456 – Magister militum Ricimer defeats Emperor Avitus at Piacenza and becomes master of the Western Roman Empire.
690 – Empress Wu Zetian ascends to the throne of the Tang dynasty and proclaims herself ruler of the Chinese Empire.
1384 – Jadwiga is crowned King of Poland, although she is a woman.
1780 – Royalton, Vermont and Tunbridge, Vermont are the last major raids of the American Revolutionary War.
1793 – Marie Antoinette, widow of Louis XVI, is guillotined at the height of the French Revolution.
1793 – The Battle of Wattignies ends in a French victory.
1813 – The Sixth Coalition attacks Napoleon Bonaparte in the Battle of Leipzig.
1846 – William T. G. Morton first demonstrated ether anesthesia at the Massachusetts General Hospital in the Ether Dome.
1905 – The Partition of Bengal in India takes place.
1906 – The Captain of Köpenick fools the city hall of Köpenick and several soldiers by impersonating a Prussian officer.
1909 – William Howard Taft and Porfirio Díaz hold a summit, a first between a U.S. and a Mexican president, and they only narrowly escape assassination.
1923 – The Walt Disney Company is founded by Walt Disney and his brother, Roy Disney.
1934 – Chinese Communists begin the Long March; it ended a year and four days later, by which time Mao Zedong had regained his title as party chairman.
1939 – World War II: First attack on British territory by the German Luftwaffe.
1940 – Holocaust: The Warsaw Ghetto is established.
1943 – Holocaust: Raid of the Ghetto of Rome
1946 – Nuremberg trials: Execution of the convicted Nazi leaders of the Main Trial.
1949 – Nikos Zachariadis, leader of the Communist Party of Greece, announces a “temporary cease-fire”, effectively ending the Greek Civil War.
1949 – The diplomatic relations between the Soviet Union and the German Democratic Republic are established.
1951 – The first Prime Minister of Pakistan, Liaquat Ali Khan, is assassinated in Rawalpindi.
1964 – China detonates its first nuclear weapon.
1964 – Soviet leaders Leonid Brezhnev and Alexei Kosygin are inaugurated as General Secretary of the CPSU and Premier, respectively and the collective leadership is established.
1970 – In response to the October Crisis terrorist kidnapping, Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau of Canada invokes the War Measures Act.
1978 – Karol Wojtyla is elected Pope John Paul II after the October 1978 Papal conclave, the first non-Italian pontiff since 1523.
1978 – Wanda Rutkiewicz is the first Pole and the first European woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest.
1993 – Anti-Nazism riot breaks out in Welling in Kent, after police stop protesters approaching the British National Party headquarters.
1998 – Former Chilean dictator General Augusto Pinochet is arrested in London on a warrant from Spain requesting his extradition on murder charges.
2002 – Bibliotheca Alexandrina in the Egyptian city of Alexandria, a commemoration of the Library of Alexandria that was lost in antiquity, is officially inaugurated.
2012 – The extrasolar planet Alpha Centauri Bb is discovered.
2013 – Lao Airlines Flight 301 crashes on approach to Pakse International Airport in Laos, killing 49 people.