537 – The Hagia Sophia is completed.
1703 – Portugal and England sign the Methuen Treaty which gives preference to Portuguese imported wines into England.
1831 – Charles Darwin embarks on his journey aboard the HMS Beagle, during which he will begin to formulate his theory of evolution.
1845 – Ether anesthetic is used for childbirth for the first time by Dr. Crawford Long in Jefferson, Georgia.
1911 – “Jana Gana Mana”, the national anthem of India, is first sung in the Calcutta Session of the Indian National Congress.
1918 – The Great Poland Uprising against the Germans begins.
1922 – Japanese aircraft carrier Hōshō becomes the first purpose built aircraft carrier to be commissioned in the world.
1927 – Show Boat, considered to be the first true American musical play, opens at the Ziegfeld Theatre on Broadway.
1932 – Radio City Music Hall, “Showplace of the Nation”, opens in New York City.
1939 – Winter War: Finland holds off a Soviet attack in the Battle of Kelja.
1942 – The Union of Pioneers of Yugoslavia is founded.
1945 – The International Monetary Fund is created with the signing of an agreement by 29 nations.
1949 – Indonesian National Revolution: The Netherlands officially recognizes Indonesian independence. End of the Dutch East Indies.
1966 – The Cave of Swallows, the largest known cave shaft in the world, is discovered in Aquismón, San Luis Potosí, Mexico.
1968 – Apollo program: Apollo 8 splashes down in the Pacific Ocean, ending the first orbital manned mission to the Moon.
1978 – Spain becomes a democracy after 40 years of fascist dictatorship.
1979 – The Soviet Union invades the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan.
1996 – Taliban forces retake the strategic Bagram Airfield which solidifies their buffer zone around Kabul, Afghanistan.
2001 – China is granted permanent normal trade relations with the United States.
2002 – Two truck bombs kill 72 and wound 200 at the pro-Moscow headquarters of the Chechen government in Grozny,Chechnya, Russia.
2004 – Radiation from an explosion on the magnetar SGR 1806-20 reaches Earth. It is the brightest extrasolar event known to have been witnessed on the planet.
2007 – Former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto is assassinated in a shooting incident.