin a series of battles known as the Battle of Pokoku and Irrawaddy River operations.
- 1948 – Ceylon (later renamed Sri Lanka) becomes independent within the British Commonwealth.
- Independence Day.
- 1961 – The Angolan War of Independence and the greater Portuguese Colonial War begin.
- 1974 – The Symbionese Liberation Army kidnaps Patty Hearst in Berkeley, California.
- 1974 – M62 coach bombing: The Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) explodes a bomb on a bus carrying off-duty British Armed Forces personnel in Yorkshire, England. Nine soldiers and three civilians are killed.
- 1992 – A coup d’état is led by Hugo Chávez against Venezuelan President Carlos Andrés Pérez.
- 1997 – En route to Lebanon, two Israeli Sikorsky CH-53 troop-transport helicopters collide in mid-air over northern Galilee, Israel, killing 73.
- 2003 – The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia adopts a new constitution, becoming a loose confederacy between Montenegro and Serbia.
- Day of the Armed Struggle (Angola).
- 1495 – Jean Parisot de Valette, Grand Master of the Knights Hospitaller (d. 1568).
- 1868 – Constance Markievicz, Irish revolutionary and first woman elected to the UK House of Commons (d. 1927).
- 1872 – Gotse Delchev, Bulgarian and Macedonian revolutionary activist (d. 1903).
- 1881 – Eulalio Gutiérrez, Mexican general and politician, President of Mexico (d. 1939).
- 1897 – Ludwig Erhard, German soldier and politician, 2nd Chancellor of West Germany (d. 1977).
- 1917 – Yahya Khan, Pakistan general and politician, 3rd President of Pakistan (d. 1980).
- 1947 – Dennis C. Blair, American admiral and politician, 3rd Director of National Intelligence.
- 1949 – Rasim Delić, Bosnian general (d. 2010).
- 1966 – Viatcheslav Ekimov, Russian cyclist.
- 1981 – Johan Vansummeren, Belgian cyclist.
- 1982 – Tomas Vaitkus, Lithuanian cyclist.
- 1843 – Theodoros Kolokotronis, Greek general (b. 1770).
- 2012 – Florence Green, English soldier (b. 1901).
- 2012 – Robert Daniel, American farmer, soldier, and politician (b. 1936).
- 2014 – Eugenio Corti, Italian soldier, author, and playwright (b. 1921).
- 2015 – Fitzhugh L. Fulton, American colonel and pilot (b. 1925).
- 2016 – Edgar Mitchell, American captain, pilot, and astronaut (b. 1930).
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