- 1009 – First known mention of Lithuania, in the annals of the monastery of Quedlinburg.
- 1226 – Khwarazmian sultan Jalal ad-Din conquers the Georgian capital of Tbilisi.
- 1230 – Bulgarian Tsar Ivan Asen II defeats Theodore of Epirus in the Battle of Klokotnitsa.
- 1500 – The fleet of Pedro Álvares Cabral leaves Lisbon for the Indies. The fleet will discover Brazil which lies within boundaries granted to Portugal in the Treaty of Tordesillas in 1494.
- 1701 – Safavid troops retreat from Basra, ending a three-year occupation.
- 1776 – The Wealth of Nations by Scottish economist and philosopher Adam Smith is published.
- 1811 – Paraguayan forces defeat Manuel Belgrano at the Battle of Tacuarí.
- 1847 – Mexican-American War: The first large-scale amphibious assault in US history is launched in the Siege of Veracruz.
- 1862 – American Civil War: USS Monitor and CSS Virginia (rebuilt from the engines and lower hull of the USS Merrimack) fight to a draw in the Battle of Hampton Roads, the first battle between two ironclad warships.
- 1916 – Mexican Revolution: Pancho Villa leads nearly 500 Mexican raiders in an attack against the border town of Columbus, New Mexico.
- 1942 – World War II: Dutch East Indies unconditionally surrendered to the Japanese forces in Kalijati, Subang, West Java, and the Japanese completed their Dutch East Indies campaign.
- 1944 – World War II: Soviet Army planes attack Tallinn, Estonia.
- 1945 – World War II: A coup d’état by Japanese forces in French Indochina removes the French from power.
- 1945 – World War II: Allied forces carry out firebombing over Tokyo, destroying most of the capital and killing over 100,000 civilians.
- 1956 – Soviet forces suppress mass demonstrations in the Georgian SSR, reacting to Nikita Khrushchev’s de-Stalinisation policy.
- 1753 – Jean-Baptiste Kléber, French general (d. 1800).
- 1904 – Paul Wilbur Klipsch, American soldier and engineer, founded Klipsch Audio Technologies (d. 2002).
- 1915 – Johnnie Johnson, English air marshal and pilot (d. 2001).
- 1918 – George Lincoln Rockwell, American sailor and politician, founded the American Nazi Party (d. 1967).
- 1920 – Franjo Mihalić, Croatian-Serbian runner and coach (d. 2015).
- 1934 – Yuri Gagarin, Russian colonel, pilot, and cosmonaut, first human in space (d. 1968).
- 1954 – Bobby Sands, PIRA volunteer; Irish republican politician (d. 1981).
- 1982 – Ryan Bayley, Australian cyclist.
- 1649 – James Hamilton, 1st Duke of Hamilton, Scottish soldier and politician, (b. 1606).
- 1649 – Henry Rich, 1st Earl of Holland, English soldier and politician (b. 1590).
- 1851 – Hans Christian Ørsted, Danish physicist and chemist, discovered electromagnetism and the element aluminium (b. 1777).
- 1964 – Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck, German general (b. 1870).
- 1969 – Abdul Munim Riad, Egyptian general (b. 1919).
- 1992 – Menachem Begin, Belarusian-Israeli soldier, politician and Prime Minister of Israel, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1913).
- 2006 – John Profumo, English soldier and politician, Secretary of State for War (b. 1915).
- 2015 – James Molyneaux, Baron Molyneaux of Killead, Northern Irish soldier and politician (b. 1920).